Iran Seizes Bodies of Dead Protesters
Mousavi spokesman calls nephew's death an assassination
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2009 4:44 AM CST
An Iranian protestor flashes the victory sign as he covers his face to avoid to be identified by security during ananti-government protest in Tehran.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Iranian authorities are holding the bodies of at least five people killed in anti-government protests in an apparent bid to prevent activists from rallying at their funerals. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's nephew is among the dead, and his family is charging that government forces seized his body from a Tehran hospital, AP reports. Government officials insist the bodies are being held for autopsies.

The killing of Mousavi's nephew was a government-ordered assassination, a spokesman for the former presidential candidate tells the Christian Science Monitor. Seyd Ali Mousavi was shot through the heart after he was repeatedly warned to cease his political activities, according to the spokesman. A government-linked news agency called the killing "suspicious" and suggested foreign intelligence agencies were to blame.