The mother of Nika Shakarami, who was allegedly beaten to death by security forces during protests in Iran has spoken out in a BBC documentary of her tragic loss and continuing heartache over the death of her 16-year-old daughter.
Speaking in the documentary, Inside the Iranian Uprising, Nasrin Shakarami says she “cannot forget for a second” what happened to her daughter, Nika.
Nasrin rejects authorities’ claims about the death of protestors saying “we all know they are lying”.
In late 2022, the unrest in Iran began after the death in custody of Mahsa Amini. She was a woman who died after being detained by morality police in the capital for allegedly violating Iran’s rules requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab or headscarf.
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Just a few days later, Nisa was filmed at a protest in Tehran setting fire to her headscarf. Videos online show her standing on a dumpster while there are chants “death to the dictator” being echoed – in reference to the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Nasrin said she called Nika that day and could hear protestors around her. That night, Nika’s social media accounts were deleted and her family began a search for her.
One eyewitness told CNN she saw Nika being taken into custody.
The family said they eventually located her body at the Kahrizak mortuary on September 30 and that they were only allowed by officials to see her face for a few seconds in order to identify her.
Nika’s maternal aunt said in early October that officers from Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards told her that Nika was in their custody for five days and then handed over to prison authorities.
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A death certificate issued by a cemetery in Tehran, which was obtained by BBC Persian, states that Nika died after suffering “multiple injuries caused by blows with a hard object”.
The authorities have denied any wrongdoing.
In the BBC interview with the actress Zar Amir Ebrahimi (who fled Iran in 2008) Ms Shakarami told her: “Nika was concerned about the injustice and discrimination towards Iranians. She used to think about it a lot.”
She added: “She was extremely adventurous and fearless. I was always worried about how bold she was. I was always afraid that something would happen to her.”
Iran’s Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) says more than 530 protesters have been killed, including 71 children, and almost 20,000 more have been detained by security forces.
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