Mourners commemorate jailed journalist under forces’ scrutiny

Fri, 06/17/2011

A commemoration service for Reza Hoda Saber, the jailed Iranian journalist who died of a massive heart attack 10 days into a hunger strike, was held under strict security measures in Tehran.

Kaleme reports that more than 2,000 people attended, including Saber’s fellow Nationalist-Religious activists and several senior political reformists.

More than 200 security officers were deployed in the street and another 50 plainclothes officers were stationed inside the mosque.

The women’s section was kept under the control of female officers, and the entire ceremony was filmed and photographed.

Kaleme adds that one person rose during the ceremony and called upon attendees to say a prayer for the health of all political prisoners. According to Kaleme, officers immediately arrested that person.

Security forces reportedly prevented another ceremony planned for Wednesday night at the home of Firouzeh Saber, the sister of the deceased.

Reza Hoda Saber, a nationalist-religious activist who was last incarcerated in 2008, had gone on a hunger strike to protest the recent death of activist Haleh Sahabi, who died when security forces raided her father’s funeral.

Ten days into his hunger strike, Saber died of a massive heart attack. His family contends that prison authorities are responsible for his death because they delayed his transfer to hospital after the onset of his pain.

On Tuesday, 64 political prisoners, with whom Saber had been incarcerated, issued an announcement declaring that Saber was badly beaten on the eighth day of his hunger strike.

The authorities maintain that Saber received all necessary medical care and they deny any wrongdoing on the part of prison personnel.





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