A 16-year-old boy in Zanjan has been killed with five shots fired by security forces seeking to stifle ongoing protests in the city.
Mehdi Mousavi died at a street protest on Wednesday, September 21. Eyewitnesses told IranWire that on that day, officers employed by the Islamic Republic were firing directly at crowds with shotguns.
Massive demonstrations spearheaded by women and young people have taken place in Iran over the past 11 days since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini at the hands of Tehran’s so-called “morality patrol”.
Scores are so far known to have been killed as the Iranian state has marshalled all its repressive forces, from riot police to armed members of the paramilitary Basij, in a so-far unsuccessful bid to break them up.
Zanjan is located in northwest Iran, where a notably high number of people have so far been confirmed to have lost their lives. IranWire understands that at around 6pm on Wednesday night, people gathered to demonstrate at the city’s Saadi Junction.
The protest swelled and gradually spread to other parts of the city. Police and security forces began throwing tear gas at civilians, then beat them with batons and opened fire with shotguns. Several other people were injured.
At 9pm, in front of a matchstick factory in Safa Street, Mehdi Mousavi was shot with five bullets and fell to the ground. Security agents then approached and hit him several times with their batons. He was taken to hospital, but did not survive.
On Thursday morning his family was told his body could not be returned to them due to pressure from the security agencies. Officers only permitted close relatives to attend his burial, which was held under their surveillance in the city’s Behesht-e Javad cemetery.
The family were then warned that if they publicly stated that Mehdi Mousavi had been killed by police, other relatives would be “made to disappear”. Instead, they were told to say he had been killed by “the monafeqin” (hypocrites), the Islamic Republic’s word for exiled opposition group the People’s Mojahedin Organization (MEK), or else by “Kurdish groups”.
Mehdi Mousavi was the teenage son of Ismaeil Mousavi. In the biography section of his Instagram page, he had written: "And one day, we will come to an end."