ABC: Women, children beaten at memorial service

Dec 24, 20090 comments

By Middle East Correspondent Anne Barker Posted Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:00am AEDT A memorial service in Iran for a dissident cleric has descended into more violence after security forces began beating women and children, and arrested scores of people. His funeral has sparked a wave of protests as mourners vented their anger against the government. The death of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri has drawn thousands of mourners onto Iran’s streets since his funeral on Monday. In several cities police responded with force, using batons and tear gas to quell the unrest. Local media say security forces beat women and children with batons, chains and stones. Many were injured and at least 50 people were arrested. The latest crackdown comes as the main opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi was sacked as president of Iran’s Academy of Art. Hardliners want him arrested for his role in inciting unrest since the disputed June election. Source: