Security forces have descended on the family home of a young man killed in Iran’s November 2019 protests, beating his relatives and taking his younger brother into custody.
The raid on Wednesday is understood to have been aimed at Farzaneh Ansarifar, the sister of Farzad Ansarifar, who was shot in the back of the head with a Kalashnikov in Behbahan, Khuzestan province at 1pm on November 16, after he went out to pick up his younger brother.
Farzad’s family have vocally campaigned for justice in his case ever since, and faced harassment by the judiciary for doing so. Last year his father Amin Ansarifar, a war veteran, told the Aban Tribunal in London: “My son was a ceramicist. He was killed 150 meters from our house. Our family asks: ‘Who ordered the shooting? And did security forces have an order to kill?’”
Because Farzaneh was not at home on Wednesday, the as-yet unidentified agents instead beat her mother and brother Omid, and took Omid away with them to an unknown location.
Javad Heydarian, a cousin, wrote on Twitter that some 30 operatives had been dispatched to the house. “They scaled the walls of the building to arrest Farzaneh,” he said. “My aunt, Farzad’s mother, fainted from the shock.”
For speaking out about Farzad’s case, Amin Ansarifar has already spent 30 days in Behbahan Prison. Farzaneh has been violently detained on multiple occasions and faces charges of “spreading lies”, “insulting the Supreme Leader”, “gathering to disrupt national security” and “propaganda against the regime” in the Revolutionary Court.
The assault coincides with an apparent stepping-up of Tehran’s repressive apparatus against the families of those killed in November 2019, after more than two years of sustained pressure and intimidation. Recently several members of the self-styled “Mothers for Justice” were also taken into custody.