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Iran Activists Declare Mourning Days For Protesters Killed In November

Several adolescents who were killed in Iran's November protests.
Several adolescents who were killed in Iran's November protests.

In a move reminiscent of mourning days for "martyrs" in the months leading up to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian activists have declared Thursday and Saturday public mourning days.

"On Thursday we will gather at the graves of these loved ones, dressed in black, to lay flowers on their tombs," the statement issued on Wednesday by a group of activists consisting of Haft Tapeh Sugar Industries Union, the Committee for Founding Iranian Labor Unions, and some smaller groups of retirees, workers and teachers said.

These activists have called on Iranians to commemorate citizens killed in November "in any way they can, including turning house lights off at 9:00 in the evening."

The activists also called on students and teachers to commemorate the students who were killed in the protests on Saturday which is official Student Day in Iran by dressing in black and observing a minute of silence in classrooms. At least 18 children under the age of 18 lost their lives in the protests but the death toll among university students is yet not clear.

According to Amnesty International the confirmed death toll of the protests has now risen to 208.

To prevent the Student Day rallies from turning into protests against the regime, Iranian security forces have in recent days arrested tens of students "as a preventative measure".

In recent days two students of Chamran Universityof Ahwaz in the south of Iran have been found dead in suspicious circumstances, one of them on the university campus. The recent arrests and suspicious deaths have alarmed students about their safety in Saturday's gatherings.

Traditionally the president attends and addresses the rally in one of the country's universities, usually in Tehran, but according to Iranian media the president's participation may be cancelled this year.

Voicing the regime's fear of protests on Students Day, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Ali Fadavi, yesterday said those who love the West and America are planning to "reveal their wickedness on this day".