Iranian Police use batons and tear gas on mourners at Neda Soltan memorial

Mourners chanted, “Neda is alive, Ahmadinejad is dead.”

It was meant to be a solemn religious ceremony in a cemetery where countless Islamic revolutionaries and martyrs are buried.Iranian police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters holding a memorial Thursday in a Tehran cemetery for victims of post-election violence, according to witnesses and state television.

Instead the security forces turned Tehran’s Behesht e-Zahra burial ground into a battlefield today, attacking hundreds of mourners with batons and tear gas and driving opposition leaders away before they could even offer their prayers.

The occasion was the end of the 40-day mourning period for Neda Soltan, the student who became an icon of the opposition movement when she was killed in one of the huge protests that followed President Ahmadinejad’s hotly disputed re-election. Tyres and rubbish skips burned on the pavements. The air reaked of tear gas. There were reports of gunfire. Many were arrested and basiji militiamen smashed the windows of cars that supported the protesters by hooting. Read more: TIMES ONLINE UK

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