The mother of a young man who was killed during one of the many protests gripping Iran was reportedly mocked by a security agent while she was trying to find him.
Erfan Rezaei, 21, is one of the many people who lost their lives in the protests during the protest in Amol, in Iran’s Mazandaran province, on 21st September.
He was shot twice and died of his injuries, an anonymous source close to the family said.
Erfan reportedly liked reading books by Friedrich Nietzsche and Dostoevsky and had become bored with Iran’s rigid, ideology-oriented education system, saying that he did not want to continue pursuing an education in such a “brainwashing” system, according to the independent Iranian media outlet Iranwire.
The source told Iranwire that the young man’s family “were told that two shots were fired at Erfan from a distance of five metres” hitting his shoulder and stomach, “which caused the rupture of the spleen.”
They initially thought that the young man had been taken for surgery but it was later reported there had been delays in taking him to hospital.
The source added: “On the evening of September 21, the city was very crowded.
“Security forces were on standby. There was chanting and shooting from everywhere. Erfan called his mother and said to not worry because he wanted to walk. He said that his mother is worried about him and his 18-year-old brother. … The relationship between Erfan and his mother was beyond mother and child – they were very close friends.”
There was reportedly a fierce clash between protesters and government forces, with the Iranian authorities opening fire on protesters.
But soon Erfan stopped answering his phone and his family became worried. The source said: “One of their relatives, who was a soldier, informed his family that Erfan was in the detention centre of the Intelligence Department. Erfan’s mother was very anxious and worried.
“They went to stand outside the intelligence detention center. They were told that a simple interrogation would be conducted and then Erfan would be released. But another person called Erfan’s family who witnessed him being shot.”
All of Erfan’s family and friends went to the hospital, with the source adding: “His mother saw Erfan’s name in the admission list. She ran straight to the operating room, but the nurses stopped her and said that the people there had not been identified and it was not clear whether her son was there or not.”
The source reportedly added: “When we gave Erfan’s details, several people present said that they saw him when he was conscious. One of the nurses also mentioned the name of the doctor who operated on Erfan, but that doctor had told Erfan’s mother that there was no such person among his patients. And as late as 9.30pm it remained unclear whether Erfan was in the operating room.”
But his mother, who has not been named, reportedly saw a black shirt that had bullet holes in it. She recognised it as her son’s shirt.
The source reportedly said: “Erfan’s mother was distraught bad when she saw the shirt. She shouted repeatedly, ‘This is my child’s shirt, why doesn’t anyone tell me where he is?’ A security guard who was there smiled and mockingly told Erfan’s mother, ‘Well, it’s your child’s shirt, take it away, no need for all this fuss.’ Her screams brought more agents who tried to silence her.”
Iranwire reports that Erfan’s friends and family were eventually told to leave, with the source saying: “Everyone was confused, Erfan’s mother could not stand anymore. The ambulance took out some of the dead in front of their eyes. Finally, they were told that if Erfan was killed, he might have been taken to an unknown location or to the Imamzadeh Abdollah morgue, which is the city’s cemetery. Erfan’s mother collapsed after hearing these words and they had to hospitalize her.”
One of Erfan’s family members then reportedly went to a morgue where the young boy’s body was identified, with it reportedly being handed over to his family two days later, on Saturday, 24th September.
The source reportedly told Iranwire that Erfan’s body was only released to his family on the condition that his funeral be held discreetly and even this was only made possible by the fact that his father was a military veteran.
Mahsa Amini, 22, who hailed from Saqqez, Kurdistan Province, was on a visit to Tehran when she was arrested by morality police for violating hijab rules on 13th September. Her death has sparked widespread protests all over the country.
She was allegedly beaten while in custody and spent the following days in a coma in the hospital before succumbing in the ICU on 16th September.
The clinic where she was treated said in a now-deleted social media post that she had been admitted brain-dead.
Alleged medical scans of her skull leaked by hackers showed that she had suffered bone fractures, haemorrhages, and brain oedema.
Anti-regime media are claiming that Mahsa’s medical records showing her history of heart disease were faked by the Iranian government.
The protests her death sparked are ongoing and, according to the non-profit Iran Human Rights, at least 185 people, including children, have been killed so far.