Women's Rights & Movements in IranIran forces fire tear gas at protesters: opposition website

Iran forces fire tear gas at protesters: opposition website

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AFP: Iranian security forces fired tear gas at anti-government protesters as they tried to hold a demonstration in Tehran on Tuesday, the opposition website Kaleme.com reported.

TEHRAN (AFP) — Iranian security forces fired tear gas at anti-government protesters as they tried to hold a demonstration in Tehran on Tuesday, the opposition website Kaleme.com reported.

“Security forces blocked the roads to Enghelab (Revolution) Square (in central Tehran) and fired tear gas at people several times as they tried to stage anti-government demonstrations,” the website said.

Kalame.com reported “heavy security force deployments in several of Tehran’s main squares.”

Foreign media have been banned from on-the-spot reporting of any unauthorised gatherings.

The reports of the demonstration came after Kaleme.com said that opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard were at their home and not in jail as it had previously reported.

“In recent days it has become evident to Kaleme.com that Mrs Rahnavard and Mr Mousavi… are under house arrest and so the news of their transfer from their home to a detention centre needs to be corrected and we apologise to our readers,” the website said.

The website of Iran’s other main opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi said it had no new information about his whereabouts but believed he had been taken into custody.

“Unfortunately until this moment we have no information on the situation of Mehdi Karroubi and (his wife) Fatemeh Karroubi,” his Sahamnews.org website said.

“According to strong evidence, we believe he is not at home and has been transferred to an unknown location,” it added, saying it had spoken to one of his relatives.

Kaleme.com stressed that Mousavi and his wife remained under house arrest, a sanction it described as “unethical and illegal.”

“Given the complete cutting off of their communications with the outside world… it does indeed constitute house arrest, something which so far no one in the judiciary has officially acknowledged,” the website said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi reiterated that both couples were in their homes, dismissing previous claims by their websites that they had been moved to a prison.

“The media should pay attention to what the Tehran prosecutor is saying. The claims of these people are sheer lies and they are at their homes with their wives,” the Fars news agency quoted Dolatabadi as saying.

Reports that the two opposition leaders and their wives were under “complete house arrest” first emerged after their supporters held anti-government protests on February 14, the first in a year.

Mousavi and Karroubi, who both stood unsuccessfully against hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a 2009 election they say was rigged, strongly oppose his government and have guided a series of protests against him.

The Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope, an umbrella group backing the two leaders, had called for fresh protests on Tuesday to mark International Women’s Day.

Since February 14, there have been two further attempts to hold protests — on February 20 and on March 1. Both were met with a massive security force deployment in the capital.

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