News / Middle East

Iranian Lawmakers Demand Death Penalty for Opposition Leaders

Iranian anti-government protesters set a garbage can on fire, in Tehran, Iran, February 14, 2011
Iranian anti-government protesters set a garbage can on fire, in Tehran, Iran, February 14, 2011

Iranian lawmakers are demanding that opposition leaders face the death penalty for organizing anti-government rallies in several Iranian cities on Monday.

The conservative lawmakers said Tuesday opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi should be tried for sedition, an offense punishable by death.

Iranian state news reports say more than 220 lawmakers signed a statement calling for the opposition leaders to be tried on the charges.  State television has shown video of some of the lawmakers chanting "Death to Mousavi,  death to Karroubi."

The two reformists had called Monday's rallies in Tehran and elsewhere to show solidarity with recent Arab uprisings against authoritarian governments.

State-run media reports say two people were killed in Monday's protests and nine security force members were among the injured.  Several opposition websites quote deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan as saying that at least about 150 people have been arrested.

Monday's rally drew thousands of activists to the streets of the capital in defiance of a government ban.

Witnesses say Iranian security forces fired tear gas and paintball guns to disperse the demonstrators, some of whom chanted slogans comparing Iran's leaders to autocratic Arab rulers ousted by recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani accused the United States and its allies of using Iran's opposition movement as a tool to incite unrest.

Activists who marched in Tehran Monday also chanted "death to the dictator," a slogan used by reformists who protested the re-election of conservative President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a disputed 2009 vote. By late Monday, similar chants echoed from Tehran rooftops, as they did during the unrest two years ago.

Iranian security forces prevented Mousavi and Karroubi from joining the rallies by surrounding their homes in the capital. The two men also led the 2009 protests after losing to Mr. Ahmadinejad in a vote they said was rigged, a charge the government denies.

Iran's opposition says anti-government activists also marched in other cities Monday, including Isfahan, Shiraz and Kermanshah.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the Iranian demonstrators as courageous and called on the government to follow Egypt's example by opening up its political system.  British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Iran to exercise restraint and allow people to express their views freely.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has praised the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia as an Islamic awakening, akin to the 1979 revolution that ousted Iran's U.S.-backed shah.  But, authorities warned the opposition against organizing rallies in support of those revolts, fearing that such gatherings would turn into anti-government protests.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid