|January 4, 2010||Permalink|
Supporters of the opposition to Iran's current ruling regime continue to gather, speak out, and protest - despite the risks of imprisonment, injury or death, and the continued official restrictions on foreign media coverage. On December 21st, 2009, thousands of Iranians attended a funeral ceremony for Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the spiritual father of Iran's reform movement, who had passed away at the age of 87. In the days following the funeral, mourners and protesters took to the streets defying an official ban on such memorial services. On the Muslim holy day of Ashoura, December 27th, protesters and riot police clashed in multiple locations in Tehran, leaving many injured and between 8 and 37 protesters killed, including the nephew of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. Days later, on December 30th, the Iranian government organized its own protest - against the opposition - giving all civil servants the day off to attend, providing dozens of buses and free chocolate milk for demonstrators. Collected here are photos from the three days, most taken by anonymous photographers, acquired outside the country by press agencies who are restricted by the government ban. (33 photos total)
Two pro-reform Iranian women attend the funeral ceremony of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the spiritual father of Iran's reform movement, as they wear green headbands, the symbolic color of Iranian opposition, in the holy city of Qom, 125 km (78 mi) south of the capital Tehran, Iran on Monday, Dec. 21, 2009. Montazeri, who died Sunday at the age of 87, was a key figure in the 1979 Islamic Revolution who later accused his fellow clerical leaders of imposing dictatorship in the name of Islam. (AP Photo)
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