“They tell me to pick a simple tombstone,” says murdered protester’s wife
Massoumeh Chegini, wife of Moharram Chegini, one of those murdered during post-election protests, told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Iranian authorities are evading paying the diya, blood money, to Chegini’s family. In response to her requests for identification of her husband’s murderer, she has been told not to wait for the murderer’s identification.
“I am still looking to find my husband’s murderer…. I said I do not want the diya. I don’t qualify for diya, anyway, as I am without a child, but when they offered it on that first day, I said I didn’t want it. I want my husband’s murderer. They said they will not reveal my husband’s murderer to me, ‘Do not wait for them to show you his killer;’ but his father and mother agreed to take the blood money,” Chegini told the Campaign. “The last time I went to the courts, his parents had decided that they wanted compensation. Nearly two or three months have passed but there is still no answer about the blood money…the judge said that they would pay a man’s diya. I don’t know how much that is, but whatever a man’s diya is, it belongs to the parents….They said there are several people like this whose cases are under review at the Revolutionary Courts where they will be making a decision and they will inform us,” Chegini.
She also said that after visiting Behesht Zahra Cemetery, she noticed that her husband’s tombstone had been removed. “On Thursday, we went to Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery. I noticed that my husband’s tombstone had been removed and taken. When we went to the Cemetery authorities, they said they did not do it. After we investigated, we became aware that it was stolen. They said this had happened in a few other places also… The sign was an aluminum piece. I do not know how much value it had to be worth removing and taking it. We bought it for two hundred dollars,” she said. “We went to the Martyr Foundation and they said, ‘You can install it again.’ We ordered another sign to be engraved. We told them ‘you, yourselves announced this man to be a martyr…he became your martyr, you suggested it to us, now what is the reason for going and removing his sign?’ They said, ‘This was not our doing, because he was indeed a martyr. If you want, you can re-install the sign,'” she added.
Massoumeh Chegini told the Campaign that she thought perhaps the poem on the tombstone was unpleasant to some, “…I wasn’t really given an answer…The poem is such that maybe it didn’t seem suitable to them. Now I don’t know. I think it’s because we wrote on Chegini’s stone ‘for what sin were you killed?’ They say the poem you wrote is inappropriate for a martyr. His tombstone has to be simple, and it has to have a poem that we want.”
Massoumeh Chegini said the following poem was written on her husband’s tomb:
“Write upon my tombstone
Under this rock a lad sleeps
With a thousand alack and doubled alas
Write, your support to stay this lad craves
Write it upon the day of my loss
In the day of sacrificing affection in reporting eyes
In the day of withering flowers in Springs
In the day of hanging madness from gallows”