[S]everal dozen notable figures including Saeed Hajjarian, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Behzad Nabavi, and Abdolfattah Soltani were arrested on 16 June 2009. Hajjarian was an advisor to former president Mohammad Khatami and Abtahi was director of Khatami’s office during his presidency and is now a senior adviser to Mehdi Karroubi. Nabavi is a former member of parliament and Minister of Industry and Mining. Soltani is a leading human rights lawyer and member of the Defenders of Human Rights Center.
The detainees include numerous political figures, intellectuals, civil leaders, human rights activists, and journalists, as well as a large but unknown number of ordinary citizens who have taken part in street demonstrations since the disputed 12 June presidential elections.
“Iranian intelligence and security forces are using the public protests to engage in what appears to be a major purge of reform-oriented individuals whose situations in detention could be life-threatening,” according to Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the Campaign.
And Juan Cole notes further that demonstrations have turned into occasions for mourning, reminiscences of the funeral of Ali Shariati and more:
Mourning the martyr is as central to Iranian Shiite religious culture as it was to strains of medieval Catholicism in Europe, and Mousavi's camp is tapping into a powerful set of images and myths here. The archetypal Shiite martyr is Imam Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, who championed oppressed Muslims in Iraq and was cut down by the then Umayyad Muslim Empire. Recognition that a Muslim state might commit the ultimate in sacrilege by beheading a person who had been dangled on the Prophet's knee has imbued modern political Shiism with a distrust of the state. When Husayn's head was brought to the Umayyad caliph Yazid and deposited before his throne, older companions of the Prophet are said to have wept and remarked, “I saw the Prophet's lips on those cheeks.” Shiites ritually march, flagellate, and chant in honor of the martyred Imam or divinely-appointed leader…
[N]ow Mousavi's his supporters are also sporting black ribbons to indicate that they are in mourning for the fallen. Typically, the dead will be commemorated again at one month and at 40 days. In 1978 such demonstrations for those killed in previous demonstrations grew in size all through the year, till they reached an alleged million in the streets of Tehran. Since the reformists are already claiming Monday's rally was a million, you wonder where things will go from here.