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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid