Friday 18 June 2010
On the first anniversary of Martyrs of 25 Khordad (15 June) one group of mourning mothers visited the graves of their children in Tehran cemetery while another group went to Kermanshah to be with Kianoush Asa’s family.
Before we set off, we heard the good news that Kamran Asa had been released from prison but, not long after our arrival, we heard about the terrible ordeal Kianoush’s family had had to go through for having tried to arrange a commemorative event on the anniversary of their son’s death. The eldest son had been summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence several times and was almost forced to sign a commitment not to hold any events… the mosque and other venues that the ceremony was to be held in cancelled, one by one, until, in the end, the family had had no choice but to hold the ceremony in their own house. The security forces had also made numerous visits to the house and, with their repeated requests, had greatly disturbed the family.
Around 8:30 am on the day of 25 Khordad, together with Kianoush’s family, we visited the grave only to find that it had been damaged by acid, and this caused even more heartache for the family. The eldest son approached the cemetery guard and complained saying, “For more than 10 days, the police and the intelligence people have been warning us not to hold an event in memory of my brother. Who should be taking care of the graves here? Who is responsible for the cemetery? Why do certain individuals have open licence to desecrate while we receive threats and are made to suffer hardship for arranging a memorial event?”
He wrote a note for those that carried out the damage on the announcement sheet for the anniversary of Kianoush’s death:
In the name of justice
Those who have desecrated the grave of this intelligent person, an asset to his homeland, are miserably lacking in intelligence, awareness of their own society, and awareness of God.
Kianoush, a son of the revolution, was an academic who had graduated in this country while those who destroy in the name of … are alien to both the religion and the revolution.”
While at the cemetery, we noticed another bereaved family mourning the loss of a loved one; it so happened that they were the family of another martyr of 25 Khordad, Hossein Tahmasebi, who had been killed in Kermanshah.
One of the members of the family told us: “Hossein was an accounting graduate who was on the streets with other people on 25 Khordad when the Special Guard forces closed the street from both sides and surrounded them. There were about ten guards to each one of these people and the guards were attacking them with batons and kicking them. When Hossein got home, he had bruises from the kicks he had been given in the stomach. His mother begged him to go and see the doctor but he refused and assured everyone that he would be fine. His mother stood by his bed until 2 am when she fell asleep. Hossein did not wake up the next morning.”
Hossein died from injuries to his head but the forensic team announced the cause of death as a heart attack he had had in his sleep.
We stayed with Hossein Tahmasebi’s family for a while before saying goodbye to them.
Kianoush’s memorial event was held at 5 pm and it was wonderful despite a heavy security presence; a lot of people from Kermanshah attended. Some of Kianoush’s belongings were placed on a table in the courtyard; his shoes, a backpack, the tanbur and a number of books.
The ceremony ended with mystical music which gave a special atmosphere to the event.
After dinner, we thanked Kianoush’s family for their warm welcome and their kind hospitality and, in the hope that the next time we saw them, it would be to celebrate a joyous event, we said goodbye.
A Mourning Mother
25 Khordad 1389
Publication: Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran
Translation by MMTT