Witness’s name and surname: Withheld
Relation to deceased: Brother
Name of deceased: Withheld
Deceased’s date of birth: 2002
Deceased’s place of death: Withheld
Deceased’s date of death: 17/11/2019
Type of testimony before the Tribunal: Withheld
He was a student in the last year of secondary school. He worked in a restaurant, had other freelance jobs, and worked as a peddler. The school teacher sent the students home at 11 a.m. due to disturbances Most people had gone out to watch the disturbances; My brother too had gone out with his friends to watch. They were students and it was interesting for them. My brother did not answer his cell phone and we tried for few hours to find him. A neighbour of ours, who too was a student and lived in the same neighbourhood, said: ‘your brother had gone to the riots and was shot in the arm and had fallen on the ground. Go after him.’ Since they had run away, they did not realize that the bullet had struck on his side. We went after him but only his blood was on the ground, not his body. In this street there was arson and it was war scene. Police had spilled on the street. The army men were in black military uniforms that belong to NOPO (Counter-terrorism Special Force); they were wearing helmets and it was confusing. They did not have labels indicating who they were. There were plainclothes men too.
There was a distance of 150 – 200 meters between the spot where my brother was standing and the Governorate. They were standing on the main street. They said that it was around 01 – 01:15 p.m. when a security officer went up the wall of the Governorate and started shooting. Two young men died. Two middle-aged men were also hit by the bullets. One of my relatives and my brother were killed. They said that an old car came quickly and removed the dead bodies. It is 100 percent certain that security agents were in plainclothes. My brother’s friends said that an officer climbed the Governorate wall and fired shots from there; my brother was struck by the bullet and the government men came and took him away. When his friends saw the scene, they were shocked and ran away. We pursued the matter but found no answer anywhere. It was so chaotic we didn’t know what to do. Since he was struck by a bullet, we visited hospitals only. They would not let us in the hospitals which were occupied by the Sepah and the Intelligence men. They wouldn’t let anyone know what had happened. Ultimately, we contacted an acquaintance who was a nurse. She said that our relative was killed and my brother was taken to the hospital but she knew nothing more about him. We had no idea whether he was killed or was alive or was wounded. They would tell us that he was shot in the hand. After two days we found a number of acquaintances at the Justice Administration and the Intelligence. We learned that he was killed instantly and the hospital could do nothing anymore for him. They quickly transferred his corpse to the central morgue of Intelligence in Isfahan.
We went to the morgue. We saw families coming crying and leaving. There were security forces, officers, plainclothes men and military men. They didn’t let us even look at the corpse for a while. We went to the morgue and confirmed that it was my brother. We saw that his face and everywhere was intact. We asked where the bullet had struck. They said that it had hit on the right side. They didn’t let us see the place where the bullet had struck. He had a weak body and was thin. He was a 17-year old. The forensic physician gave no convincing answer. However, after several visits of the street where he was shot witnesses and shopkeepers said that he was shot from the front and it was clear from the sound that it was fired from an assault weapon, such as Kalashnikov. We have a photograph of him after the firing in which he is lying on the ground on his face and has pulled in his legs due to pain.
First, they said that they would bury him and then let us know where he was buried. Then they made inquiries from the school and neighbours. They realized that we were not a political family; we were a meek, uneducated and worker family. My father, who had visited the Intelligence with my uncle, was charged the bullet money. They obtained many undertakings from him and told him: ‘Do not run riot, do not complain and do not follow up the matter; we would pursue it ourselves. Bury the body quickly the same afternoon. After the ceremonies, do not raise riots.’ They emphasized that no more than fifty persons should attend the burial. They had sent the Imam Jomeh (Friday prayer-leader) too to coordinate with us.
On the 29th (November20), the Intelligence contacted us with unidentified phone number and said: ‘We will bring the corpse for you at 05:00 p.m. You go to graveyard and prepare the grave.’ At 05:00 p.m. they said that they would hand over the corpse one hour later. This went on until 09 – 09:30 at night when they handed over the corpse to us at the cemetary An ambulance came, put the corpse on the ground at a distance of two hundred meters and sped away at high speed. It was dark and snow was falling. We were under surveillance. Security forces in plainclothes were watching all around. Our numbers were few: just the family, maternal aunts and uncles and paternal uncles. We gave an undertaking that we were only the family members. We only looked at the face of my brother to make sure that it was him. Then we quickly buried him at the place where we wanted to bury him. They gave us the death certificate.
They came one day to our house without prior notice, I believe a couple of days after the burial, from Seda va Sima (Radio &Television) accompanied by Imam Jomeh , one person from the Intelligence and one person from the Governorate. My sister, my mother and I declined to give an interview. They said that the Leader (Khamenei) had ordered to consider those who were killed in doubtful circumstances as martyr. Ultimately, they did not even do this. We did not know what to do. They said that they did not know who killed my brother, that his death was doubtful. They said that they had nothing to do with it at all. They changed the whole story. We could not say anything. We told them that an officer went up and did the shooting and he must be identified. But they gave us an entirely different answer. They said that those who were there were not telling the truth. They asked if we had a film. We said we had no film, only the testimony of those who were on location. Four people have been killed. Who would dare to go up on the Governorate and fire shots from there? They did not give us any convincing answer. They told us lies. They said that they would pursue the matter. More than one and half years have passed but we haven’t heard from them. We don’t know what to do. After two years, they told us from the office of Imam Jomeh that the blood-money would be paid soon to those who were killed in Aban (November) in doubtful circumstances. We did not pursue the matter anymore.
For the 40th day ceremonies they took undertakings from us again that we would not run riots. My cousin had made a film of the 40th day ceremonies and sent it (to a news network). One night they came and hauled him away; he was in prison for a couple of days. We gave yet another undertaking one week before the anniversary ceremonies They told us not to observe our customs and hold the ceremonies quickly without any noise. We held the anniversary on the 26th of Aban (17 November). The security forces were there too (for surveillance).
Our relative who was killed had an infant child. They made some inquiries and learned that he belongs to a poor family. I believe that his body was handed over one day after the handing over of my brother’s corpse They took our relative’s body at night and buried him. We have not seen his corpse. They say that he was shot between his head and neck. They had obtained undertakings from them too.