Escalating Intimidation Targets Families of 2022 Protest Victims in Iran

HRANA, Human Rights Activists News Agency – Over the past month, the Iranian security and judicial institutions have intensified their crackdown on the families of victims of the 2022 nationwide protests.

They have employed various tactics, including summoning, arresting, prosecuting, and discouraging them from holding commemoration ceremonies for their deceased loved ones. Additionally, reports indicate instances of grave desecration.

Arrests and Judicial Interference

On April 20, 2023, Hossein and Mehdi Kazemi, brothers of Majid Kazemi, one of three executed convicts in the “Isfahan House” case, were reportedly arrested and subjected to physical assault at their home. Following their arrest, Majid Kazemi’s sister, Somayeh Kazemi, was also detained while inquiring about her brothers’ well-being.

Somayeh Kazemi was released on May 22, while Hossein and Mehdi Kazemi were granted bail and released on June 18.

Furthermore, on June 16, relatives of teenager Abolfazl Adinehzadeh, who was killed during the protests, were arrested in Mashhad. The arrested individuals included Abolfazl’s mother, Goldasteh Hosseini Jahanabad, his father, Ali Adienzadeh, his sister, Marzieh Adinezadeh, and his uncles, Reza and Musa Adienzadeh, who faced violent arrests. Subsequently, Ali and Reza Adinezadeh were transferred to Shirvan Prison, while Marzieh and her mother were taken to Bojnurd Prison. They were later released on bail between June 18 and June 21.

Abolfazl Adinezadeh was fatally shot by regime forces during the 2022 nationwide protests in Mashhad, reportedly sustaining 25 bullets to his chest and abdomen.

In Saqqez, several people were arrested on June 9 following a protest rally at the burial site of another teenage victim, Danial Pabandi. Among those detained were the families of several victims and the drivers of two minibuses transporting the families to the cemetery. Some of the detainees were released on bail the day after their arrest.

On June 17, 2023, Sajad Pirfalak, the uncle of Kian Pirfalak, a minor who tragically lost his life during the 2022 nationwide protests, was apprehended by security forces in Izeh. He was subsequently taken to the detention facility of the Ministry of Intelligence.

The following day, Kian Pirfalak’s mother, Mahmonir Molaie-Rad, was summoned to the Ministry of Intelligence office in Izeh.

On April 11, 2023, security forces arrested Foad Choobin in Izeh. Foad’s nephew, Artin Rahmani, was killed by regime forces during the 2022 nationwide protests in Izeh.

Grave Desecrations and Disruption of Memorial Ceremonies

Reports have surfaced concerning the desecration of several graves belonging to protest victims. Within the past month, at least four graves, including those of Majid Kazemi, Mohsen Shakari, and Sepher Azami, were destroyed or set on fire.

Ashkan Amini, the brother of Mahsa Amini, shared news of the desecration of his sister’s burial place for the second time. The Saqqez Municipality has allegedly planned to carry out reconstruction at the cemetery where Mahsa Amini is buried, seemingly as an attempt to prevent gatherings and commemoration ceremonies. In protest against these malicious actions, traders and shopkeepers in Saqqez went on a general strike on June 13, 2023, closing their shops.

Majid Kazemi’s family was reportedly prevented from holding his funeral, with heavy security presence around his grave. Kazemi’s grave was set on fire on June 7th, the day his family had planned to hold a memorial service.

Similarly, the family of Kian Pirfalek faced an intense security presence and threats during a memorial ceremony at the burial place.
The families of Mohsen Shekari and Sepehr Azami, two victims of the 2022 nationwide protests, have also reported the desecration of their loved one grave.

Majid Kazemi’s family faced impediments when attempting to hold his funeral, with heavy security presence surrounding his grave. On June 7, the day of the planned memorial service, Kazemi’s grave was set on fire.

Likewise, Kian Pirfalak’s family encountered intense security presence and threats during a memorial ceremony at his burial site.

The families of Masoud Shekari and Sepehr Azami, two victims of the 2022 nationwide protests, have also reported the desecration of their loved ones’ graves.

