CHRI – In an interview with Rouydad24 (“Event24”), a semi-independent reformist news site in Iran, the father of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in Iranian state custody, strongly contradicted the authorities’ narrative about his daughter’s death and demanded justice.
“What makes me sad is that the authorities are spreading lies about my daughter every day,” said Amjad Amini in the Persian-language interview published on Sept 20, 2022, and translated into English by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).
“They said Mahsa had heart disease and epilepsy but as the father who raised her for 22 years, I say loudly that Mahsa did not have any illness. She was in perfect health. The person who hit my daughter should be put on trial in a public court, not a fake trial that results in reprimands and expulsions,” he added.
Her family members also told news outlets that they were denied access to her autopsy report, pressured to quickly bury her, and told not to speak publicly about the case.
In Iran, families of victims of state violence can be arrested and prosecuted for speaking publicly about their cases. Yet Amjad Amini has refused to be silent: “I will not allow my daughter’s blood to be trampled on.”
Protests have been ongoing in several Iranian cities including the capital of Tehran since September 16 when Mahsa Amini was pronounced dead. The Iranian government claimed she had a heart attack and published blurry and edited footage of a woman falling to the ground, but has refused to publish footage of her inside the van, according to her father. “Several other girls who were inside the patrol van called me after the incident and said Mahsa was physically assaulted inside the van,” he said.
Amjad Amini also told Rouyadad24 that his daughter was hospitalized “too late” and that he was not allowed to see her “head and body” in the hospital “so that we could not see the bruises.”
Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif has called for Mahsa Amini’s death to be “promptly, impartially and effectively investigated by an independent competent authority, that ensures, in particular, that her family has access to justice and truth.”
The article has been translated into English below.
Mahsa Amini’s father told Event24, “I categorically deny all the statements made by Gen [Hossein] Rahimi, the commander of the police force. There was no problem with Mahsa’s dress. They say Mahsa’s dress was completely different [i.e. inappropriate] than the dress she was wearing in the security camera footage. I say that this is a lie.”
He further said: “Not even 60-year-old women are covered up as much as Mahsa was! Until now, every footage the authorities have released has been censored and none of them tell the truth.”
He added: “Mahsa had told the officers, ‘for God’s sake let me go. I am from the provinces. I’m a stranger here. My brother is not more than 16-years-old; let me go. What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?’ but one of the officers pushes Mahsa and physically assaults her by various means. In addition, several other girls who were inside the patrol van called me after the incident and said Mahsa was physically assaulted inside the van.”
Amini said, “I requested access to footage from the cameras inside the van and in the courtyard of the Vozara detention center, but they did not give me an answer. Every clip that has been published in cyberspace is censored.”
He continued: “Everything they have said and shown is lies. We couldn’t understand any of them. Despite Mahsa’s deteriorating condition, they didn’t try to take her to the hospital faster. The doctors and nurses said that if Mahsa had been taken to the hospital earlier, we would not have been in the situation we are in today.
Amini told Rouydad24: “What makes me sad is that the authorities are spreading lies about my daughter every day. They said Mahsa had heart disease and epilepsy but as the father who raised her for 22 years, I say loudly that Mahsa did not have any illness. She was in perfect health. The person who hit my daughter should be put on trial in a public court, not a fake trial that results in reprimands and expulsions. I will not allow my daughter’s blood to be trampled on.”
Mahsa’s father said: “When we went to the hospital, they didn’t let us see Mahsa. Everyone covered her head and body so that we could not see the bruises! I could only see my daughter’s face and her feet. It was very hard but I eventually saw the bruises on her feet. At the very beginning, the nurses of Kasra Hospital told me that Mahsa was transferred there so late that they couldn’t do anything for her.”