Farzaneh Ansarifar is the sister of a protester killed during Iran’s nationwide November 2019 demonstrations. (Supplied)

February 26, 2022

Farzaneh Ansarifar – the sister of Farzad Ansarifar, a protester killed during Iran’s nationwide November 2019 demonstrations – has been beaten at the Behbahan prosecutor’s office and in the prosecutor’s presence.

Farzad Ansarifar was shot in the back of the head during the protests in Behbahan. He left home at one 1pm on November 16, 2019, to pick up his younger brother; but a short distance from home, he was shot by a Kalashnikov bullet and killed.

Farzaneh Ansarifar had gone to the Behbahan courthouse at around 10am on February 21, to seek information on the situation of her father and another brother, who are currently in detention. Farzaneh had visited the office of Alireza Ghaseminejad, the Behbahan Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor, hoping to convince the prosecutor to bail out her family members.

Amin Ansarifar, Farzaneh’s father, a war veteran, was summoned to the Behbahan Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office on February 19, after appearing online as a witness in the Aban People’s Tribunal. Amin Ansarifar has now been transferred to Behbahan Prison with a 30-day temporary detention order.

“My son was a ceramicist,” Amin Ansarifar told the Aban People’s Tribunal, which took last year and earlier this year in London. “Where my son was killed is located 150 meters from our house. We protested but [the authorities] did not respond. My daughter was also arrested because she wanted justice for her brother blood. She was taken to Ahvaz and kept in Ahvaz prison for seven days. Her cases are still pending. My daughter used to say: show us the person who shot my brother. [I want to ask] Why did you shoot? Why did you kill my brother? They said your child was a troublemaker. They checked the footage of various cameras to prove that Farzad was one of the protesters. But our family asks: Why aren’t you looking for a clue about our son’s killer? Who ordered the shooting? What difference does it make whether he is a protester or a passerby? Did the security officer have an order to kill?”

The case of Amin Ansarifar has been referred to Branch 4 of the Behbahan prosecutor’s office on charges of propaganda against the regime.

One day after Amin was arrested, security agents went to his home and, on that occasion, arrested Arman, Amin’s 24-year-old son, also on charges of propaganda against the regime.

A source, who did not want to be named, told IranWire that the day Farzaneh had visited the prosecutor’s office regarding the situation of her father and brother, the prosecutor said: “You are also arrested. Stay here, since in one of your cases, a conviction order has been issued; we have to deal with you.”

Farzaneh reportedly replied: “You have my phone number and address. If a verdict has been issued, why did you not notify me? If you informed me, I would have immediately introduced myself to the judicial authorities.”

Farzaneh then intended to leave the prosecutor’s office but the prosecutor ordered his secretary to not to allow her to leave.

Two men working at the office, and a woman, then attacked Farzaneh and tried to arrest her. Farzaneh resisted and said that she would not stay until she saw a copy of her sentence, and then, when she insisted on leaving, she was pushed against the wall and struck on the shoulder. A quarrel ensued.

Farzaneh finally had no choice but to obey; she stopped fighting and sat down, when the court clerk, on the prosecutor Ghaseminejad’s order, reviewed the files and found that no verdict had yet been issued against Farzaneh. The prosecutor’s tone then changed and he attempted to appease Farzaneh. She asked: “Is it not enough that you killed one of my brothers and imprisoned my father and my other brother?”

The source told IranWire that the prosecutor was angry with Farzaneh Ansarifar’s interviews with news outlets outside Iran and that she had no right to be interviewed outside the country. He added that her interviews were to the detriment of her family members.

The source also said there are currently two cases against Farzaneh Ansarifar in Branch 1 of the Revolutionary Court in Mahshahr and one case in the Behbahan criminal court. Her main charges are spreading lies, insulting the Supreme Leader, gathering to disrupt national security and propaganda against the regime.

Her first court hearing, which is ongoing in Branch 1 of Mahshahr, was held on December 6, 2021, and the second hearing was held on January 2022. The plaintiff in the case is the Behbahan prosecutor Alireza Ghaseminejad.

Farzaneh Ansarifar had previously told IranWire that, during this time, she had only sought justice for her brother, and repeatedly asked the authorities why they had killed her brother. But each time, in response to this question, she was faced with a new case and new accusations designer to force her to remain silent.

“I have really confused the number of cases and I have almost no information about any of them. I do not know my charges. All I know is that there are lawsuits filed against me only because I seek justice for my brother’s death, and all these tragedies are the result of this legitimate request of mine,” Farzaneh said.

Farzaneh was arrested for the first time a year after her brother was killed, on July 16, 2020, on the pretext of participating in the protests in Behbahan. But after this incident, she told IranWire that she was only passing by, far from the protests; however, on her arrest in the street, she was transferred to Sepidar Prison in Ahvaz and interrogated for a week.

Iran Wire

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.