Iranian authorities arrest family of dead protester

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Iranian authorities have arrested the family of a dead protester, following their insistence on commemorating their dead son, according to reports.

The semi-official Mehr news agency reported early Tuesday citing an “informed source” that the family of Pouya Bakhtiari, one of the victims of the November anti-government protests, were arrested.

“Despite talking to them, the Bakhtiari family have become a part of the counter-revolutionary project,” said Mehr, adding that the family were arrested in order to “safeguard order and security.”

Pouya Bakhtiari was shot dead on the second day of anti-government protests which erupted across Iran on November 15 after the government announced gasoline price hikes of at least 50 percent.

The Bakhtiari family blame the death of their son on the regime and have been highly vocal in their opposition to the Islamic Republic following their son’s death.

The family had planned a commemoration ceremony for their son on December 26 in the city of Karaj and had invited fellow Iranians to join them.

Iranian authorities reportedly summoned the family on Saturday, asking them to make the commemoration ceremony a private event, rather than a public one.

Pouya Bakhtiari’s father, Manouchehr Bakhtiari, had declined the authorities’ request.

Iran is yet to release an official death toll for the November protests, while also rejecting all death tolls reported by international human rights groups.

Reuters reported on Monday citing Iranian officials that about 1,500 people were killed during the protests at the orders of the country’s highest authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.