An unknown number of Iranian protesters were violently arrested or killed in Karaj on November 3, after security forces attacked a crowd who had gathered to mark the 40th day since 20-year-old Hadis Najafi died in the northern city after being struck by gunfire.
Forces affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) detained Darya Nazmdeh, 27, on the spot. The family found her lifeless body in a morgue two weeks later.
Like many families of those killed in the bloody sate crackdown on nationwide demonstrations, the Nazmdeh family was pressured to lie about the circumstances surrounding Darya’s death.
“Darya was beaten and violently put into a car”
Darya, who was living with her family, left home with friends on the morning of November 3 to attend the ceremony in Najafi’s honor at Behesht Sakineh cemetery, a source close to the Nazmdeh family told IranWire.
“During the ceremony, as videos published on social media show, protesters were shot. Sound bombs and tear gas were used and a clash between some protesters and the security forces erupted."
"A vehicle reached Darya and her friends. All her friends ran, but Darya got into a clash with the officers. One of her friends said that Darya was beaten and violently put into a car and taken away."
Darya’s mother got worried when she heard that the roads leading to the cemetery were blocked. She called Darya's phone several times, but she did not answer.
"Darya's family was worried, so they went to the district police station to report that she had gone missing. The police told the family to come back two days later if she didn’t return. On the night of November 3, a friend who was with Darya informed her family she had been arrested."
“Her mother saw Darya's body with bruises and injuries”
The family “begged and cried” for information about Darya’s whereabouts, without success, and decided to look for her in morgues.
"A morgue manager spoke about an unidentified body that had been there for several days. Her mother saw Darya's body with bruises and injuries and identified her. Her face and cheeks were bruised but she was recognizable, and she didn't have any other injuries like broken bones or anything like that."
From that moment, security agencies started to put pressure on the mourning family, telling them they should tell state TV that Darya was killed in a car crash. Otherwise, the agents said, they would face the same fate as Darya and they would not see her body again.
"They brought someone and said Darya had a crash with her car. Her family understood it was a lie, but they accepted it to get body of their loved one. They took a pledge and recorded a video of the family saying Darya had an accident, and then they allowed a mourning ceremony to be held."
"The death certificate given to her family two weeks later states that the death occurred a week before Darya's arrest. The death certificate mentions that she was hit by ‘a hard object (accident),’ meaning that he was hit by a car, not that he was killed by baton blows to her head and face."