Parts of Masih Alinejad’s interview with Mr. Ahmed Shaheed with partial English transcription by Tourang Birani.
Masih: “Hello Mr. Shahid. I have studied your report and as a reporter who has interviewed the families of the slain in the past two years, I believe that real reporters were those who were sending out information from inside Iran; people like Parvin Fahimi, the mother of Sohrab Arabi who was killed on June 15, 2009 during a peaceful demonstration. She was the first woman who transmitted the news about the killing of her son from inside Iran. I would like to ask your permission to call her so that she can ask the first question from you as a real reporter.
Parvin Fahimi: “I am the mother of Sohrab Arabi, one of the people killed in the aftermath of the presidential election in Iran in June 2009. My son along with many other children of this land participated in a peaceful civil protest. They were killed by the Basij and Revolutionary Guards forces.
After many inquiries, I was finally able to receive the body of my son after 26 days! I would like to ask regime officials what crime did my son commit to deserve being killed? and why is it that Mr. Larijani who is the head of judiciary in Iran claims that only one person was killed in the aftermath of the presidential election? And the president, Mr. Ahmadinejad says that only a few were killed and they were from the Basij and security forces!
But the pictures, films and documents printed all point to the fact that our youngsters were being murdered. Why does the judiciary refrain from holding a public hearing? and why do they always stop us from mourning the death of our children? Dear Mr. Ahmad Shahid, my expectations are that you pay closer attention to those who died after the election. And when you come to Tehran, please pay a visit to us and the families of the dead.
When our voices do not get anywhere in our own country, we are forced to take refuge with the United Nations and shout about seeking justice for our children. This is to prevent the repeat of this type of irresponsible actions both in Iran and in other places around the world; and no injustice is done against innocent people. Mr. Shahid, I have promised to forgive my son’s blood if all political prisoners and Mr. Mousavi, Mrs. Rahnavard and Mr. Karoubi are freed.
I shall let God to carry out justice for the crimes committed against me and my son. I wish peace for all people around the world.
Ahmad Shahid: “I thank you very much for the opportunity to hear a question directly from Tehran. Yes if I get to travel to Tehran, I would be very interested to meet with families of those who lost their lives after the June 2009 election. I would like to find out more about their condition in Iran.
Of course there are other people I would like to meet as well but I would definitely want to meet with the families of those who lost their lives after the presidential election in 2009. Regarding the other part of her question, I must say that yes there are problems and challenges regarding Iran’s judiciary. My report has also pointed out that there are many issues with Iran’s judiciary.
Iran must act transparently regarding this matter. My report is not a complete document. This report is only a sample of issues of concern. This report is not all encompassing. The report is a tool to force Iran to open the doors to the United Nations so we can do more investigation regarding the human rights situation in Iran.
So my response to her is yes I would very much like to meet the families of those who lost their lives and to hear first hand information from these families. Their worries are also my worries.
Masih: “I would like you to hear the second question from another family member of someone who was killed after the presidential election”
Second Witness: “Hello, I am very happy that finally at least one person is willing to listen to our stories. I am the spouse of Ali Hassanpour who was killed on June 15, 2009. They did not return the body of my husband for 105 days! I would like to ask you now that we cannot meet you in Tehran, is it possible that we could talk to you on the phone directly so that we can present to you all the documents we have? These are documents that have been certified by judges in my own country. They have testified that my husband has been shot by a gun belonging to the Basij. Is it possible for us to make a trip to the U.N. to meet you in person; can you guarantee our safety; or is there another way for us to present our documents to you?
Ahmad Shahid: “My response to her is yes. There are ways for her to present details of her situation to me using email, skype and other means. But what I cannot guarantee is her safety because I am outside the country and of course we are in a situation where most regime officials are threatening, harassing, intimidating and in some instances injuring those who spread the news. These are problems. But there are ways to contact me. But I would be happy to create the avenues for these families to contact me.
They can contact me through email. My offices are in Geneva and New York. It’s correct that I will not have the opportunity to travel to Iran in the near future. But I am very interested to gather more information to do more research and to shine a light on the truth. I will report to the council and when I report to them they might decide to do more investigations on certain subjects.
That’s their choice. I must say that I am very open to the idea of families of the slain to travel to Europe. I would be happy to meet them in Geneva or any other country. But I really cannot guarantee their safety. Unfortunately none of the special rapporteurs are able to guarantee that.
They cannot protect people of Iran inside their own country. We can take their information anonymously. Also it would be great to get the coroner’s office reports. I need such documents to include in my report and to give to member countries of the U.N.