5 000 Protest Silently in Iran Capital

World | June 28, 2009, Sunday // 19:25|  views

Protesters hold up paintings of Iran's President Ahmadinedschad depicting hims as a devil during a rally against the Iranian government outside the Iranian consulate in Hamburg, Germany. Photo by BGNES

About 5 000 protesters marched slowly and silently through Tehran on Sunday near a mosque where the government was allowing a demonstration for the first time in days.

Authorities were riding on motorcycles alongside the marchers, who are telling each other to walk slowly and drag their feet, CNN reported.

Some of the protesters were telling the police that they have the legal right to protest in peace, the news agency further said.

The marchers are walking from north to south down a major street, Shariati Street, near the Ghoba Mosque, where a memorial is being held in honor of a hero of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The gathering is officially meant to honor Mohammad Beheshti, who was killed in a bombing on this date 28 years ago. It follows two weeks of protests against the official results of the June 12 presidential elections, which President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won.

"There will be a gathering in "Ghoba" Mosque and it's legal! Please send this message to everyone you can in Iran," says a post in Farsi and English, on a page which claims to be Moussavi's Facebook site.

There was heavy police presence outside the mosque about half an hour before the demonstration was scheduled to begin. Most of the people outside the mosque seemed to be Moussavi supporters who had heard was going to be there.

There was no sign of the opposition leader, and police were telling crowds to move along, which they did, CNN correspondent said. There was no violence.

"I advise both sides not to provoke the emotions of the youth, not to stage people against one another," Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on Sunday for an end to street demonstrations.


Tags: Iran, elections, Moussavi, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad


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