In an interview with Fereshteh Ghazi of Roozonline, veteran radio and television personality, Shahin Mahinfar, mother of Amir Arshad Tajmir broke her silence after two years.
Mrs Mahinfar told Rooz, “My son chose his own path. He participated in all the post-election protests along with the people. He died with dignity and pride.” Mrs. Mahinfar believes she lost one Amir and gained thousands Amir back.
Amir Arshad Tajmir lost his life on Ashura (Dec 27, 2009), during mass street protest against the rigged 2009 presidential election.
His family had kept silent but in an interview with Rooz, his mother broke her silence, on the second anniversary of what has become known as “Bloody Ashura” and said her son was crushed under the wheels of a police car.
She explains that her son lost his life trying to help two young women being beaten up by police.
She says, “I told Amir not to join the protest but he said he is going for the love of his country. I told him “but you are my love”. He told me, “Don’t be selfish, I am your love, but my love is 70 million Iranians. I am going out to protest for them.”
I felt ashamed and selfish after he said that. He left and never came back.”
During the Ashura protests, nine people lost their lives. Shabnam Sohrabi, Shahram Farajzadeh, Shahrokh Rahmani and Amir Arshad Tajmir were all killed by police cars running over them.
Mostafa Karimbaigi, Sayeid Ali Mousavi, Mohamad Ali Rasekhniya and Mehdi Farhadi were all killed by being shot on that day.
Jahan Bakht Pazooki is another victim of that day, however, details of how he was killed have not been published to date.
The Islamic Republic’s authorities have not taken responsibility for these deaths and the official complaints filed by their families have had no results.
I gave one Amir and gained thousands of Amirs.
Amir’s mother, shahin Mahinfar says she is proud of her son.
She broke her silence after two years and said, “I have heard that the video of Amir’s killing has been widely publicized by media abroad. But they mistakenly identify my son as another person. That person is dear to my heart also. But please, tell everyone that the person who was crushed and killed by the police car running over him three times is my Amir. Please tell them to correct their mistake.
Amir Arshad’s mother continues, “Amir Arshad was the young man who went to help two fellow citizens, but lost his life in the process. They had arrested two young women and were beating them hard.
One of those girls came to my son’s burial and explained everything to me. Security forces were beating the girls and people were booing the forces. Amir Arshad shouted, “just booing the forces will not help, we have to stop them from beating the girls”.
Amir Arshad tried to push away one of the policemen. People come forward and got involved also. All of a sudden more security forces showed up.
I don’t know how much beating he received by a baton before a marked police car, with high speed, backed up into him and he fell down.
At this same time, another marked police car that was parked nearby and runs back and forth over Amir Arshad three times.
Please let everyone know, the man that was run over by police car three times was Amir Arshad, son of Shahin Mahin Far.”
Mrs. Mahinfar says she never imagined such a thing could happen. She said, “Ultimately they could have arrested him and taken him away. But no, they killed him; they killed him three times.
They ran over my son three times. The first time they ran over him and crushed him, he was still alive. They killed him three times.
I really don’t know what to call what they did to him. I have no name for what they did. I even think that animals have some honor and dignity, but for these people………”
I asked Mrs. Mahinfar about her son’s participation in the mass street protests. She said, “Amir Arshad had chosen his own path. He participated in all of the protests along side the people. I hold my head up, I am very proud of him.
I am proud that I raised a son who was honorable, loved his nation and his fellow Iranians. Even if I wasn’t a good mother, my son’s actions made me proud enough for me to hold my head up, but it broke my back.
My son courageously went out to join the protest, with the knowledge that he might ultimately be arrested and tortured. But they killed him while he was shouting, “These girls are our fellow citizens that we have to protect.”
Mrs. Mahinfar says she has not filed a complaint, and says, “People blame me for not filing a complaint. Where should I file a complaint and who should I file the complaint about?
So many people who lost loved ones have filed a complaint to no avail. I like all other mothers who lost their children have a broken heart.
It wasn’t just Amir. Amir was not my only child, Mostafa, Neda, Sohrab and many more were all my children. I am proud of all of those who lost their life for freedom. They are all my children.
