While the assassination of Mohammad Hosseini was intended as a message from Tehran that involvement in the continued opposition to the establishment would not be tolerated, his memory lives on as a victim of the suppression of the state.
The 39-year-old chicken worker and community minded teacher has no support from those close to him as he faces charges of killing a member of the Iranian army as mourners demonstrated in a city outside the Iranian capital in November.
After being found guilty of “corruption on earth” in a hasty trial, Hosseini has not received visits from friends and family as he sits on death row. No one, not even his three siblings, publicly pleaded for his life before he was hanged in early January, and reports indicate that no one was immediately found. .
His brother, who has no close relationship with Hosseini, surrendered his body after he promised “not to speak to anyone and to bury him in peace” sources said. told RFE/RL’s Radio Farda.
But in the weeks following his death, Hosseini has been increasingly embraced by supporters who see themselves as “mothers,” “brothers,” and “sisters” of a victim of torture. the state lived a simple life, dealt with medical conditions, and provided. in the community by teaching poor children martial arts.
Hosseini was hanged on January 7 along with 22-year-old Mohammad Mehdi Karimi. The two were convicted for the November 3 killing of Basij militia member Ruhollah Ajamian in Karaj, a town west of Tehran.
Authorities said Ajamian died of multiple blows from “knives and other hard objects, including stones” allegedly by a group of mourners marking the 40th anniversary of the death of a protester. The protester who was killed was one of more than 500 people who were involved in the violent attack by Iran in several demonstrations that took place in more than 100 cities across the country after the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in September. The 22-year-old woman was arrested for not properly wearing her hijab, or a headscarf.
According to the Iranian authorities, Ajamian was not armed when he was attacked while trying to open a road that was closed by the protesters.
Hosseini and Karimi, who were sentenced to death after a speedy trial in which they were not given access to a trial of their choice, both denied the charges against them.
Their trial lasted less than a week and depended on the confessions given by the men under torture, according to Amnesty International, which said the state’s announcements could be damaging. video evidence even when their case went to court.
Hosseini, who reportedly suffered from epilepsy, revealed that he was on his way to the cemetery in Karaj to visit his parents’ graves when he saw “a young man collapsed.”
“Because I have mental problems, that’s why I ran away,” he said in the video, which also included photos of military netting brought from Hosseini’s house as evidence.
“These are for games, dear,” Hosseini said when asked about the weapons.
Level of Abuse
In another video also published by state media, he said he spent “less than 10 seconds” at the scene of Ajamian’s murder, suggesting that the Basij member was dead.
The lawyer of Mohammad Sharifzadeh Ardakani, who was previously barred from appearing for Hosseini, said that on December 18 he was able to meet him in prison, which he did said the accused in tears, he was tied up, kicked in the head, and shocked with electricity to confess. in his alleged crimes.
“Confession by a person under torture has no legal effect,” Ardakani said on Twitter. He was again charged with his statements and released.
Ardakani later said that after Hosseini was convicted, he filed for a retrial, but was unable to convince the court to stay the death penalty. He said that he found out about the killing of his colleague when he went to discuss the matter with the authorities.
Information about Hosseini’s unfortunate life led to grief and despair. A photo taken during his trial in which he was seen holding his face in a look of shock and disbelief went viral.
“I think about your loneliness, the mother you don’t have to cry for you, the father who is not there to call your name,” wrote writer Sadaf Fatemi on Twitter.
Gohar Eshghi, the mother of blogger Sattar Beheshti who was killed in 2001 by Iran’s cyberpolice, called on the authorities to hand over Hosseini’s body to her. Camelia Sajadian, whose son Hassan Torkman was reportedly killed in Iran’s ongoing crackdown on anti-government protests, revealed that she arranged for a monument for Hosseini, referring to him as his “beloved son.”
Others have visited Hosseini’s grave and poured flowers, distributed food to the poor in his memory, or offered their condolences in comments on his Instagram page, which quickly gained more than 60,000 views. followers.
“I didn’t know you until three weeks ago, I never heard your name and I don’t know who you are, but now I visit your page and cry for you like a lost sister lost a brother,” said one woman. it appeared below a photo featuring Hosseini practicing martial arts.
Hosseini’s workplace, in contrast, did not allow a memorial for him, one of his colleagues at Radio Farda, while other sources said he was not informed that his execution was imminent.
“Prisoners (on death row) are usually taken to solitary confinement the night before their hanging, but Hosseini was not taken to a solitary cell,” one source said. told Radio Farda on condition of anonymity. “(The authorities) didn’t want anyone to know that he was going to be killed.”
Hosseini was one of four people hanged in Iran as a result of the nationwide protests that began in September.
The death penalty is imposed both inside and outside the country, with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk saying that about “government sanctioned murder.”
Rights groups have warned that as many as two dozen others who have been sentenced to death or are awaiting trial are at risk of being sentenced.