Archival photo

Iranian security forces attacked and arrested pro-reform demonstrators in Tehran on Sunday, as protesters tried to mark the anniversary of the disputed presidential election of 2009.

Iranian opposition groups report that hundreds of security forces were deployed on the city’s major artery, Vali Asr Street, and the streets leading to it.

Eyewitnesses report that forces mounted on bikes were on the streets armed with weapons and stun batons.

Kaleme reports that the security forces continually tried but failed to provoke demonstrators, who continued to march in silence, as opposition organizers had requested.

The report describes two vans marked with the Tehran City Hall logo that were under the control of plainclothes forces. The vans where filled with people who had been marching in silence, Kaleme writes.

Kaleme adds: “One of the vans was filled with men and the other with women. Both were stuffed to capacity with no room to sit or stand.”

Another opposition website, Jaras, reports that some people attempted to gather near silent demonstrators at Vali Asr Square at 7PM. But they were immediately arrested by plainclothes forces, who transferred them to nearby vans.”

Official state media have completely denied the presence of any demonstrators.

IRNA only reported that security forces arrested a number of people who were trying to disturb the public order and provoke passersby.

The Coordination Council of the Green Path of Hope had called on Iranians to join a March of Silence on June 12 to mark the anniversary of the controversial 2009 election. They were supposed to march in silence from Vali Asr Square to Vanak Square from 6 PM to 8 PM.

In the mass demonstrations that followed the 2009 presidential election, thousands of people were arrested and dozens were killed. The opposition leaders MirHosein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, who challenged Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory with allegations of vote fraud, were put under house arrest in February. Since then, the Coordination Council for the Green Path of Hope has spoken for them, as they are completely cut off from the outside world.