Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) – Shahnaz Darabian’s plans to mark the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death at his resting place in Karaj’s Behesht-e Sakineh cemetery were abruptly derailed by a phone call October 24th, by which Iranian security forces informed her that the ceremony would not be permissible.
The widow and children of late writer Ali Ashraf Darvishian had announced their plans to commemorate his passing on October 23rd of this year.
“Security organs pled ‘anti-regime abuses’ to stop the event from taking place,” a close source told HRANA. “They have said that only family and close relatives of Mr. Darvishian are permitted to visit his grave for an hour. They left the family with no choice but to cancel the ceremony.”
The cancellation marks the third consecutive time that Iranian authorities have obstructed posthumous honors for Darvishian. Just two days after his death in 2017, Iranian authorities canceled a commemoration event planned for October 28th at Elmi Karbordi University. A second attempt to hold a ceremony was halted by security forces December 1, 2017.
Ali Ashraf Darvishian, a writer and scholar of folk literature, died of an illness on October 26, 2017, at the age of 76. He was buried October 30, 2017, in Behesht-e Sakineh cemetery of Karaj.
Darvishian published around 30 books, the most influential of which was a 19-volume anthology of Iranian folklore he composed in collaboration with Reza Khandan Mahabadi. One of the oldest members of the Iranian Writers Guild, his honors include the Human Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett Grant, awarded to writers across the world who are struggling against persecution and economic hardship.
Due to his political activity leading up to the Islamic Revolution, Darvishian was fired from his job, prevented from working, and imprisoned between 1970 and 1979.
Other notable Darvishian works include My Favorite Stories, Bisotun, Abshuran, Bread Season, Along with my Father’s Songs, Golden Flower and Red Klash, The Black Cloud of a Thousand Eyes, Our School’s Bulletin, Rangineh, When Will You Be Returning, Dear Brother, and Fire in the Kid’s Library.