December 23, 2019
Reports from Tehran say the parents of Pouya Bakhtiari, a young man killed by Iranian security forces during the protests in November have been summoned to the Intelligence Ministry in Tehran on Saturday, December 21.
They were reportedly told not to hold a vigil for their son in public places and limit the commemoration session to a small gathering in a mosque.
Dissidents in Iran and abroad have declared Thursday, 26 December as a day of commemoration for Pouya on the 40th day of his death. Authorities are concerned about such commemoration, which would produce negative publicity about its bloody crackdown and carry the danger of renewed protests.
Pouya’s father, who has become a vocal critic of the government says he has not accepted the Intelligence Ministry’s demand.
Unlike many family members of the victims of Iranian security forces violence, Pouya’s parents have bravely spoken to international media about their son’s murder.
Pouya’s father told reporters that his son was shot in the head on November 16 and died before making it to the hospital in an ambulance.
Pouya Bakhtiari, 27, was an electrical engineer and was about to migrate to Canada according to his father. His father said Pouya was full of life, and loved literature and Iranian history.
Pouya has become an icon of the November protests in Iran and abroad thanks to his parents who continuously talk about him and the way he died to the activists and Iranian journalists abroad, and seek support from international organizations.