It is important to note that the Iranian regime and its security forces have a history of desecrating dissidents’ burial places.

Violence Against Protestors’ Families

During a ceremony held on June 11, 2023, to commemorate Kian Pirfalak’s birthday, police fatally shot a citizen. The victim, Pouya Molaie-Rad, approximately 20 years old, was the cousin of Kian Pirfalak’s mother. Multiple sources have reported multiple arrests made by the police during the ceremony.

IRNA confirmed that Molaie-Rad succumbed to his injuries while receiving treatment at the hospital.
Fars News Agency, associated with security institutions, claimed that a police officer named Mohammad Ghanbari also lost his life, allegedly after being struck by a car.

Background on the 2022 Nationwide Protests

The arrest of Mahsa Amini by Tehran Morality Police for her improper hejab and her suspicious death on September 16 sparked protests sweeping across Iran. During the nationwide protests, about 19600 people, including journalists, artists, lawyers, teachers, students and civil rights activists, were arrested.

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, the Director of Global Advocacy and Accountability at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

A Comprehensive Report of the First 82 days of Nationwide Protests in Iran

  HRANA – Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old young woman, was arrested by the morality police for the crime of improper hijab. Her arrest and death in detention fueled nationwide protests in Iran. Protesters came to the streets with the central slogan “Women, Life, Freedom” in protest against the performance, laws, and structure of the regime. The following 486-page report is dedicated to the statistical review, analysis, and summary of the first eighty-two days of the ongoing protests (September 17 to December 7, 2022). In this report, in addition to the geographic analysis and the presentation of maps and charts, the identity of 481 deceased, including 68 children and teenagers, an estimated of 18,242 arrested along with the identity of 3,670 arrested citizens, 605 students and 61 journalists or activists in the field of information is compiled. In addition, the report includes a complete collection of 1988 verified video reports by date and topic. The report examines protests across 1115 documented gatherings in all 31 provinces of the country, including 160 cities and 143 universities.


Mahsa (Zhina) Amini, a young 22-year-old woman from Saqqez, Kurdistan was visiting Tehran, when she was taken into custody on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, by the Morality Police officers at the Haqqani metro station in Tehran. The reason for her arrest: not properly observing the strict Islamic dress code. Mahsa/Zhina was taken to the infamous detention center of Moral Security Police known as Vozara.
Shortly after Mahsa’s arrest, she went into a coma with level three concussion, and her partially alive body was transferred to the intensive care unit of Kasra Hospital. Given the track record of the police and Guidance Patrols in mistreating the arrestees and similar previous incidents, with the believe that Mahsa was beaten during the arrest people were outraged.

Download full report in PDF format

Unpersuasive explanations given by the Central Command of the Islamic Republic Police Force (FARAJA) in defense of its actions regarding the death of Mahsa, the past performance of the police force, along with widespread dissatisfaction with the existence of a body called the Moral Security Police, fueled widespread protests in Iran.
The widespread protests sparked at the time Mahsa Amini was announced dead in front of Kasra Hospital on Argentina Street in Tehran, and then quickly spread to the streets despite the intimidating presence of Iran’s security forces. The protests intensified after Mahsa’s burial in a Saqqez cemetery. To the extent that after eighty-two days of nationwide protests between September 17, 2022, to December 7, 2022, they have spread to Iran’s all 31 provinces, 160 cities, and 143 major universities.
The protests did not stay limited to Mahsa’s death, it rather, quickly targeted the Iranian government’s political and ideological foundations. These protests were violently quashed by the anti-riot police and Iran’s militia force (Basij). teargas, pellets, and live ammunition were used in the repression of protestors. This widespread crackdown has led to the death of dozens of people and the wounding of hundreds of protestors.
Despite sever communication restrictions imposed by the Islamic Republic, this report attempts to give a clearer picture of the first 82 days of the protests between September 17, to December 7, 2022. It’s worth mentioning at the time of this report the protests are still ongoing in various forms.

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For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]