Sohrab Aarabi

Sohrab Aarabi (also spelled Arabi) (Persian: سهراب اعرابی Sohrāb A'rābī; 23 February 1990 – 15 June 2009) was a 19-year-old Iranian pro-democracy student whose death became a symbol of protests during 2009 post election unrest in Iran.[1][2]

Sohrab Aarabi
Born(1990-02-23)February 23, 1990
DiedJune 15, 2009(2009-06-15) (aged 19)
Tehran, Iran
Resting placeBehesht Zahra Cemetery
Known forDeath in 2009 Iranian election protests

Family and backgroundEdit

Sohrab was raised in a middle-class Iranian family . His mother, Parvin Fahimi, became an active member of Mothers for Peace following his death.[2]

Arrest and killingEdit

Sohrab disappeared on June 15 during the 2009 presidential election protests. The case got significant media attention. Prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi promised that he would release Mr. Aarabi. After nearly a month of searching by friends and relatives, it turned out that Sohrab was killed with "a gunshot wound to the heart". Other sources mentioned two bullet wounds – one in the head and one under the heart.[3] The Iranian Judiciary handed the body to the family of the victim.

The exact circumstances in which Aarabi was killed are still uncertain. According to one scenario, he died in prison. Others claim he may have been shot in the streets and died later in a hospital or police camp.[4] During his funeral, his mother screamed out loud that he was stabbed in the heart.

Parvin Fahimi, Aarabi's mother, disclosed how pictures of between 50 to 60 people of those said to have died, were shown to her after being summoned by a revolutionary court, according to the guardian.[5] Out of the pictures that were shown to Aarabi’s mother, Sohrab’s was the 12th picture, according to ips news.[6] According to nbc news, the official death toll provided by the Iranian Police was that at least 20 protesters and 7 members of the Basij militia were killed during the 2009 post election protests.[7]

Funeral and aftermathEdit

Sohrab Aarabi's death was grieved nationwide and influenced the protests similar to the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan. Crowds chanted in defiance of the police as they gathered for the funeral.[8]

On 14 July, former prime minister Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard visited Sohrab's family and paid tribute to him.[9] Following Mousavi's visit, Mehdi Karroubi, the Chairman of National Confidence Party and a presidential hopeful in 2009 election, also met Sohrab's family and showed solidarity with his relatives.[10] According to la times, it was reported that Iranian intelligence officers went to the funeral before it started, cautioning that any form of protest would lead to detention and further difficulty for the family of Sohrab Aarabi.[11]

Sohrab Aarabi's death generated fear among several dozen families camping outside Evin prison, trying to learn the fate of loved ones who vanished in post-election turmoil.[12] The spokesman for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said there could be "dozens, or even hundreds" of missing people like Aarabi. "They are people who simply went off the radar screen.… There's no confirmation if they are in prison or dead."[13] Also, the human rights group has demanded for an independent investigation into Sohrab Aarabi’s death, as well as the reason why his family was not notified of his death earlier, according to cnn.[14] The human rights group claims that Aarabi was killed during the protest that took place after the elections, according to reuters.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Sohrab Aarabi a IRANIAN Pro Democracy student Killed in demonstration (video)". [VideoNewsLive]. Archived from the original on 26 July 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  2. ^ a b Lutz, Meris; Daragahi, Borzou (14 July 2009). "Slain Iranian teenager becomes symbol of protests". [Los Angeles Times].
  3. ^ "رادیو زمانه | خبر اول | انتخابات | مرگ سهراب اعرابی در تیراندازی بسیج".
  4. ^ "BBC ‮فارسی‬ - ‮ايران‬ - ‮خاکسپاری سهراب اعرابی با حضور مردم و نیروهای امنیتی".
  5. ^ a b "Son of defeated Iran candidate ally killed: website". Reuters. 25 July 2009.
  6. ^ "IRAN: Tale of Sohrab Arabi Raises Fears About the Missing". 13 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Rights group worries about fate of Iran missing".
  8. ^ Assaf, Simon (18 July 2009). "Iranian movement defies state repression". Socialist Worker (Britain). [Socialist Worker online]. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  9. ^ Ali Akbar Dareini (15 July 2009). "Mousavi: Protester's blood will not go in vain". Associated Press. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-19. Retrieved 2009-07-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Slain Iranian teenager becomes symbol of protests". 14 July 2009.
  12. ^ "Iran: After Withholding Information, Authorities say Youth Demonstrator Died of Gunshot Wounds". [International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran]. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  13. ^ Keath, Lee (15 July 2009). "Missing Iranians go "off the radar"". Associated Press.
  14. ^ "Man's family learns of his death one month after Iran protests".

External linksEdit