Iran opposition urges big turnout at dissident funeral

By REUTERS
May 31, 2011 19:54

 
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TEHRAN - Opposition groups urged Iranians on Tuesday to attend in large numbers the funeral procession of veteran dissident Ezatollah Sahabi, a gathering that could turn into an anti-government protest.

Sahabi, a former member of parliament who was forced into opposition in the 1980s, died of stroke in a Tehran hospital overnight at the age of 81.

Opposition websites carried statements urging broad participation in Sahabi's funeral, which will be held in Lavasan on Wednesday. They said there was already a heavy security presence in the northeastern city in anticipation of the event.

A longtime activist, Sahabi was jailed both before and after the revolution and spent a total of 15 years behind bars on various charges including efforts to overthrow Islamic rule.

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