29 Jun 2009

Christchurch protest at Iranian election crackdown

5:23 am on 29 June 2009

About 60 people gathered in Cathedral Square in Christchurch on Sunday to remember those who died in the post-election violence in Iran.

At least 17 people have been killed in the protests and street demonstrations following the disputed election that saw Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected more than two weeks ago.

Members of Christchurch's Iranian community on Sunday evening lit candles and held placards protesting the killing, in front of an impromptu shrine bearing pictures of the victims.

Shabnam Dastgheib says the vigil is to remember the lives lost, and also the hundreds of people who have been detained for protesting.

Ms Dastgheib says it has been difficult for Iranians in this country, who've been unable to help their family and friends.

A Radio New Zealand reporter was told some people were afraid to attend the vigil for fear of being identified - and their family being persecuted.