Shot to Heart Kills Protester in Security Forces’ Lethal Attacks Against Unarmed Civilians
Body Only Released to Family After They Pledge to “Bury Him Calmly”
Hamid Rasouli, who died in the Golshahr district of Karaj, west of Tehran, on November 17, 2019, during the recent protests that swept through in Iran, was struck by bullets fired by security forces, one of his relatives told the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) on condition of anonymity.
A 32-year-old married man, Rasouli was “critical of present conditions,” said the relative.
“He was critical of these issues we have in society and how difficult it is to live, so he went to the street to complain about the present situation but never came back. Hamid was a very calm guy. He was never disrespectful. He was just upset about what was happening,” the relative added.
The protests that started peacefully across Iran in response to the announcement of a gasoline price hike, were met with a violent state response that included the firing of live ammunition into crowds of unarmed civilians. Because of a state-imposed news blackout and internet shutdown in the country, only now are reliable reports emerging on the numbers killed—with current estimates well over a hundred, and perhaps significantly higher. Many more were injured and thousands arrested.
Rasouli’s relative continued: “He was a technician who had worked for an elevator company for a while and then at a plastic manufacturing firm and also at a vehicle assembly plant. But he had been unemployed for a couple of years and was looking for a job.
“A large crowd had gathered in the Golshahr district of Karaj. When [security] agents attacked, Hamid and others dispersed into side alleys. That’s where he was hit by two bullets. One in his back and another went through his heart. He immediately died right there. He never made it to the hospital.”
Raouli’s body was buried under tight security in a cemetery in Qazvin on November 29.
“Hamid’s uncles are veterans of the Iran-Iraq war. They were the ones who made inquiries about his body. They were asked to make a pledge to calmly bury him without any disturbance. Since Hamid’s family members are religious, they didn’t object to the conditions and restrictions so that they could gain access to his body.”