April 8, 2021
On Wednesday, April 7, 2021 security forces in Isfahan stopped a bus carrying the families of some of those killed during recent street protests in Iran and arrested at least 22 of them.
The news agency HRANA reports that the attack took place while families were returning from a protest at the tomb of Sardar Asad Bakhtiari, an Iranian constitutionalist, in Isfahan. They were then held in Isfahan prison.
Among those arrested were Manouchehr Bakhtiari and Nahid Shirbisheh, whose son Pouya Bakhtiari was killed in Karaj in November 2019; Sakineh Ahmadi, the mother of Ebrahim Ketabdar, who was also killed in November 2019; and Hourieh Farajzadeh Tarani, the sister of Shahram Farajzadeh, a victim of the December 2009 crackdown in Tehran.
HRANA writes that Sakineh Ahmadi lost consciousness during the incident, but the security forces refused to transfer her to a medical center until a report was compiled.
Prominent activist in exile Masih Alinejad has released audio and video files of the detainees, who contacted her while the bus was being searched and explained what was happening. The families, she wrote, had been chanting “No to Selling Iran” at the tomb in objection to the contested Iran-China deal, as well as “No to the Islamic Republic”.
“We mourning families are here to talk about our love for our children and our homeland,” one of them said. “Authorities tell us to go away. They’re the ones who should pack and leave.”
Other people detained during the incident include Mona Shirbisheh, Pouran Nazemi, Mehrdad Bakhtiari, Kambiz Norouz-zadeh, Ashkan Shirpisheh, Arian Shirbisheh, Hamideh Ketabdar, Javad Lal-Mohammadi, Hashem Amini, Iran Allahyari, Mohammad Karimi, Mahyar Zafarmehr and his daughter, Yashar Tabrizi with his two daughters, and the mother and sister of Vahid Namvar.