Iran: Regime prevents commemoration ceremony for renowned poet

The clerical dictatorship in Iran prevented a commemoration ceremony on Saturday for a deceased famous poet, who died ten years ago. A significant number of people and supporters of renowned Iranian poet, Ahmad Shamlou, gathered at his grave to honor his memory, but agents of the State Security Forces (SSF) and the regime’s plainclothes agents prevented the ceremony from taking place.

According to reports, SSF and plainclothes agents were stationed on the road heading toward Emamzadeh Taher Cemetery and its vicinity since the morning. They threatened people who planned to visit Shamlou’s grave.

On Saturday, ILNA state-run news agency pointed to the suppressive measure and wrote, “This ceremony took place at a time even though since the very early hours SSF forces sought to control and prevent the gathering of the poet’s supporters, calling on crowds to leave the area.”

Mr. Shamlou’s wife, Ayda, said, “I and a number of those who loved or were familiar with Shamlou attended the grave site as we always did in previous years, but they [regime agents] told us to leave the area. We wanted to say prayers and recite poems on Shamlou’s grave site, and make his soul happy. But, they didn’t allow us, and so I had to leave the area right at the outset.”

Ahmad Shamlou was born on December 12, 1925 in Tehran in a middle-class family. As a young man, he was arrested for his political activities against Reza Khan’s dictatorship in 1942, and a second time in 1954 by the coup d’état regime of Reza Khan’s son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. During the clerical regime’s reign, he faced a multitude of grievances and restrictions on his work brought on by the regime.

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