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Protesters Chant Anti-Regime Slogans At Funerals Of Iran Crash Victims

Funeral ceremony for victims of the Ukrainian plane crash in Isfahan. January 16, 2020

Protesters in two Iranian cities on Thursday chanted anti-regime slogans at funeral ceremonies for the victims of the Ukrainian plane downed by the Revolutionary Guards last week.

The Iranian security bodies have tried to take over the funerals of the plane crash victims in an apparent attempt to prevent them from turning into anti-regime protests in the past two days.

The video in the tweet shows people chanting "Down with dictator".

In Isfahan and Sanandaj where on Thursday thousands of people gathered for the ceremonies, protesters chanted "Down with the dictator", a reference used to supreme Leader Ali Khamenei during protests.

Regime agents mobilized by the Revolutionary Guard's Basij militia tried to drawn the protesters' voices by turning up loudspeakers that broadcast funeral Qoran recitations and eulogies for Qods Force Commander Qassem Soleimani who was killed by the United States a few days before the plane crash.

According to some social media reports when the ceremonies ended, security forces cracked down on the protesters in Isfahan where a mass funeral was held on Thursday for 11 victims of the crash. Some reports say the militia vigilantes attacked the participants with tasers and chanted pro-regime slogans.

Unlike in some other cities. in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj the families did not allow the coffins to be draped in the flag of the Islamic Republic.

After the Revolutionary Guard accepted responsibility for downing the Ukrainian plane the regime bestowed the title of "martyr" on victims. In Sanandaj, however, on Wednesday and Thursday the families of several crash victims refused to allow their coffins to be draped in the flag of the Islamic Republic or the bodies to be buried in a part of the city's cemetery allocated to "martyrs".

"Stop using nooses [to hang people], stop your atrocities" and "Death on tyrants, whether shahs or supreme leaders," participants in these funerals chanted in their native Kurdish language who also chanted slogans against Khamenei.

Another video from Sanandaj shows participants chanting against Khamenei.

Funerals in some other cities such as Hamadan, Zanjan, Qom and Gorgan were held without protests. In most cities where funerals were held, heavy presence of security forces and Basij militia members was very noticeable. In all these ceremonies the militia tried to collect signatures for statements in support of the Revolutionary Guard or chant pro-regime slogans.