CHRI – “They Buried Him Like He Was a Criminal”
Hassan Shahin Tarkashvand, a 24-year-old man from the city of Karaj, has been identified as another victim of the state-repressed protests in Iran that began in late December 2017.
A family member who asked not to be identified told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on January 24 that security agents immediately buried Tarkashvand after he died from being “shot in the stomach.”
“There were two agents by Shahin’s bed at all times in Kasra Hospital and also when he was transferred to Bahonar Hospital,” said the source. “When he died, they took his body to the medical examiner’s office and less than an hour later he was put in a grave they had prepared in advance at Behesht Sakineh Cemetery.”
“They did not allow anyone there,” added the source. “His mother was in the hospital and we asked them to wait for her but they buried him like he was a criminal.”
“On Sunday [December 31, 2017], Shahin went to the Gohardasht neighborhood of Karaj,” said the source. “We had no news of him and we got very worried. Finally, we got a call and we were told he is at Kasra Hospital. He had been shot in the stomach and his spleen was removed.”
“We don’t know what happened but we heard he was walking in a rally,” added the source. “The police attacked the demonstrators and when they started to run, they fired shots.”
In addition to Tarkashvand, two other wounded protesters were receiving treatment at Kasra Hospital at the same time, the source added, but could not provide further information.
The source told CHRI that Tarkashvand had recently completed university studies and had registered for compulsory military service.
State officials have refused to take responsibility for the deaths of at least 25 people who died amid the anti-government protests that began in northeastern Iran on December 28, 2017, and spread to dozens of other cities within days. At least 3,700 were arrested nationwide.
On January 14, Judiciary Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei rejected state liability for those who died from bullet wounds, claiming that the victims were “shot with weapons that are not used by the armed forces.”
However, at least two protesters were shot dead by state forces in the city of Sanandaj. At least two other protesters have died in custody—in both cases, officials have claimed that the detainees committed suicide.
“How could there be so many suicides in the detention centers without any of the authorities being transparent about it?” attorney Hossein Ahmadiniaz told CHRI on January 20.
“The judicial system has been very slow in dealing with the large volume of cases involving recent detentions,” he added. “We hope this will not cause their rights to be violated.”