According to videos circulating on social media platforms, large crowds who came to commemorate the 40th day of the death of fallen protester Pouya Bakhtiari in Karaj’s Beheshte Sakineh Cemetery chanted against the regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
Iranians went to the cemetery upon the invitation of the family of Pouya Bakhtiari, who have since been detained.
Eyewitnesses say that security forces had tried block the entrances to the area where Pouya Bakhtiari was buried and had stationed snipers on nearby rooftops. Two DShK or Dushka 50 caliber heavy machine guns along with armored vehicles were also stationed in the cemetery.
Vidoes and eyewitness reports indicate that several people were detained and beaten by security forces. The presence of riot police and other forces was very heavy in the cemetery. Helicopters were even flown overhead at some point in the cemetery in an effort to intimidate mourners.
Despite this, a large number of people marched and chanted slogans against the regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. They hold him responsible for the brutal killing of at least 1,500 citizens during the last round of protests that erupted in November over the high price of gasoline.
Calling Khamenei a murderer they chanted, “The people did not die for us to compromise with and praise the murderous leader”.
Another video showed large crowds chanting, “Death to the Velayat (Khamenei) for his many years of crime.”
According to Pouya Bakhtiari’s grandmother, security forces did not allow her to visit her grandson’s grave even for a short prayer. The grieving elderly woman said she was literally begging security forces but they refused to allow her to visit his graveside “even for one second”.
“Many people came but most of them were beaten by security forces and arrested,” she said.
Pouya’s grandmother has also called for the release of his parents who were arrested two days ago.
According to another eyewitness report, Iranians had come from other cities, including from the north, Ahvaz and Arak in southwestern Iran and from the western province of Lorestan to take part in the ceremony to commemorate the memory of Pouya Bakhtiari and other fallen protesters. The eyewitness confirmed reports that many people were beaten and arrested.