Witness’s name and surname: Withheld
Relation to deceased: Mother
Name of deceased: Withheld
Deceased’s date of birth: 1993
Deceased’s place of death: Withheld
Deceased’s date of death: 16/11/2019
Type of testimony before the Tribunal: Withheld
My son had a High School diploma. For a period of time, he became jobless. He worked as a labourer, a bricklayer or whatever job he could get.
On that day my son had heard that there was unrest. He became curious and left his workplace to go and see what was happening. But he was not a participant in the protests. My son went there in the afternoon of 25 Aban 1398 (16 Nov. 2019) at 4:45 and was hit by the bullet at around 5 His file stated that the bullet had hit his eye and he died before his body arrived at the hospital. I do not know which eye, but I think it was his right eye. He had fallen on the spot. The forensic medicine report was not given to us. When we complained, the forensic medicine office gave us a file but it was sealed so we could not open it. We do not have anything from that file. But in the burial permit the cause of death was stated as ‘bleeding of the brain and injury to the brain tissue’ resulting from ‘hitting by a flying object.’ But the file that was sealed, we could not know what it was about.
On 16th of November there were no military personnel and there was no order to fire. The police station was close to the place of incident. I myself went there but did not know what had happened to my son. I went up to the intersection and saw that all of the police staff was standing on the rooftop, doing nothing. They were just standing there; they did not have the right to use weapons. Some people said that most of those who fired were the mullahs. Others said that it was the Basijis (members of militia). Now who it was, I have no idea. However, we tend to believe that it was the Basijis.
Of course, I did not see anything myself. They fired the tear gas. We did not dare go forward. Suddenly it was chaos; everyone started to run. I had no knowledge that my son had gone forward. I returned home. I only saw that the policemen, who had no arms in their hands, were standing on the rooftop. They showed no reaction.
When my son was hit by the bullet, our own family members were there; they saw him fall on the ground. They ran towards him. On that day the roads were closed and the ambulance could not have come. They gripped my son’s hands and feet and took him a short distance. Four persons were carrying him. One biker arrived on the spot and felt sorry for him. He told them to make my son sit behind him. They did accordingly. He drove through lanes and back alleys and came to the hospital. A friend of mine works there as a nurse. They found her. She put oxygen mask on my son but he had died by then.
The hospital personnel conduced themselves very well; I mean they supported the people and were sympathetic to them. Regretfully however they had closed the roads since the morning. They said there was no doctor in the hospital. There was one general physician who had hidden himself fearing his own life, they said. Forces had attacked the hospital and fired the tear gas. The hospital was full of injured people. Two persons, my son and another guy, were in critical condition. My son died immediately but the other person remained alive for two hours and then he died too. Our acquaintances heard that the injured people were being taken to the hospital. They stormed the hospital which became extremely chaotic. Someone used cuss words for the Basijis and they reciprocated by attacking the hospital and firing the tear gas. People drove the Basijis (those who were wearing their uniforms) out and closed the hospital doors.
For one whole week the body of my son was not given to us. We thought that they would hand him over to us the next day. When my husband went there in the morning, they said that the dead body was not there, that the security agents had come there and taken the dead body. We did not know for one whole week where his dead body was. After one week they phoned and told us to come to the cemetery. Few close relatives told us to go to the cemetery and take charge of the dead body; it was ready for burial. It was a Thursday. The entire family came; when we arrived there, they said that they would not give the dead body to us that day. They told us to go home and come back the next day. We went there on Friday and performed a proper burial.
In those two days we couldn’t do anything. My husband said: “If we want to pursue the matter, they would probably ask me to give an undertaking and take the body. I am not prepared to give any undertaking to anybody. If they call us and tell us to come and take the dead body, I would go. Since the dead body is no use to me, I will not go and give an undertaking to them.” So, he did not go until they called themselves. The very same day they told us to go and that they would contact us. We don’t know that those who called us to go and take the dead body belonged to which organization. When we tried later several times to contact them (at the phone number with which they had contacted us), we could not.
We gave our son a decent burial. We informed everyone and held the ceremonies at a grand scale. No one came and asked why? When we went there my son’s body was shrouded and ready for burial. But they told us that we could come and see his face. They had left his face uncovered. We went several people at a time and saw him. Those who were handling him treated us well. Since my entire family are buried in that cemetery , we wanted to bury him there. They did not raise any objections as to the place of burial. We held ceremonies which were decent. A number of people said that there were some dubious characters around but they did not come close; they said nothing to us.
Only my child posted the story of her brother in Instagram several times. My child was summoned by them. They had written a text under the instagram story. They came and took my child and asked to give an undertaking not to post any more stories about her brother. But they did nothing to us in our city. We wanted to lease a hall and hold ceremonies there so that friends and acquaintances could come to visit us. But the hall owner had learned about it and said: no way; you cannot hold ceremonies.
We never had any interviews with reporters. Only three persons came to our place from the Leader’s House and the Governor’s Office to offer their condolences. They just spoke a few words and asked what our son did for a living. They said their condolences, prayed and left. When we complained, they asked twice about our complaint, asked questions and wrote it down; they said that our file was with the magistrate’s office, but nothing came out of it.
We complained to the military prosecutor’s office and said that our son was innocent. We asked why they had killed him, and demanded that they find his killer since our son was neither a saboteur nor participated in the demonstrations. On 26 Aban (17 Nov. 2019), that is, the day after our son was killed, we hired a lawyer to lodge a complaint. We chose our lawyer but they said that we could not do it on our own, that they would appoint a lawyer for us according to section so and so. We waited to see whether a summons would be sent to us or not. However, they have not appointed any lawyer so far. We went to the prosecutor’s office twice; they only asked what our son did for a living, and things like that. We received SMS and we went to see them. They had asked my husband if he had a witness who had seen my son falling. My husband said that there were three four thousand people who witnessed this but none of them is willing to come here and testify because if anyone comes here you will be the first to harass him. Wouldn’t you ask what he was doing there? Wouldn’t you say hooligans, rascals, and things like that? For that reason, no one would come to testify. Our witness is the camera ofthat neighborhood They did not give us the camera films; perhaps they have checked it themselves and have destroyed it.