Sarina Esmailzadeh (July 2, 2006 – September 21, 2022) was a 16-year-old teenager and a clever student of Farzanegan School in Mehrshahr, Karaj. On the 21st of September, she was killed by a severe beating of the baton on the head by the IRGC security forces during the 2022 nationwide protests in Karaj, Iran.
Sarina Esmailzadeh lived with her mother and older brother. Her father, Aref Esmailzadeh, passed away in 2013 when she was 7. Her mother has been seriously ill due to a brain tumor.
According to the posts published on Sarina’s Telegram and YouTube channels, she was a freedom-seeking teenager who was against the mandatory hijab and sympathized with the social problems of the Iranian people.
In one of her videos posted on YouTube, she said: “We’re not like the previous generation 20 years ago who didn’t know what life was like outside Iran. We are aware of what is happening in the world today, and we ask ourselves what we have less than other teenagers in the world, making our concerns in life so different.”
In her last video on Telegram (@sarinaez), she said: “My homeland feels like being in exile.”
Sarina Esmailzadeh was killed at noon on September 21 after the brutal killing of Mahsa Amini by the IRGC’s security forces and the start of the 2022 Iran protests.
After the end of her language class, she joined the public gathering near her school with some of her friends to support the protests. In this gathering, the security officers severely injured Sarina Esmailzadeh with multiple baton blows on her head, causing her to bleed profusely from the head.
Her friends took her to one of the houses near the gathering place for treatment since the conditions for transferring her to the hospital were not ready, but Sarina didn’t make it and died there.
On the same day, at 10.30 p.m., Sarina’s friends informed her family of her death being murdered by the security forces because until then, her family didn’t know about her condition.
People at the gathering told Sarina’s family that her body had been taken to the hospital by ambulance. Until the morning of September 23, the hospital’s officials and its morgue did not give any information about the whereabouts of Sarina’s body to her family.
Sarina Esmailzadeh’s funeral
On September 23, 2022, at around 12:00 noon, the security forces called Sarina’s family asking them to quickly go to the cemetery to receive and wash Sarina’s body.
After the presence of the family, the officers did not allow them to contact their friends and relatives, and they were forced to hold the funeral alone.
For her family to identify Sarina, the security forces showed her face, which disclosed numerous injuries, and the right part of Sarina’s forehead was completely smashed.
After Sarina’s burial, Hossein Fazeli Harikandi, the head of Alborz Judiciary, claimed that Sarina Esmailzadeh jumped from the roof of her grandmother’s house in Azimieh, Karaj on the morning of September 23 and committed suicide.
According to family acquaintances, many security forces, including female agents in private clothes, were present at her funeral in Sarina’s grandmother’s house in Azimieh, Karaj. Her mother told every attendant that Sarina fell from a building roof, even without them asking.
The same sources emphasized that the delivery of Sarina’s body and burial were conditional only on such an announcement. Moreover, Sarina’s family was pressured to repeat the same story on camera. They threatened her mother that she would never see Sarina’s brother if she did not comply with their wishes. Sarina was buried in a two-story grave beside her father in Behesht Sakineh Karaj Cemetery.
On the fortieth day after her death, Sarina’s classmates held a memorial ceremony, and they removed Khamenei’s picture from their class’s wall and installed Sarina’s picture instead.
One of Sarina’s classmates wrote: “Spring is coming. We can hear it! Runty Seyyed Ali (referring to Khamenei), even if you kill us, even if you cut our heads off, even if you hit us, what are you going to do with the inevitable sprouts?”