An Iranian mother is now facing 100 lashes for protesting against the death of her son, Pejman Gholipour, according to media reports.
Mahboubeh Ramezani was arrested last month and is currently being held in the Evin prison in Tehran. The prison was blacklisted by the US government in 2018 for “serious human rights abuses”.
Her son Gholipour was shot dead by security forces during a demonstration over the rising price of fuel in 2019.
“My mother was under pressure for a long time. They constantly intimidated her, and she had been summoned several times,” her surviving son, Peyman, wrote on Instagram.
“What do we have to lose after Pejman? What is left after November 2019? They were looking for an excuse to silence my mother. Her only crime is seeking justice. This is the most important reason they fear her. They fear her because she has not even put down Pejman’s picture for a moment.”
According to Human Rights Watch, Evin prison authorities use threats of torture, threats of indefinite imprisonment and torture of family members, deception and humiliation on inmates. Besides, they also deny medical care and family visits with multiple daily interrogations lasting up to five or six hours.
At least 304 people were killed during the week-long protests over the sharply spiking price of gasoline in Iran in November 2019, according to Amnesty International.
Ramezani was arrested on 18 November 2021 after she held a commemoration event to mark the second anniversary of her son’s death.
On that day, security forces closed the roads in and out of the village of Malat, where Gholipour is buried, arrested a number of relatives and mourners and confiscated their phones.
Iranian state television described those killed as ‘rioters’ or foreign-backed insurgents who threatened military posts, oil tanks and the public. But, online videos showed security forces using machine guns and rifles at crowds.
“Iranian authorities have avoided any measure of accountability and continue to harass the families of those killed during the protest,” Tata Sepehri Far, Iran Researcher at Human Rights Watch in 2020, was quoted as saying by the MailOnline.
“Families of hundreds of victims, most of them from the more vulnerable segments of Iranian society, deserve to see those responsible for the serious rights violations held accountable.”
Protest against the Iranian government started on November 15 after minimum gasoline prices were increased by 50 per cent.