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Mourning Mothers Mark 40 Days Since Death Of Village Martyr

The blog of "The Mourning Mothers of Iran" (mothers whose children have been killed or jailed in Iran's postelection crackdown) reports that several of the mothers attended a February 18 ceremony marking 40 days since the death of Mostafa Karim Baigi. He was reportedly killed during the religious holiday of Ashura on December 27, when thousands of opposition members launched street protests.

At about 4 p.m. on February 18, a group of mourning mothers attended an event marking the 40th day after the death of martyr Mostafa Karim Baigi in the village of Joghin.

I was welcomed by Mostafa's mother, aunt, and other relatives at the Mehdi Jafar Mosque. They were crying with all they had. It was a splendid ceremony. Many from the village along with all of Baigi's relatives and some from Tehran were present to pay their respects.

Mostafa was born in 1983 and died on the Ashura of 2009. He fell off the College Bridge after being hit by a bullet right in the forehead. His family searched for him with great anxiety for 14 days in Evin prison and so on...and each time they were given the same response from the authorities, that they were unable to locate him.

Then after 14 days of searching, the family found his body among many others at the Kahrizak mortuary. The family was allowed to take the body only with the condition that they agreed that Mostafa had died as a result of being struck by a sharp object.

Also they were told that saying that their son was a member of the Basij would earn them a double-level grave at the cemetery. Otherwise they would only receive the body if the burial took place in the middle of the night, which was ultimately what happened, as the family did not accept the authorities' terms. He was buried in the village of Joghin in the dark and in the presence of government agents.

An innocent picture of him was placed on the tombstone, which his mother said was taken only days before his death. She found the picture to be perfect for the occasion.

His mother said tearfully that her son was the pillar of her house, he was innocent, he fasted without eating anything before dawn, he didn't lie and he didn't use harsh language. How was it possible for them to kill someone like this on Ashura?

She said her son was in the mortuary for 14 days. His face was the only thing visible, while the head was covered with blood. When they buried him in the middle of the night, his body had just been defrosted and blood had started flowing, so her hands were covered with the blood of her son. She said nothing was as valuable to her as the blood of her own son, so she would never have accepted the terms.

Her sorrows were limitless and listening to each one of them could break anyone's heart; how can these people who call themselves human be so barbaric and stonehearted? She said that during the 14 days that their son was in the morgue, his phone would be switched off during the day but they would receive calls from his number during the night and all they would hear was heavy breathing on the other side. This continued for several nights, many times a night.

She said she bursts into tears while walking in the street; she feels he's right next to her but she turns around only to find herself alone. Or perhaps she feels this way because she is selfish and wants him all for herself, when he wanted to be for all and died for all.

I was able to feel her pain when she called for all the mothers to weep and cry to God and shake the skies with their tears. The unanimous cries of mothers could break the heart of any human being. With these cries she was demanding her right of motherhood.

It was emphasized that all the attendees were served apple juice and cucumbers. I found out later on that Mustafa's sister had a dream of him wanting apples and cucumbers to be distributed as a sign of Green (the color of the opposition movement). At the farewells, I noticed no cucumbers were left on any plate.

At about 6, we asked to leave. His mother said she felt good and a bit relieved next to us, and God how we wished to be able to ease her misery.

May many follow his path, and his soul rest in peace.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.