A grieving mother has been brutally attacked by security forces while paying tribute to her son, who was killed during the nationwide November 2019 protests.
Nahid Shirpisheh, whose 28-year-old son Pouya Bakhtiari was killed on November 16, 2019, described on Instagram what happened. On Wednesday, August 18, she and a group of human rights activists, including other grieving mothers, were taking part in a march to honor people who died during the 2019 unrest when they were confronted by security forces.
According to information obtained by IranWire, the group marched from the spot where Pouya Bakhtiari was killed on the first day of the protests to the home of his mother, Nahid Shirpisheh. But soon after they gathered to march, anti-riot police attacked Shirpisheh and forced her and others into police vehicles and took them to an unknown location. Those arrested include prominent human rights activists Narges Mohammadi, winner of the Andrei Sakharov prize for human rights, Raheleh Rahemipour and Behzad Homayouni. Members of another family by the name of Tabrizi were also arrested and released after several hours. The identities of the others arrested have not been named and there are unconfirmed reports that agents attacked other people.
Shirpisheh posted a video on Instagram, and wrote: “I was standing on the sidewalk, not doing anything. ‘Don’t stand here. Go away now,’ they told me in a harsh and insolent tone. I told them: ‘I am an Iranian citizen and I live in this area. Thousands of others are standing or moving around on this street. I want to stand here like them.’ Suddenly they attacked me, beat me and forced me to get into the police car.”
She reported that she had painful bruises on her arms and elsewhere on her body as a result of the attack.
During the march, activists chanted: “How long must we suffer injustice? How long must we live in slavery? Life is not worthwhile without liberty.”