Police Beat Neda Mourners, Turn Mousavi Away

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2009 8:01 AM CDT
Iranian Revolutionary Guards members march during a parade ceremony. The paramilitary forced Mir Hossein Mousavi to leave a mourning ceremony for Neda Agha-Soltan today.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
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(Newser) – Iranian police beat demonstrators gathered in a Tehran cemetery to mourn victims of post-election violence, including Neda Agha-Soltan—the 26-year-old whose killing was witnessed by hundreds of thousands on YouTube. A witness told Reuters that some mourners were arrested. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi defied threats from the Revolutionary Guards and tried to attend the ceremony, but he was forced back into his car minutes after arriving.

Mousavi accepted an invitation by Neda's mother to attend the memorial service, where about 3,000 mourners chanted "Mousavi, we support you" and "Death to the dictator." According to al-Jazeera, Mousavi made it to Neda's grave and was about to recite verses from the Koran before police surrounded him. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the declared victor of June's election, is scheduled to be sworn in for a second term next week.