Family Denied Access to Body, Judiciary Arrests Uninvolved Citizens Instead of Actual Assailants in Fatal Altercation
A female tourist in Shazdeh Mahan garden in Kerman, Iran, lost her life during a brawl over observation of the Hijab rule. The victim, Kolsum Oftadehpour, was 59 years old and the mother of five daughters and five sons. She had undergone open-heart surgery.
Basij agents were involved in the altercation, and the situation quickly escalated, with people throwing stones at the agents’ bus. According to the state-run media, the Basij agents had warned some visitors about the mandatory hijab rule before the clash occurred.
However, the family of Oftadehpour has provided new information that has shed light on the incident.
A member of her family said that a group of Basij agents who had returned from visiting the grave of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the terrorist Quds Force who was killed in 2020, harassed and offended them. These Basij agents had warned Oftadehpour’s family to observe hijab and used vulgar language, which led to the altercation.
The family member explained, “The passengers of the bus intended to force us into the bus and call the police or the IRGC forces to come and teach us ‘virtue’… We don’t know who hit our mother that she fell on the ground. There was a doctor there who said that she was not breathing anymore. We were so mad and threw some stones at the bus.”
Furthermore, the regime’s security forces buried Kolsum Oftadehpour’s body without her family’s permission and did not allow them to see it before the burial. There is a lot of pressure on the family to keep silent, and a family member has been summoned.
On Saturday, April 29, the Oftadehpour family found out at the court that the judicial authorities had arrested two other people named Hamed Jafari and Mehdi Rezvani as defendants instead of the passengers of the “Qassem Soleimani Pilgrims Bus,” who were among the assailants. One of these two defendants is in prison, and the other has been released on bail of five hundred million tomans.
The family of Kolsum Oftadehpour has filed an official complaint against certain people. They told the court officials that the two defendants “were not involved in the brawl at all.”
This incident highlights the ongoing issues with the mandatory hijab rule in Iran and the use of force by the regime’s unofficial agents to impose it. The authorities handling of the situation and the arrest of unrelated citizens instead of the actual attackers have caused outrage and disbelief among the victim’s family and the public.