Iran dissidents mark protest anniversary

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Iranian opposition supporters have held protests in several parts of Tehran, on the anniversary of last year’s protest in support of Arab uprisings, which saw the two main opposition leaders placed under house arrest.

Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karoubi were put under house arrest last year after backing a major protest.

Security forces were deployed throughout the capital after opposition groups called for people to take to the streets to mark the anniversary.

A number of people were reportedly detained in one of the city’s main squares.

Elsewhere, security forces staged random searches for mobile phones, BBC Persian understands from unidentified sources that can not be confirmed or denied.

On Twitter, several users posing as activists posted archive images and video from last year’s protests claiming they were from today, presumably in an effort to boost the image of the protest movement. In fact, it had the opposite effect, as seasoned supporters of Iran’s green movement quickly intervened, posting angry rebuttals identifying the accounts which were sharing misinformation.

The Iranian authorities had warned they would stop any public move to mark the anniversary and the heavy presence of security underlined their commitment to crush any signs of protest.

For the past few weeks Iran’s authorities have escalated arrests of journalists, bloggers, and activists in an effort to restrict the spread of information and suppress protests.

Internet users in Iran have been unable to access foreign email services in the past week, and VPN connections have been disrupted. Local sources reported that internet and mobile phone/SMS communications worked sporadically in Tehran today.

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