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IRAN: Hundreds march at funeral for slain student amid tension in Tehran

Under tight security, hundreds of Iranians marched through the streets Wednesday in a government-sanctioned funeral for Tehran Art University student Saane Zhaleh, who died in violent clashes between pro-reform demonstrators and the police Monday.

Described by the government as the "martyr Basij," Zhaleh is said by the authorities to have been killed by government opponents when he joined Basiji militiamen to help put down the protests, which were prohibited by the government.

The opposition says he was shot by police. State television showed marchers carrying Iranian flags and shouting slogans against opposition leaders, including "Death to Karroubi!" and "Death to Mosavi!" referring to Mehdi Karroubi and Hossein Mousavi, who were under house arrest during the demonstrations.

It said they were carrying pictures of President Obama and Israeli President Shimon Peres. There were brief clashes with opposition activists, but no injuries, according to state TV.

Iran also officially confirmed the death of a second "passerby" at Monday's protests, 22-year-old Mohammad Mokhtari, who the Fars news agency said was "wounded by a number of rioters" who, it said, had opened fire on the public and police.

Opposition leaders have said that only the police were wielding guns during the protests. Fars also reported that thousands of people and members of Parliament have begun a sit-in at Tehran's central square,  "demanding the government to take strict action against seditionists and their masterminds."

-- Kim Murphy in Amman, Jordan

Photo: The funeral procession for Saane Zhaleh in Tehran sparked brief clashes between government supporters and anti-government demonstrators, according to state TV. Credit: Reuters

Comments () | Archives (9)

The photo came from "official sources" Mohammed. Perhaps the story did too. I does sound very must like the "official story", doesn't it?

Well said Mohammed.

"Journalism is a discipline of collecting, verifying, reporting and analyzing information gathered regarding current events, including trends, issues and people. Those who practice journalism are known as journalists.

Journalism is sometimes called the 'first draft of history.' Even though news articles are often written on deadline, they are usually edited and proofread before being published."

This article is NOT journalism.

Carrying pictures of Obama and Shimon Peres?? Do you have proof or there is no need for fact check???!!!
If the opposition said something like this, you would all be calling it unconfirmed, unreliable, etc.
This report is shameful! What is wrong with LA Times? Maybe you should watch CNN, BBC, FOX! It seems like the author of this piece and the editor have just crawled out of some hole they've been in for 5000 years!

Here's the scoop from radio Free Europe:

But Hatef Soltani, a friend and fellow student, told Radio Farda today that the state media reports about an affiliation with the Basij were false. He noted that Zhaleh had been pictured with a prominent dissident cleric, the late Grand Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri.

"News about [Zhaleh] being a member of the Basij is totally false," Soltani said. "Zhaleh's photo was taken with Ayatollah Montazeri. He was a Kurd and a Sunni Muslim. All of this indicates that his ideas were not in line with those of the Basij."

Soltani said Zhaleh had been a member of the opposition Green Movement and a Musavi supporter. In fact, Soltani said, Zhaleh worked at the headquarters of Musavi during the presidential campaign of 2009.

I don't have the correct line. But maybe the LA Times should check their sources before circulating pro-regime "news." The US should be supporting the Green Movement whatever way we can without interfering in Iranian internal politics. The Iranian opposition need all the moral support they can get. It take enormous courage to oppose the Iranian regime. The least we can do is give credit where it's due.

A family member of Saane Zhaleh, a 26-year-old theatre student at Tehran University of Arts, told ... that the Iranian authorities had launched a campaign to depict the pro-opposition protester as a member of the government-sponsored basiji militia who had been killed by what they described as terrorists.

"They [security forces] have killed him and now they want to hijack his dead body and exploit his funeral for their own purposes ..." said the family member, who asked not to be identified.

According to the family member, Zhaleh's parents and siblings ... were asked not to attend the funeral in Tehran and were threatened that Zhaleh's body would not be handed to them if they spoke to foreign media.

At the same time, Sajad Rezaee, a member of the Islamic Society student group at Tehran University of Arts, told, the official website of Mir Hossein Mousavi, that the dead protester was not a member of the basij but was a pro-Mousavi activist during the 2009 election campaign.

I really hope that the Iranian people get a chance to win their freedom from the regime of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

It will unfortunately come down to how strong the opposition's resolve is and how many of them are willing to die for freedom.

That`s ridicules ! this is fake story made by government and their propaganda (Fars News agency ) .If you want reflect iran news that`s better for your reputation use fair agency and website and look other side carefully .
Your reporter is in Amman !!! I guess , only translate Fars news website and post it .

US get over it. We Toppled a democratically elected Iranian Government in 1953 and they took over our embassy and released everyone without harm after 444 days. So, these B.S and wishful thinkings to do it again is unfounded and frankly ridiculous. Who will fill in the gap here? No one has any idea. The communist terrorist organization of Mojahedin Khalgh "MKO"??! Are you guys crazy? Or do we want turmoil there all the time? I think we do want the turmoil so we drain the region form their oil while all this is going on!! So, shut up about it and get to learn to live with it. We are not innocent here. We know what we have done to these people.

This is a terrible story, he was in fact proven to be an opposition protester not a pro-government thug:

Mr. Daragahi, why aren't you manning this shop? Who the hell is Kim Murphy?

C'mon guys, it's important you get these things right.


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