Iranwire – A relative of executed Iranian protester Majid Kazemi has blamed security agents for vandalizing the grave of the young man on the eve of his birthday.
The relative, Mohammad Hashemi, posted on June 8 a picture of the desecrated grave on social media, saying it was set on fire by officers at around midnight.
The family had received a phone call saying it was forbidden to visit Kazemi’s grave on his birthday, Hashemi said.
“For the people of Iran, the graves of their fallen heroes, including Majid, provide an enduring light,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Just like the legendary phoenix, Iran will rise anew and Majid’s memory will forever be enshrined in the hearts of the nation,” he added.
Kazemi and two other protesters, Saleh Mirehashemi and Saeed Yaqoubi, were sentenced to death for the alleged killing of two members of the paramilitary Basij force and a law enforcement officer during protests in Isfahan in November.
Their execution on May 19 sparked widespread public outrage, with rights groups and several governments criticizing the authorities for conducting hasty trials, forcing “confessions” and denying the accused due process.
Meanwhile, the authorities have ratcheted up pressure on their families.
Last month, Hashemi said the security institutions had suspended his father’s retirement benefits and dismissed his sister from her job, leaving the family bereft of financial support.
Security forces have responded to months-long nationwide demonstrations sparked by the September death in police custody of a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, with brutal force.
More than 520 people were killed during demonstrations and over 20,000 others were unlawfully detained, activists say. Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters.