Iran: Mothers of protest victims call for new demonstrations

Tehran, 2 July (AKI) - The mothers of protesters killed by Iranian authorities during the post-election turmoil have called for fresh demonstrations in Tehran to mark their deaths. "We are inviting all the people to protest every Saturday at 7 p.m., to congregate at Tehran's public parks, in particular the one in Laleh, to remember our sons, unjustly killed by police authorities during the recent protests," said a statement from a group, calling itself the Mourning Mothers, published on the Iranian site Roozonline on Thursday.

"We will never forget what the government did to our children and thus we will continue carrying on their message, honouring their memory whenever we have the opportunity to do it."

Violent street protests followed last month's presidential ballot that saw the re-election of incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

At least 20 people were killed and more than 1,000 were arrested.

Supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi say the election was rigged.

Last week, about 500 women reportedly gathered at Laleh park to remember their dead sons and daughters, but Iranian police arrived and dispersed the protesters, arresting some of the mothers.

Laleh park is located near a university in the centre of Tehran, and is considered a symbolic meeting place for protests against the government.

Iran has blamed western powers for provoking the street protests after the presidential elections.

It is the most dramatic upheaval seen in the country in more than 30 years since the Islamic revolution in 1979.


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