Several people who visited a cemetery near Tehran to hold a public 40th day memorial for fallen protesters on Thursday, were arrested by the state security forces.

Families of victims, activists and protesters had made calls for gatherings on December 26 which marks the 40th day of the death of many protesters shot and killed during protests in November.

Iranians went to the Beheshte Sakineh Cemetery in Karaj upon the invitation of the family of fallen protester Pouya Bakhtiari, who have since been detained.

Eyewitnesses say that security forces had tried block the entrances to the area where Pouya Bakhtiari was buried and had stationed snipers on nearby rooftops. Two DShK or Dushka 50 caliber heavy machine guns along with armored vehicles were also stationed in the cemetery.

The presence of riot police and other forces was very heavy in the cemetery. Helicopters were even flown overhead at some point in the cemetery to intimidate mourners.

According to Pouya Bakhtiari’s grandmother, security forces did not allow her to visit her grandson’s grave even for a short prayer. The grieving elderly woman said she was literally begging security forces, but they refused to allow her to visit his graveside “even for one second”.

“Many people came but most of them were beaten by security forces and arrested,” she said.

Regime authorities desperately took various measures to prevent any protests and demonstrations across the country.

In one reported case in Shahriar’s Amir al-Momenin mosque, where the family of Alireza Nouri, killed by security forces during protests, were holding a mourning ceremony, security forces and plainclothes agents had a heavy presence.

In the same area, the regime played dirges with loudspeakers for its forces killed in Syria to downplay the ceremonies for the fallen protesters. The regime’s forces also forced shop owners in the vicinity of the mosque to close their shops.

Since Tuesday, security forces were on the ready in many cities and towns to prevent any and all memorial ceremonies planned for Thursday.

Videos circulated on social media showed heavy presence of security forces and riot police in full ready in Tehran and the townships around the capital such as Eslamshahr where November protests were particularly bloody.

Other videos showed heavy police presence in Qazvin, northwestern Iran, the western city of Sanandaj, and the northwestern city of Tabriz. There were also reports that the regime had set up Bassij security checkpoints in Shiraz.

The regime also prepared for shutting down the Internet as it did in November, if necessary. Reports indicate that internet access was disrupted in the provinces of Tehran, Khuzestan, Alborz, Isfahan, Lorestan, Kurdistan, Kermanshah, Zanjan, Bushehr, and other locations. Authorities also disrupted some mobile networks.

The state-run Khabar Fori website wrote, “According to popular reports, 4G internet in five provinces is out of service since Thursday morning. It appears these internet restrictions are imposed to confront calls for gatherings on December 26.”

Source » iran-hrm