Turning Sacred Ground Into A Battleground


Tehran Bureau compiled several eyewitness accounts from today. Here's one:

I went to the Beheshteh Zahra cemetery today. The police did not permit Mousavi or Karoubi near the graves. When the car transporting Mousavi and his wife approached, police did not even allow them out of the car. But more than 3000 people were out on the streets near Mosalla. Basij was there too. People flashed V signs with their fingers. Traffic was crazy; people kept honking their horns. People put trash bins, and one motorcycle, on fire. Police and Basij started to use tear gas. They even used it at the cemetery.

The gathering at the Beheshte Zahra cemetery was supposed to be at 4 pm, but before that could happen, baton-wielding Basij and the special guard were there to break it up. Police told mourners that if they didn’t leave, they would attack. They arrested many people at the cemetery and in the streets around Mosalla. Some people started attacking police with stones; police then started to attack them. Two film directors, Jafar Panahi and Mahnaz Mohammadi, were arrested.

I think more than 7000 people were at Beheshte Zahra. They were not all gathered in one spot. They came and went. Beheshte Zahra is huge. Some traveled there by metro. The main slogans were in favor of Mousavi and also “Allah o Akbar.” It was such a hot day, and Beheshte Zahra is so far from Tehran. Yet so many came.