They were not guilty of anything. Their only guilt was that they were guiltless. You don’t need to cry anymore, I don’t cry anymore either. Nothing has been achieved by my two years of crying. My son did not come back. He won’t come back, and none of my other children will ever come back.”
She adds, “I am not a well person anymore. I feel like I have died, but is there anything I can do? Who should I turn to that would seek justice for my son.
Who should I tell that I worked so hard for twenty five years so my son could have a better life. Who should I tell that, for twenty five years, I stayed up at nights so my son could sleep. Is there anyone that could understand…..
With all the pain that I am in right now, I still can not hate and curse the murderers of my son. I don’t have the heart to do that. I think about their children also; they are like my children too.
I am so ashamed that there are people who live in my country that can run over a twenty five year old three times and crush him to death, only because of his love for other human beings.
To top it all, they have no dignity and honor. They say it didn’t happen and the whole scene was staged….You tell me who should I turn to for seeking justice. Are they really able to sleep at night?”
My silence is not because that I am afraid.
Amir Arshad’s mother says she and her family’s two years of silence was not due to being fearful of anything.
“They say we kept our silence because we were afraid. Please tell everyone that my silence was not due to fear of anything. I am no longer afraid of anything. I am not alive anymore.
I feel like a dead person walking. Like all other parents, I had many hopes for my child. I am not a wealthy person. I did not have a wealthy husband. I worked very hard to raise a decent and good person.
Now that I have nothing left, is there anything for me to be afraid of anymore? I know that my phone is tapped and controlled, but I proclaim that I am not afraid of anything. I just don’t want to lose another Amir Arshad. I don’t want another mother to mourn their child.
Mrs. Mahinfar refers to the arrest of some of the Mourning Mothers (group of mothers that have lost their children during the protests and their supporters), at the cemetery where they had gathered to celebrate her son’s birthday.
“Can you believe that I don’t even go to my son’s grave site anymore. Do you know why? Because if I go there, the Plainclothes Forces and the police may show up. I don’t want to cause any problems for other people.
I am afraid that they may arrest another person, or even kill someone else’s child. I don’t want other parents to have to mourn their child.
All the young people in my country are like my own children. I don’t want to cause any problems for any of them.
I am a sixty three year old woman, and I have no more strength left. I hardly go anywhere. I don’t go to my son’s grave site. However, sometimes, like a thief who tries not to be seen, I do go to his grave site.”
On December 5, 2010, Amir Arshad’s family’s birthday celebration at his grave site was raided by the police and the Plainclothes Forces.
They arrested Sohrab Arabi’s mother, Ramin Ramezani’s mother and Mostafa Karimbaigi’s sister and mother. They then released them after few hours of interrogation at the cemetery.
But they arrested two of the mourning mothers and the father of Ramin Ramezani and took them to Shahre Ray police station, charged them and sent them to prison.
They all spent time in solitary confinement in Evin Ward 209 for months before being released on bail.
Mrs. Mahinfar adds, “I and Amir Arshad’s father are very proud of our son. He lost his life trying to help two fellow human beings.
We hope that no other parent goes through what we did, even the killers of our son. We hope no other parent has to mourn their child, for I know, what it feels like to lose your child.
I have suffered this terrible lost and know what it feels like. I don’t even wish this upon my enemy. He grow inside of me and was a part of me and I nourished and nurtured him.
I gave one Amir and gained thousands back. The murderers of Amir Arshad don’t realize what they have done. But I know what they did to my son.
I hold my head up. I have been holding my head up for two years now. It will be exactly two years on December 27th. But I have held my head up. But my back is bent and broken, can anyone do anything about that? Can anyone do anything for me to standup straight again.
I can still hear Amir’s voice in my head. On Yalda night, he whispered in my ear “I love you” as though he knew it’s the last time he can say that.
Mrs. Mahinfard asks the question, “What were our children guilty of? All they wanted was freedom and security for themselves and their fellow countrymen.
Two years have gone by, but that scene is played before my eyes over and over, and I see them killing my son.
I am not the only mother that suffers this way. What about Neda’s mother, doesn’t she suffer the same way? Sohrab’s mother and many more mothers suffer the same way.
I, like many other mothers, sometimes wonder if God hears our cries. All these cries and moans, does God hear them? Where is the just God that they thought us about?