Iranian Opposition Activist Dies After Father's Funeral

Last updated (GMT/UTC): 01.06.2011 11:30
An Iranian opposition activist has died following the funeral of her father, himself a veteran Iranian dissident.
Some reports suggest Haleh Sahabi's death came after a scuffle with security forces, but that could not be independently verified.
Ezatollah Sahabi, a former member of parliament who was forced into opposition by Iran's ruling clergy in the 1980s, died of a stroke in a Tehran hospital overnight at the age of 81.
His 54-year-old daughter, Haleh, herself an opposition activist and women's rights campaigner, was imprisoned after antigovernment protests in Iran in 2009.
She had been allowed out of prison to attend her father's funeral in a Tehran suburb.
Opposition websites said she died of a heart attack after falling to the ground in a scuffle with security forces at the June 1 ceremony.
An eyewitness told RFE/RL's Radio Farda that he saw her being hit by security forces in the fracas.
"Ms. Sahabi was holding her father's picture in her hands. Then law-enforcement agency employees came and took away the picture," according to the eyewitness. "She was beaten up violently there and lost consciousness, and she was transferred to the hospital."
Alireza Janeh, a security official at Tehran governor's office, said there were no clashes and that Haleh Sahabi died of heart problems exacerbated by stress and hot weather at the funeral.
RFE/RL's Radio Farda, with agency reports