Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Amir Arshad Tajmir


Age: 25
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: December 27, 2009
Location of Killing: Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Unspecified execution method
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

He was young, outraged, and fearless. His solidarity with fellow protesters was punished gruesomely.

Information about Mr. Amir Arshad Tajmir was taken from a Roozonline’s interview with his mother (7 Dec, 2011) and the websites of IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) on December 27 and 29, 2009, ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) on December 30, 2009, Fars news agency on December 27 and 29, 2009, the Information Base of the Islamic Republic Security Forces on December 29, 2009, Jonbeshe-Rahe-Sabz on December 29, 2009, and January 4, 2010, Ayandeh News on December 30, 2009 and January 3, 2010, Human Rights Activists News Agency and Fasli Digar on December 30, 2009, Go Green Iran on December 31, 2009, Peyke Iran on January 3, 2010, and several video clips posted on YouTube. In the first news reports, His name was published incorrectly as Amir Arshadi.

Mr. Tajmir was a radio sound technician and son of Ms. Shahin Mahinfar, a radio and television anchorwoman. According to his mother, Mr. Tajmir was a true patriote and participated in the protests with full knowledge of the risks involved.

Mr. Tajmir Left his house on December 27, 2009 to participate in that day’s protest. He was hit by a police vehicle, when police vehicles attacked the crowd in Vali’asr Square. He died soon after being transferred to a hospital. Video clips of car running him over several times were posted on the web soon after.

According to his mother, Mr. Tajmir was attacked by government forces when he tried to help two protesters:

“They were beating up very badly two girls. One of them came to the cemetery and told me what happened [that day]… they were beating us, she said, and people were booing [the security forces]. Amir Arshad had screamed and said ‘booing is not going to help. Save them.’ Then he had walked towards the security forces and pushed one of the agents. Then people had joined him to help and save [the girls]. Then the security forces attacked the crowd. I don’t know how badly he was beaten, but a security forces’ car hit him from the back with speed and threw him on the ground. Then another security forces’ car, which was parked there, ran over him three times.” (Rooz Online)

Mr. Amir Arshad’s body was transferred to the Kahrizak coroner. He was buried in Behesht-e Zahra cemetery in Tehran in section 302, row 166, number 7. He was 25 years old.

Officials’ Reaction

Although authorities knew the identity of Mr. Tajmir, they did not inform his family. They asked the family to go to the Kahrizak coroner to recover the body on January 2, 2010, at 3 p. m. They ordered the family not to publicize his death and to perform the funeral in an orderly way, with the participation of relatives only. The burial place was selected by authorities and the family was not allowed to choose where their son will be burried. According to Ayandeh News, authorities had tried very hard (by using white coloring) to hide the severe injuries on his face.

According to the existing information, on burial day, three official vehicles and many agents accompanied the mourners. During the burial, security agents were heavily present taking pictures and videos of those who participated in the ceremony. Female agents present among the mourners insulted and humiliated a young woman relative whose head scarf had slid. Agents also arrested a young man who took pictures during the ceremony and released him after questioning and taking the memory card from his camera. (Peyke Iran)


According to the existing information, in order to recover their loved one’s body, the family of Mr. Tajmir kept approaching authorities without any result for a week. The ceremony took place on January 2, 2010 with the presence of security agents, when all departments of the cemetery, including the office and mortuary, were closed and the surrounding area was deserted. After the body was washed, plainclothes agents accompanied the body outside. Then, the grave was covered and filled quickly and authorities ordered people to leave immediately without giving them a chance to mourn.

With regards to filing a complaint with relevant authorities, Ms. Mahinfar told Roozonline in an interview two years after her son’s death: “they are criticizing me for not filing a complaint. To whom should I complain? So many people did file complaints, but what did they get? Who can I go to to seek justice? Who would understand that I worked day and night for 25 years so that Amir Arshad lives? …I am ashamed that there are people who live in our country who can run over a 25-year young man three times and crush him, solely for the crime of loving his fellow human beings; And there is such dearth of honor that they are able to say, this [accident] was staged.”


Following the presidential election of June 2009 and the widespread protest against its result, the government tried to prevent demonstrations by labeling them “illegal” and by violently suppressing demonstrators. Despite the intimidating circumstances, protesters poured into the streets on various religious and official anniversaries – Qods Day, Ashura, the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution (February 11) and that of the occupation of the U.S. Embassy (November 14) – rallying and marching to show discontent with the regime.

On the Day of Ashura (December 27, 2009), protests in Tabriz and Tehran turned violent, with at least eight individuals killed. State-run news agencies, such as Fars and Mehr, reported that banks and other public and private property were destroyed and burned. The Tehran Police Department issued a statement on the same date stating, “unfortunately a limited number of conspirators… disrupted public order through their presence in the streets during the religious ceremonies while chanting digressional slogans.”

In an interview with Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation, an eyewitness who participated in the Ashura demonstration stated,

“On the night before, we contacted friends to see who would come for the demonstration the next day. We did not expect killing, due to the honor accorded to this day. Compared to the first days after the election, some people were afraid, having seen the victims and heard about torture in the prisons. People were more careful not to be arrested. At 10 a.m., we went to such streets as Hafez, Taleqani, and Enqelab and stayed there until 1 p.m. Most of the clashes took place on those three streets.

“Police started the violence. At one point, we were walking on Taleqani Street, when a police vehicle came and passed some protesters. We thought that they were going toward Vali’asr Square, but [the vehicle] stopped a hundred meters ahead of us. The police officers got out and began shooting tear gas at people. In the past, the police would wait for people to become a crowd and then shoot at them, but this time, they did not wait, at all. Demonstrators were moving toward Vali’asr Street, but the police began shooting immediately, to prevent the crowd from arriving there.

“However, the people were ready for violence this time. When police began attacking, people first fled but then started to throw stones at the police. The destruction was greater on the Day of Ashura [than on previous days]. Protesters did not damage buildings much, but garbage cans were set on fire in the middle of the streets. A police vehicle was also set on fire, which had happened before. Many people in the streets were religious people who were mourning, beating their chests, and chanting slogans against the government at the same time. Around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, my friend’s cousin informed us that a person had been thrown off Hafez Bridge and that shooting had been heard from Vali’asr Square. When the number of protesters gradually diminished in the afternoon, the pro-government forces increased and controlled Hafez Street. Then, about fifty covered women appeared, chanting slogans in support of the government.”

Several video clips posted to YouTube and to other websites showed victims being killed. On one of these clips, a police vehicle was shown running over a protester several times. Names of at least five individuals who were run over by vehicles and died have been reported.

High ranking police officers made confusing statements about the number of casualties on Ashura. They denied that police vehicles ran over protestors. Deputy Chief of Police confirmed, however, that 300 persons were arrested on that day. A Tehran Police Department statement emphasized that “police forces… will harshly counter any infringement of religious dignity and principles, of values of the Islamic Republic’s holy regime, and of beliefs deeply rooted among the Muslim Iranian nation.”


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