Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Iran: Medical Student Commits Suicide after being arrested by Sharia PoliceZahra Bani Ameri (twenty-seven-year-old medical student), committed suicide in a prison in Hamedan Province, after she was arrested by the Sharia Police.
Zahra was ranked 26 among hundreds of thousands of student who took the test to become a medical student, after she graduated the high school. At the time of the incident, she was a volunteer physician working in a rural area. According to the medical records, the cause of death was pressure on the neck, which happened on 9 pm, last Sunday. Zahra had been arrested two days before that, on 10 am, in a park, because of “questions regarding her marital status”. At the time she was accompanied by a boy, named Hamid. The next morning, 10 hours before the incident happened, her family were informed of the arrest, but they were not allowed to see her. She then called her brother at 8:45pm but her father was denied to see her at 9:45pm. Shortly after that she hung herself. The events took place when due to the Islamic Fetr celebrations the Police and the prison administration were not functioning at full capacity as before, the news was first denied as rumors.
In a letter, her father describes that both him and her daughter were humiliated by the Police. He also mentions that Hamid was very soon released on bail, partly due the fact that his father works for a government organization. Reportedly, Hamid himself works for the local state-run television, as well. Zahra’s parents have not disclosed any picture of her, or any other personal details, but her medical card has been published.
Official reports claim that she has used a banner to hang herself. Many ask if she had had the freedom of wandering around, dismantling a banner and consequently hanging herself .That has caused some people to speculate upon a staged suicide, probably after she was raped inside the prison by the Police.
Many Persian bloggers condemned the incident, including Forough who describes how her brother’s shared apartment was raided in after she decided to spend a night.
Iranian women’s society says:
Zahra’s moral in Hamedan custody was high, consolation of her family specially her brother who talked to her 15 minutes before her death and also her religious believe rejects the theory of her suicide in Hamden’s custody of (Center for Moral Control).
Dr. Zahra B. 27 years old was arrested together with her fiancé in a park in Hamedan city by agents of Center for Moral Control. The agent of this center claimed that was arrested due to uncertainty of her relationship to her fiancé, while her parents say that their daughter married temporary 3 months before and witnessed by 2 persons.
After 48 hours in custody Zahra, s father and mother travelled to Hamedan city to get information about situation of their daughter. The agents informed them Zahra had committed suicide.
Dr. Zahra, s house located in a narrow alley in Khavaran district southern part of Teheran.
There she had spent childhood, it is small to flat house and there her father and mother received.
Her brother and the only one while crying talked about his sister: It comes never in our mind that Zahra would commit suicide, she was a religious girl who, s last souvenir was Koran. Her mother pointed to precious Koran on the shelf, while she was crying .The Koran which was bought in Ramadan month and was given to mother as a gift by Zahra. Her brother talk about the night of event: When I talked to my sister at 8:45 pm. She felt so good that I found no reason to be anxious. I told her not to be anxious therefore father and mother are on their way to Hamedan city and they will be there soon.
When father arrived in Hamedan at 9:30 pm. He received information which was unbelievable .
While we was touching his white beard father was choked, with tears he described the event that was yet difficult to understand. He says: They told me that your daughter has committed suicide at 9:00 pm, how is it possible that such religious girl always pries can organize such thing under 15 minutes and why she should to that?
At the same time her brother says: I say with certainty that Zahra, s suicide is impossible, because I talked to her 15 minutes before her death, especially when she got consolation from me.
He (brother) talks about self contradiction of Center Moral Control, criminal investigation department and even legal medicine organization. Agents of CMC have declared the time of Zahra’s death 8:30 pm.
While her brother had talked to her at 8:45 pm. And the time of death issued by legal medicine organization at 9:00 pm.
Her mother beats her leg and while she crying says: blue and dark marks where visible on Zahra, s leg, those were the sites of kicks. I guess she had told the agents that when my parents arrive here I shall tell them about what you have done to me.
This has made agents furious and in retaliation they beat her to death. The small tree members family of Dr. Zahra sitting in a small rum and talk about the event which has happened 21 days ago but still can not believe it. In a corner of rum mother has lain down the pictures of Zahra’s graduation. She stared on pictures and says: She got doctoral examination from Teheran University for one and half year ago. She studies 7 years in an special school for intelligent admitted to Tehran, s university with highest grade.
She was about to participate in specialist examination this year, she wanted to become urologist.
Her brother look at the pictures from distance while tears falling down. He says: Zahra was a strong girl, she was that type girls would not accept harsh words and always defended her rights. He emphasized on this point and says:
I guess she had answered reasonably the questions asked by agents of CMC.
Zahra, s brother who himself is an engineer has no doubt that the “suicide” of his sister is fake.
The agent CMC showed me the pictures which supposed to be the foot-step of Zahra after her suicide. Pictures was forged that could be easily detected by first look and little thinking there falseness.
It was a richly colored foot step looked like a pressed stamp on the earth. While if one tries to commit suicide you should go up and down several times and it must be more than one foot step on the earth.
The agents claimed that Zahra has committed suicide in custody by making rope as advertising clothes, but Zahra’s parents deny this clam. Zahra’s size was 170 cm and her weight was 77 kg., advertising clothes cannot endure such weight.
Mother regularly humming with northern accent “what was the crime of my daughter?” “For what crime she was murder?”
And the same time fathers points to a 9 quarter meter room on the second floor, it is Zahra’s room that its lamp was often on till early morning and Zahra usually red hard specialist medical books.