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Anniversary Turnout Impaired by Security Forces

by CORRESPONDENT in Tehran

12 Jun 2011 23:08Comments

[ dispatch ] Overwhelming security presence marked the 22 Khordad protest. While comparable to the 1 Esfand (Feb. 20, 2011) demonstrations in terms of turnout, the protest was impaired by at least a thousand-strong force of military, riot police and basijis. Government forces blocked off Vanak and Valiasr squares as well as the side streets of Valiasr Ave., effectively blocking off demonstrators and preventing others to join them.

Plain-clothed basijis also penetrated the crowd, pulled passengers off buses and arrested a number of people, including some middle-aged women and an elderly man. Some of them were gun-wielding boys who looked as young as ten or twelve. Though skirmishes were not uncommon and tear gas was deployed, the crowd was mostly silent and peaceful.

Chanting was heard from the rooftops in north and central parts of the city. Demonstrators commented on the mediocre turnout, as well as the effective organization of security forces.

Video purportedly from June 12, 2011.

Copyright © 2011 Tehran Bureau

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