Following is a translation of an interview by Fereshteh Ghazi of Roozonline with the mother of Behnoud Ramazani who was brutally killed last March during the Fire Festival in Tehran.
The mother of Behnoud Ramezani, a student who was killed last March during the Fire Festival in Tehran, told “Rooz” that she wants the killers of her son to be punished. She tells Rooz, “I will not forget my son’s blood, I will pursue the matter until his assailants are found, so no other parents have to go through what we did.”
Last March, on the night of the Fire Festival, the Green Path of Hope Coordinating Council, in what had become known as Tuesdays protests, called for people to come out to the streets to protest the illegal detention of the Green leaders (Mousavi and Karoubi).
On the last Tuesday of the Iranian calendar year, during one of the Tuesday protests, 19 year old Behnoud Ramezani, a mechanical engineering student at Babol Sanati Nooshirvani University, lost his life at Narmak 22 square and became one of the Green Martyrs.
At the time, Behnoud’s father, in an interview with Rooz, said that his son was severely beaten by plainclothes agents, so severe that he suffered a broken neck, broken legs and his testicles were crushed.
At that time, Commander Radan of Tehran police force announced 3 people had lost their lives during the Fire Festival due to hand grenade explosion.
Also, some of the regime news media reported Behnoud was killed as a result of a hand grenade exploding in his pocket. However, eyewitness accounts, Behnoud’s family and the medical examiner’s report tell a different story.
Now, more than five months after Behnoud’s death, his mother Houri Golestani-Ramezani says the Judiciary refuses to investigate his case. Mrs. Golestani says, “Despite all the evidence and documents that exist, they continue to claim that there is no evidence that the murderers of my son were Basij or government forces.”
Following is the interview with Behnoud’s mother:
Mrs. Ramezani, now that 5 months have passed since the death of your son, what is the status of his case?
They will not give us any answers. They only say that there is no evidence that the killers of my son were Basij or government forces. No matter where we go trying to find answers, they send us to a different entity.
Do they not explain to you that, if they were not government forces, then who they were?
No they don’t. They don’t give any answers. They act as though no one has been killed and they have no responsibility in finding the killers.
My son’s killers fled in a white Samand car. The people who attacked my son, were some of the forces on motorbikes. They severely beat my son. After other people at the scene intervened, the attackers fled. However, they left one of the motorbikes, a motorbike without any license plate.
The attackers fled in a white Samand car, but the witnesses wrote down the car’s license plate. We have given the car’s license plate number to the police but they have not investigated and have not identified the owner of the car who helped my son’s killers flee. This in itself shows that they have no intention of arresting the killers.
We don’t know who to turn to anymore. When Mr. Larijani (the Judiciary Chief) says only one person has been killed during the unrest, then what happened to our Behnoud? Who killed our Behnoud?
Behnoud had come to Tehran for the New Year holidays, he was a student. He said he was going out to celebrate the ancient Fire Festival festivities. He said he had missed the festivities the previous year because of his university entrance exams. He said he was going to celebrate this year. He went out but never came back.
What had he done? Even if he had committed a crime, they should have arrested and tried him, not convict, sentence and implement the sentence right there at the scene. Doesn’t our country have any laws?
In which Branch is your son’s case now?
In Branch 4 of the murder investigative unit on Azari steet.
Mrs. Ramezani, the authorities said your son died due to explosion of a hand grenade, but eyewitness accounts and the medical examiners office report rejects this claim. Did you personally see your son’s body?
His entire body was shattered, his kidneys exposed, his testicles were crushed, there was not any place on his body that wasn’t injured.
I could not bear to look at him. At first, my husband, Behnoud’s aunt and my other son went to the hospital but were faced with his body. I went there later, but they told all of us to leave and return later.
Later, a number of masked agents went to the hospital to take his body away but the hospital refused to release the body to them.
They are lying, there were no explosives involved, there were no burn marks on his body. Actually, my question is, if he died due to an explosion, then why did they come to our house and remove all the black mourning banners from our home’s exterior? Why did they remove the memorial stand in front of our home and the neighbor’s homes? Why did they threaten our neighbors, that if they didn’t remove the memorial stands, they would arrest their children and would blow up their homes?”
Who were the people that came to your home?
They were Plainclothes forces, they didn’t show us any identification. So we don’t know which forces they were. But isn’t it the height of disgracefulness to be afraid of black mourning banners? Are they afraid of mourning services that is every family’s right? They denied us this right.
We had to take Behnoud’s body to another city where our relatives live, and I thank God that many people came for his funeral services. My Behnoud became the cause for so many to know their (regime’s) atrocities. Many asked how is it possible for such a horrendous crime to happen in Tehran? People were informed and became aware.
Other than the complaint you have filed, have you gone to other authorities and what did they tell you?
I wrote a letter to Mr. Larijani the Judiciary Chief. I also tried to see him but they would not allow me and said this does not concern him. They referred me to the Public Prosecutor’s office, the Deputy Public Prosecutor and to the detectives.
Every time I go there and want answers, they ask what is your problem? All this lawlessness and their lack of concern is mind boggling.
I have never cursed anyone in my life, but I ask God for them to suffer the same pain as we have, so they can feel what we have endured and the pain that we have.
Considering everything you have explained, what is your next plan of action?
“We have hired a lawyer to pursue the case. We have been shattered, and when we ourselves go to them, they just give us the run around.
But I am not going to back down, I will not forget my son’s blood. They have to identify his murderers and I am sure that it will happen someday.
My Behnoud was a genius. He loved music and sports. He was very talented, but they so easily killed him. I don’t know how they are going to answer for all the blood they have spilled. They talk of Islamic values yet they so easily kill. With what clear conscious do they perform their prayers?
You have no idea what we are going through. Right now as I am speaking to you, my husband is crying. You have no idea how much we miss my son.
On Eid Feter (end of Ramadan), I prayed for God to uproot the tyrants from our country and bring to our people peace, security and freedom. We can survive on bread alone, but we need our security to be restored. We need to know when our children go out that they will come back home.
You have no idea what pain this is, I did not even have the chance to say goodbye to my son. They so easily caused my handsome son to be buried under dirt. What was his crime?
His father and I were just sitting and reading his book of memories, reading his writings and we were crying, That is all we have left of our Behnoud; we only have his pictures left. But why? If their own children had died in this way, would they remain quiet? What would have they done?”
If the killers of your son are identified, what would you do?
One of our relatives recently had a dream about Behnoud. He said to tell me not to cry so much. We will wait for justice to be done. My son had sent me a message, but I want to see justice here and now.
Believe me, if they identify his killers, I wouldn’t want them to be executed, I don’t want to see anyone lose their lives. God gives life and only he shall take it.
I only want them to be identified and I want to ask them, why? What was my son guilty of that they killed him? Who ordered them to kill my son? They have to be exposed.
God knows that all I want is for them to be identified. I want peace, security and freedom for our people. I just want those responsible and the killers to be identified and receive just punishment so no other parent has to go through what we have.
I want that when people’s children go out that they come back home safe, I don’t want any other parent to see the death of their children. That is the reason why I am pursuing the case. I know my Behnoud will not come back, but I will do my share so no other parent feels the pain that we have.