“He loved being a father. He had been married for 10 years, but became a father only four months ago. His love and enthusiasm for his baby knew no bounds.”
This new father was Hamid Taheri, 35 years old, and a resident of the Chahar Dangeh district in Islamshahr in Tehran province. He was shot in the heart by security forces on Saturday, November 16, during the bloody crackdown of protests sparked by the threefold rise in fuel prices.
“He was a carpenter but ... decided to change jobs,” says Rahim Ajeri, Taheri’s father-in-law. “He said that, for the time being, he would buy a car and [work as a driver] until he could open a shop of his own. He was out on Saturday. He called my daughter in the afternoon to tell her that he was heading home. She asked him to buy baby milk powder and diapers on the way. He was on his way to buy the milk powder when, on Shahid Parsian Avenue, this happened to him.”
“We were at home and chatting,” Ajeri adds. “We heard shots but we thought they [the security forces] were shooting into the air. But suddenly our phones rang and we were told that Hamid had been shot. We rushed to Estiri Clinic. Hamid was lying there on the floor. We thought perhaps he could still be alive, so we took him to Ziaeian Hospital, but they told us that he was gone.”
Ajeri says he saw a bullet hole in Taheri’s chest.“It appeared to me that he had been shot from the back and the bullet had come out of his chest. But I really do not know.”
The hospital refused to turn Taheri’s body over the family. They were told to speak to the medical examiner to retrieve the body on the following day. But then, security official blocked the release of the body.
“On Tuesday we went to Islamshahr’s medical examiner to get the body, but they refused,” says Ajeri. “On the first day I [went] to the morgue but I was told it was no longer necessary for me to go there. I don’t know exactly what excuses they offered. But eventually, after three days, they gave us Hamid’s body on Tuesday afternoon. We buried him on Wednesday.”
They wanted to bury Hamid in Chahar Dangeh but security agents prevented them from doing so, says Ajeri. “They said people would come and it would lead to trouble. They told us that we must bury him here in the Islamshahr cemetery. We consented because we were afraid that something would happen and they would take the body away again and we would not be able to then find his grave.”
Two hours of mourning is too long
Nevertheless, plainclothes agents did not leave them alone and were present during the burial and mourning ceremonies. Ajeri says it was not clear which agency the officers were from; and in any case, the agents forced the family to cut the mourning ceremony short by half an hour. They did the same on the traditional third-day mourning ceremonies which, Ajeri says, were to last two hours. “But they said two hours was too long and after one hour they told us ‘It is enough. End the ceremony.’”
According to Ajeri, during the mourning ceremonies for women at the home of Hamid’s brother, two female agents came and offered their condolences. He says that they were not asked to pay money to get Hamid’s body back. “But I do not know about others,” he adds.
Ajeri also says that Taheri’s family had gone to court over his death but, as of now, no case has been opened. They were told in court that the authorities were investigating the situation. The authorities will have to determine “where he was standing in the street when the protests were going on. They said that experts will investigate and they would let us know of the results.”
Ajeri says that his grandson will be four months old on December 5, and that his daughter is in very bad psychological condition.
“Psychologically, my daughter has suffered severely,” Ajeri says. “She keeps saying that she wishes Hamid’s grave was here in Chahar Dangeh so she could go to his graveside every day. My daughter still gazes at the door, waiting for Hamid to return.”
On November 18, two days after Hamid Taheri was killed by security forces, the Iranian Student’s News Agency (ISNA) reported that “with the help of law enforcement, security has returned to the cities of Islamshahr, Chahar Dangeh and Shahriar.” Apparently this “security” could not return until unarmed citizens were shot dead.
Masoud Morsalpour, governor of Islamshahr, confirmed that at least one person had been killed in the violence that followed the protests. But IranWire has learned that, besides Hamid Taheri, at least two others were also shot dead in Chahar Dangeh by security forces: Erphan Faeghi [Persian link], 21 years old, and Hossein Ghasemi, 17 years old.
Heavy Machine Guns Used to Kill Protesters, 2 December 2019
Security Forces Abandoned his Body Outside the Morgue — After 5 Days, 1 December 2019
Father of two young children was shot dead in Shiraz protests, 1 December 2019
Next month, they were going to marry. But last week, they killed him, 30 November 2019
They Killed My Son. I'll Continue to Fight for His Ideals, 29 November 2019
Security Forces Attacked Isfahan and then Blamed the Locals, 27 November 2019
Security Forces Kill a 13-Year-Old Bystander, 26 November 2019
She was Helping the Injured When They Killed Her, 25 November 2019
He was Unemployed. He Protested. They Murdered him, 22 November 2019
Shutting Down the Internet to Get Away with Murder, 19 November 2019
Twenty Dead as Shots Fired From Friday Imam’s Helicopter, 19 November 2019