Witness 86


Witness’s name and surname: Mohammad Mehdi Shahbazifard

Relation to deceased: Brother

Name of deceased: Ameneh Shabazifard

Deceased’s date of birth:

Deceased’s place of death: Qazvin

Deceased’s date of death: 17/11/2019

Type of testimony before the Tribunal: Public



November 17th, Ameneh Shahbazi was married and had three children. At the time of her martyrdom, she lived in Sarasiab, Malard.


On 17 November 2019 she went to the pharmacy to get her daughter medicine and on the way home, between 07:00 and 08:00 pm, she saw a young man who had been shot. She went to help the young man. She took off her shawl to wrap around the young man’s leg. We thought that since she had been shot in the back of her head, she may have been shot at from atop a roof of one of the area houses. In those protests, many people were shooting at people from rooftops, that is, they were shooting a lot with sniper rifles. Since my sister had been sitting and tying her shawl around the young man’s legs. We assumed that she was shot from the rooftop. My brother-in-law, who had gone to identify the body, had seen that my sister was entirely unharmed. When he touched the back of her neck he said, “That is when I realized that they had shot her from a rooftop.”


But in an interview that Manoto TV Channel did with an eyewitness, the witness narrated what he saw on his way to Karaj: “I wanted to go to Karaj by rental car. The security guards had closed the road, we had to walk that way for a while and there I saw a young man shot. A woman came to help him, took off her scarf to tie the young man’s leg and a Basiji opened fire from behind, shooting her in the head, killing her, and shooting the young man, as well. They died instantly.”


This happened at Marlik on Payambar Akram Boulevard. My sister was alone, their landlord and her husband called her several times, but she was not answering the phone. After two hours, a gentleman answered my sister’s phone and said, “This is what happened…they put her body in a bus and took her away.” Apparently, it was a bus for the security forces. The man who answered the phone told my sister’s husband that the owner of the phone had been shot in the back. Then security officers put her on the bus and took her away. We were clueless for three days and did not know where her body was.


I heard that there is a video {of the moment my sister was killed}. Some people said that they could find it for us, but there was no word from them. An Instagram page even told me that we have videos of the moment two women were killed. But because we are not sure you are her brother, we cannot send it to you.


When our brother-in-law was informed, he visited several hospitals but they did not give him a proper answer. He recounted for me that there is a hospital in Shahriyar, I think it is Imam Sajjad, and when he went there he asked several times, they said we have no woman who was killed. Security officers were in the hospital. Then he says that he talked to the guard, and the guard saw that he was so restless. He said, “Wait a few minutes, they brought a woman’s body to the morgue.” He told our brother-in-law to stand for a few minutes and wait, the Basij commander from one of the neighborhoods in Shahriar was also there. Apparently, his son had also been killed. They had come with relatives and some Basijis to identify the body. The hospital guard told my brother-in-law to go in with them but to make sure that they do not take notice. He went inside and identified my sister, but they did not want to hand over the body.


A friend of mine works in the Tehran Emergency Department, and he got one of his acquaintances to find and take delivery of the body. I was abroad, my family said that they went to the hospital first, the hospital said they transferred (her) to a medical examiner. They went to the medical examiner who said that no, the body had not arrived yet. They returned to the hospital where the process took one day, and the next day- the 28th, it was determined that the body was in fact at the medical examiner.


They said you must pay 20 million. My brother explained my brother-in-law’s and our family’s financial situation, they took 4.5 million and delivered the body with a lot of running around. I think the money was given to a medical examiner. The medical examiner said that the body had not arrived yet, whereas in fact it had come. A family member went to Shahriyar two or three times and returned to the medical examiner in Bagherabad. When we found out that she was there with the help of my acquaintance, they said that if you want the body, you must pay that amount. My brother even asked why. He said that the order had arrived from above.


A bullet was fired in the back of my sister’s neck. I do not think the bullet came out. Our brother-in-law said she was healthy everywhere, except for a hole in the back of her neck. In the death certificate, they have noted cause of death to be impact from a sharp and hard object and not that she was shot with a bullet.


On the same day that the body was delivered, the medical examiner got my brother to make a verbal agreement that no ceremony would be held. My brother was told that only him and his mother could go and bury her.. After my mother and brother insisted, They had said that our brother, sister, and their children could attend but no strangers. Without their permission though, my uncles, aunts, and close relatives also attended. But only our close family and relatives attended the ceremony. Strangers and distant relatives were not allowed to participate.


I heard from relatives that the security forces were there on the day of the burial and that their surveillance was strict. They told us to go to one of the provinces; we said we have no one in the provinces. We wanted to bury her in Behesht Zahra. We buried her there.


The wake was restricted. Even with the pressure of the security agents, they said to bring it to a close very quickly. It should not take long. Bury quickly and do not hold a ceremony. On the third and seventh days, it was as if the pressure was a bit less, but for the other ceremonies, they were very insistent that we do not hold a wake and if we do that, it is held only for ourselves.


They called my mother to declare Ameneh a martyr, but they did not do it. My mother has been pursuing her affairs for two years now; all for her to either be declared a martyr or for [the government] to pay out blood money. They have told her to keep after her affairs but at every visit they make an excuse saying that some document or other is missing and that she has to go and obtain the specific document, otherwise the case will be closed and she will have to start all over again. My 67 years old mother is still trying to get the perpetrators punished, but they do not give her an answer. My mother goes to Mallard Court, where I took her once. She also went with my brother once or twice, but they did not answer him.


My brother was summoned but he did not go. (He was summoned) because one or two days after this incident, my brother had an interview with one of the Persian TV channels outside Iran. After that, my brother did not give an interview and did not go when he was summoned.


We once went to Isfahan with the families of those killed in the November protests at the grave of Commander Asad Bakhtiari, Mr. Manouchehr Bakhtiari, the father of Pouya Bakhtiari. We had obtained permission from the Isfahan Intelligence Agency for this; they had said that there would be no problem. But when we arrived at the cemetery , we saw that the door was closed and they did not allow us to enter. There were about 40 of us. We had a small ceremony there and we had an interview with one of the Iranian networks abroad as well. After that, they insulted and harangued us, they told us to get out. We got on the bus to return; our bus was circled outside of Isfahan. They took us to the Isfahan intelligence bureau where they kept us for seven or eight hours. They took our phones, after seven to eight hours they made us promise not to act against the regime, disturb public security, or give interviews to any networks, and then they released us. A few months later, all those who were there were summoned regarding this arrest. We were summoned to go to the Isfahan prosecutor’s office, but we did not go.


It appears that the pressure on our family was from IRGC intelligence. Because I personally follow up and stop at nothing, they are all over me. They do not bother my mother and my sister. They threatened me, both financially and physically. After that, at one point, I had some business in our main provincial city and had to stay for a few months; (when I was gone) they stormed my house. I lived alone. I was informed that they had simultaneously stormed into the houses of several Aban families and searched their properties, confiscating their phones. They had ransacked my house without me around. A friend of mine texted me that it was as if a burglar had hit my house; but I realized they had not taken anything at all. Then I found out that it was the security forces. Almost three months ago, four or five thugs, whom I later found out were from the government, wanted to enter my house with a knife and a machete, but I had pulled down the folding security gate so they could not enter.