Iranians are marking Mother's Day on January 13, with the Islamic Republic’s propaganda machine praising mothers.
This year’s celebrations fall in the midst of a bloody state crackdown on anti-government demonstrations that has left hundreds of mothers heartbroken.
The protests were sparked by the September 16 death of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, while in police custody for allegedly wearing a headscarf improperly. The repression unleashed by security forces has killed more than 500 people, including dozens of children, activists say. Over 18,000 others have reportedly been detained.
In this report, IranWire pays tribute to four brave mothers who have inspired the protest movement.
Mojgan Eftekhari; Amini's mother
Amid growing reports indicating that Amini slipped into a coma and died on September 16 after being beaten by officials, Tehran police insisted she suffered a heart attack and that "there was no physical encounter" between officers and Amini.
However, Amini’s mother, Mojgan Eftekhari, persisted to seek justice for her daughter, saying she was in “perfect health” before her arrest.
As thousands of people took to the streets across Iran to mark the 40th day since Amini’s death, her mother thanked people who have been voiced support for the grieving family.
"Oh, Gina [Mahsa] I wish you were here to see that the entire world is standing for your [rights]. I'm still standing now because the world is sympathizing with us," Mojgan Eftekhari wrote in a message.
Nasrin Shakarami; resisting the regime's propaganda machine
The mother of Nika Shakarami, a 16-year-old girl who was found dead after disappearing during protests in Tehran on September 20, has denounced a state television report in which her family was forced to reject claims that the teenager was killed by security forces.
Officials have allaged the death was not linked to protests and that she had fallen from a roof.
Zeinab Molaeirad; mother of 10-year-old victim
Kian Pirfalak’s mother has blamed security forces for the boy’s killing in the southwestern city of Izeh, while state media claimed the boy had died in a “terrorist attack.”
Videos uploaded on social media showed Zeinab Molaeirad at her son’s funeral. “Hear from me how the shooting happened, so they can’t say it was done by terrorists, because they’re lying,” the mother also told hundreds of mourners, adding: “Plainclothes forces shot my child. That is it.”
Kamelia Sajjadian, Mohammad Hassan Turkman's mother
Mohammad Hassan Turkman, 26, was shot dead by a riot squad in the central city of Isfahan. His mother has since been seeking justice.
"They came and asked me to say he died in a [car] accident, I do not lie…They killed my child with cowardice," Kamelia Sajjadian said in a ceremony marking 40 days since Turkman’s death.