Amol City Security Council prevented the Nowruz memorial ceremony for Ghazaleh Chelabi.
During Nowruz, the Persian New Year holiday, the people of Iran came together to pay tribute to the protesters who lost their lives during the 2022-2023 nationwide uprising. They visited the graves of these brave souls to honor their memories, pay their respects, and recommit themselves to the path of freedom these protesters had embarked upon.
However, the families of the martyrs and their communities were met with hostility from security forces, who not only threatened and pressured them into silence but also prevented them from holding commemoration ceremonies for their loved ones. Among the many affected was Ghazaleh Chelabi (Chelavi), whose family could not hold a ceremony in her honor.
Ghazaleh Chelabi was killed on September 21, 2022, during the nationwide uprising in Amol, Mazandaran Province, northern Iran. Her family wanted to hold a Nowruz commemoration ceremony for her, but the Amol City Security Council prevented the ceremony.
On Saturday, March 25, Fatemeh Mojtabaei, Ghazaleh Chelabi’s mother, addressed her daughter in a note posted on her Instagram page, saying: “On the first day of Farvardin 1402, the commemoration ceremony that was supposed to be held at the Imamzadeh Qasem hall (at your tomb) was canceled in the last moments by the Amol City Security Council, and we had to hold the ceremony at home in the short time we had. But the heartless ones should know that the people of my city did not leave our family alone and I am indebted to these kind people.”
In this note, which was published with the hashtags “No to the Islamic Republic,” “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, we are all together,” and “We will neither forgive nor forget,” Fatemeh Mojtabaei wrote to her daughter: “A large crowd of people showered your grave with flowers on that day. My beautiful and heroic daughter, you have a place in the hearts of all free people, and you are recorded in the history of Iran.”
Ghazaleh Chelabi, a 33-year-old athlete and mountaineer with a banking management degree, worked as an accountant for a private company. She was shot and killed on September 21, 2022, while filming the crowd with her phone during the protests in Amol. She was hit by a high-caliber bullet fired from inside the Amol Governor’s Office.
In the footage recorded by her phone, Ghazaleh’s voice can be heard shouting, “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, we are all together.” Her phone camera also captured the moment she was shot, and when she fell to the ground, the images showed people gathering above her, shouting, “They killed someone.”
Before her death, Ghazaleh Chelabi had filled out two organ donation cards and requested that her organs be donated to those in need after her death. Her family announced that they would donate her organs. Still, security officials prevented them from doing so, and according to Ghazaleh’s aunt, government officials told them that “this would turn Ghazaleh into a legend.”
Amol and other cities in Mazandaran province are among the provinces with the highest number of casualties during the 2022-2023 nationwide uprising.