Prominent Iranian cleric defends the right of Iranians to "criticism" authorities

Ayatollah Muhammad Javad al-Alawi Borujerdi, one of Iran’s most prominent clerics, stressed the people’s right to “criticize” the authorities, local media reported Friday.

Alavi Borujerdi said that “people have the right to criticize their leaders in the Islamic community, whether that criticism is justified or not,” according to an Iranian Shafakna news agency quoting.

“People have things they want to say and they don’t agree with what you are doing,” he added.

The 68-year-old cleric is the grandson of the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein Boroujerdi, one of the most prominent religious figures of the twentieth century.

In recent weeks, several movements have taken place in Iranian cities in what are considered the largest protests in the country since the actions against the 2019 fuel price increase.

Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, died on September 16, three days after she was arrested in Tehran by the vice police for not following Iran’s strict dress code.

After her death, mass protests erupted, during which dozens of people died, including members of law enforcement agencies. The authorities announced the arrest of hundreds of “rioters”.

Ayatollah Alavi Boroujerdi said in statements broadcast to Shafaqna, “Some people have been arrested and are currently in prison (…), they treated them with sympathy.”

A well-known authority, Ayatollah Hussein Nouri al-Hamdani, called on the authorities in September to “listen to the people,” saying in a statement posted on his website that leaders “should listen to the demands of the people, address their concerns, and be concerned about their rights.”

Source: AFP.

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