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Scandal of Iran’s grave dwellers sparks online criticism of authorities

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Homeless dwellers in a cemetery in the town of Shahriar, near Iran’s capital Tehran (Twitter)
Homeless dwellers in a cemetery in the town of Shahriar, near Iran’s capital Tehran (Twitter)


After Iranian media published images of homeless people living in graveyards near Tehran, the public took to social media to express outrage

 

MIDDLE EAST EYE, DEC. 29, 2016 - Haunting images of people living in a graveyard just west of the Iranian capital Tehran have shocked the world and many ordinary Iranians.
The Iranian newspaper Shahrvand on Tuesday published images of drug addicts living in a cemetery in the town of Shahriar, 30 km west of Tehran.
Many members of the Iranian public took to social media to express outrage at the existence of such a situation in a country, which is among the top five when it comes to oil and gas reserves.
Iranian officials have ruthlessly clamped down on any form of dissent in the past, but social media was abuzz with criticism of the situation despite the threat of severe consequences.
Many of the comments were from users living in exile outside Iran.
Comments were not just limited to this particular situation but also questioned the foundations of the Islamic Republic and its ideals.
The tag being used by Iranian social media users is Gur Khaab or “grave sleeper” in English.
Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, lamented this situation where people lived in graves during a speech after the images were published. However the first act of authorities was to round up the drug addicts from the cemetery in Shahriar. No information was given about where they were taken to or what consequences they faced, the reformist-leaning Shahrvand newspaper reported on Wednesday.

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