Sunday, December 27, 2009

Breaking: Mousavi's nephew killed by Iranian authorities

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the nephew of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has been killed by Iranian authorities in Tehran.  (photograph AFP/Getty Images)
Clashes between opposition protesters and Iranian authorities erupted Sunday in Tehran, with unconfirmed reports that four protesters – including the nephew of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi – were killed in fighting.

The clashes erupted despite a heavy deployment early in the day of police and other security forces around the capital, according to opposition Web sites. Authorities had braced for large-scale protests marking the culmination Sunday of an important Shiite Muslim commemoration.

The aide to Mr. Mousavi said the nephew, Ali Mousavi, died of wounds in a hospital on Sunday, the Associated Press reported. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears of reprisals from the government. A reformist Web site,, also said Mr. Mousavi's nephew was killed..

Police had positioned themselves throughout central Tehran, concentrating around possible rallying points along a major central thoroughfare, Azadi St., between Imman Hossein and Enqelab Squares, according to opposition websites. The street and squares have been sites of big antigovernment demonstrations in the past.

Despite the heavy police presence, large groups of demonstrators managed to congregate in parts of the city, according to opposition Web sites.

The opposition Web site Rah-e-Sabz reported isolated clashes between protesters and security forces midday Sunday, including police firing warning shots in the air and beating protesters. The Web site -- which has reported protests reliably in the past -- also said three people were shot by security services' gunfire at an altercation at a bridge near Enqelab Square. It cited an eyewitness to the clash.

The Associated Press, citing opposition Web sites and eyewitnesses, also said security forces had opened fire on protesters. It was impossible to verify the accounts. Iranian authorities have forbidden press coverage of unauthorized demonstrations.
The New York Times reports that Ali Mousavi was 20 years old, but the BBC news video here states that he was 34.

Brave amateur videographers are risking their lives to record the protests throughout the country today.  A few examples, here, here and here.

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