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Heard in Iran: Activist Abducted

Family of Protest Victim Denied Funeral

July 22 -- The family of 27 year-old Massoud Hashemzadeh, who was killed on July 20 during post-election protests in Tehran, was barred from holding a funeral for the young man and are having a hard time trying to visit his grave. "We carried his body to my father's hometown in northern Iran, but they did not let us bury him at first," said Hashemzadeh's brother. "I was detained and interrogated about his death for 48 hours." [listen in Persian]

Friday Prayers Turn Violent in Tehran

July 17 -- Tens of thousands of people turned out for Tehran's Friday Prayers on July 17, in which top cleric Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani declared Iran's government has lost its people's trust. Police clashed with demonstrators, some of whom chanted slogans such as "Hashemi, support us!" and "Death to Russia and China." One witness reported a young man was beaten unconscious by the Basij militia [read in Persian / in English]. Renowned filmmaker and activist Mohsen Makhmalbaf told Radio Farda that Rafsanjani's Friday sermon signifies the power and victory of the Iranian people's movement [read in Persian]. Journalist Saeed Razavifaghih told Radio Farda the Iranian regime's 30-year monopoly over Friday Prayers was broken by the people [read in Persian].

July 20 -- Political activist Heshmatollah Tabarzadi told Radio Farda that Tehran's Friday Prayer podium is no longer being used to advocate the policies of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. "Mr. Rafsanjani somehow expressed the protesters' views, called for the release of jailed prisoners and sympathized with the victims' families," Tabarzadi said. [read in Persian]

Prominent Activist Abducted

July 17 -- Activist, lawyer and journalist Shadi Sadr was beaten and dragged into a car by plainclothes agents on her way to Friday Prayers in Tehran, her husband told Radio Farda. Her mother said three agents later searched Sadr's house and took her computer. [read in Persian / in English]

Lawyer Charged with Gun, Opium Possession

July 19 -- Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi called recent charges of gun and opium possession against prominent lawyer Mohammad Ali Dadkhah "bizarre and ludicrous." She added that Dadkhah's only crime is defending citizens whose rights have been violated for years. [listen in Persian]

Hunger Strike at UN Calls for Justice in Iran

July 22 -- Political activist Akbar Ganji told Radio Farda the three-day hunger strike in front of the United Nations aims to condemn the government crackdown on Iranian citizens and spur the release of all jailed political activists. [read in Persian]