Unveiling the Tragic Story of Nika Shekarami: A Mother’s Grief and the Iranian Protests

2023-06-30 06:26:02

2 hours ago

image copyrightBBC Persian source

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Nika Shekarami’s mother says: Even in my dreams I beg her to come and talk to me

The mother of a 16-year-old girl, who was killed in mysterious circumstances during the protests in Iran, and there were allegations that she was beaten to death by security forces during the protests in Iran, spoke of the grief and pain she experienced after the death of her daughter.

And the mother, Nasreen Shakrami, said, in an exclusive interview as part of a BBC documentary, that she “cannot for a moment forget what happened to her daughter.”

During her conversation with Iranian actress Zar Amir Ibrahimi, who fled her country in 2008, Nisreen confirmed her rejection of the Iranian authorities’ claims about how the demonstrators were killed, saying: “We all know that they are lying.”

Nika’s death attracted a lot of attention during the protests that erupted in Iran in late 2022.

Protests have continued since then, although they have become less intense due to the bloody repression by the security forces.

The unrest began after the death of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish woman who died while in the custody of the morality police in the capital for allegedly violating strict Iranian dress codes for women, which require them to fully cover their hair with a headscarf.

Four days after Mahsa’s death, Nika was photographed setting her headscarf on fire during a demonstration in the capital, Tehran.

Video clips circulating online show Nika standing on a large rubbish bin and burning her headscarf, while those around her chant “Death to the dictator” in reference to the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Nika was constantly worried about injustice and discrimination towards the Iranian people, and she thought about it a lot,” Nasreen says.

Nisreen says she called her daughter that day and she could hear the protesters’ chants around her on the phone.

But the story that the authorities in Iran have tried to hide from the eyes of the world – the brutality of the recent street protests – has been told to the world through videos posted on social media by ordinary citizens.

The interview appears in a documentary film entitled “Inside the Iranian Uprising”, along with 350 video clips of 100 hours in length, filmed and uploaded by young Iranians.

In a video clip filmed on September 20, 2022, Nika is shown throwing stones at the police. And it appears in another clip, filmed on the same night, while she is still with the protesters, and she hid behind a car.

The girl disappeared after telling a friend, via phone call shortly before midnight, that the police were after her.

Last year, an eyewitness told CNN that she saw Nika at a protest, and several “large bodies in civilian clothes” arrested her and put her in a car.

That night, Nika’s Instagram and Telegram accounts were deleted.

Her family started looking for her, asking the authorities for help, but Nasreen says, “Nobody gave us any answers.”

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Nesrin, the mother of young Nika, says she was the eternal foe of her life

The body of their young daughter was eventually found by the family in the Kahrizak morgue on September 30, and officials only allowed them to see her face for a few seconds to identify her.

Nika’s aunt, Ach, said in early October that Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers told her that Nika had been in their custody for five days, and then had been handed over to prison authorities.

A death certificate from a cemetery in Tehran, obtained by BBC Persian, states that Nika died after suffering “multiple injuries caused by blows with a hard object”.

The authorities denied any wrongdoing and made inconsistent statements about the young woman.

The Iranian government did not respond to the BBC’s request for comment on the documentary.

Iranian state television broadcast a video clip made to show Nika returning home after the protests.

The prosecution said that the girl later jumped from a building, or someone might have pushed her.

According to Iran’s Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), more than 530 protesters were killed, including 71 children, and nearly 20,000 others arrested in a violent crackdown by security forces, who portrayed the protests as “riots” instigated from abroad. .

Seven protesters were executed following what a United Nations expert described as “arbitrary, summary, and sham trials marred by allegations of torture.” Dozens of others have been reported to have been sentenced to death or convicted of serious crimes that carry the death penalty.

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Nasreen says she cannot forget “for a moment” what happened to her daughter

“They didn’t take responsibility for killing her, and they didn’t tell us who did it,” Nisreen says. “They are not following up on the case, who are we complaining to?”

Nasreen had previously said that Nika’s aunt, who made a statement during her detention, saying that her niece “was killed after falling from a building” was forced to make these confessions.

In her interview with Zaar Amir Ibrahimi, Nasreen says: “I am a mother, and I loved my daughter without limits. She was the love of my life, and the loss of a daughter like Nika is a great tragedy.”

“Personally, I have a lot of respect for Nika’s courage and her free spirit. I think we live in a sensitive period in history when such events are needed,” she added.

From the moment Nika was born, Nasreen knew her daughter had “extraordinary energy”, she says.

Nisreen adds, “I cannot forget for a moment what happened to her. I even see her in my dreams, and I beg her to come and talk to me.”

“I only have one wish, and that is that our children’s blood will not be spilled,” she says.

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