- The body of a 16-year-old Iranian girl was stolen and buried by security forces, sources told the BBC.
- She went missing after protesting in Iran, and sources said her body was buried before the family could do it.
- Iran has previously used protesters’ bodies to convince families to stay silent, the BBC reported.
Security forces in Iran stole the body of a 16-year-old girl and buried her before her family had a chance to do so, sources close to her family told the BBC.
Nika Shakarami took part in the widespread protests against the Iranian government’s treatment of women, which were sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini who passed away in Iranian custody after she was arrested by Iran’s Islamic morality police for allegedly not wearing her hijab correctly.
Shakarami went missing 10 days after she took parts in protests in Iran’s capital, Tehran, on September 20, the BBC reported.
The last message she sent was to a friend, saying she was being chased by security forces, the BBC reported.
Her aunt, Atash Shakarami, told the BBC that they then later found her body in a detention center morgue.
The family had a plan to bury her body on her 17th birthday in her father’s hometown of Khorramabad, West Iran.
However, before they were able to do this, her body was taken and buried in a cemetery in the village of Veysian, a source close to the family told the BBC.
The BBC noted that authorities in Iran have previously stolen peoples’ bodies in order to convince their families to stay silent about protests.
Iranian security forces told Atash they would kill her if anyone in her family took part in protests, a source told the BBC.
A video posted by the organization Iran Human Rights shows the mother of Shakarami describing her as a martyr.
—IranHumanRights.org (@ICHRI) October 4, 2022
Atash has been vocal about her niece’s death and burial on social media, and she has since been arrested, sources told the BBC.
According to nonprofit Iran Human Rights, at least 154 people — including children — have been killed in the protests.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, director of Iran Human Rights, described this as “crimes against humanity.”
Despite a mounting death toll, the resistance against the government shows little sign of stopping. People have torched police stations and women have burnt their headscarves in displays of resistance.
Experts on Iran told Insider’s Joshua Zitser that the deadly protests show the population’s will for another revolution, which last happened in 1979.
But he said protesters face significant hurdles in accomplishing such a feat.
Hadi Ghaemi, the executive director of nonprofit the Center for Human Rights in Iran, told Insider that “The protests are in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, but the demands being put forward by protesters are for broader social and political change and freedoms.
He said that “literally half of the country feels discriminated against and wants to put an end to it, and the government violence imposed by the hijab restrictions, particularly in the last few months, has really made women of Iran reach a boiling point.”
Around the world, people are showing solidarity with women in Iran, with Iraqi-born Swedish Member of European Parliament Abir Al-Sahlani cutting her hair in an impassioned speech on Tuesday.
She said that “until Iran is free, our fury will be bigger than the oppressors. Until the women of Iran are free we are going to stand with you,” per Reuters.