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Posts Tagged ‘ Abbas Shahram Farajzadeh Tarani ’

  • 7 January 2010
  • Posted By NIAC
  • 16 Comments
  • Events in Iran, Human Rights in Iran

“Shahram, your blood was unjustly shed!”

Shahram Farajzadeh Tarani was run over by a police car during Dec 27 Ashura protests.

To the world, he is the man that was brutally run over a police car during Ashura’s protests, but to his family, he is Shahram.

Abbas (Shahram) Farajzadeh Tarani was thirty-years old when a police car  backed into him and then ran over him again, killing him on Dec. 27. His death was captured by fellow protesters by this thirty second youtube video. He worked in a paint factory and leaves behind his wife and five year-old daughter.  Like many of those martyred during the post-election unrest, the Iranian government has done its best to stop the impact of his death.

As was told to us by a third-party source, after he was hit, fellow protesters and one relative took his body to the hospital. But, when his family arrived at the hospital, his body was missing.  Shortly thereafter, government officials called his brother to tell him that Shahram’s body was being buried in Behesht Zahra, the main cemetery in Tehran.

When the brother arrived, he was faced with four intelligence officers and they warned him not to cause a scene. His family was told they were not allowed to hang up the traditional black cloths on his home or his office to notify friends of his death. The government had taken the liberty of washing his body and wrapping it in a white cloth, both of which are important rite in Iranian mourning process normally overseen by close friends and relatives, and then, in proper tradition, wrapped him in a white cloth. They were allowed to see the body for a moment and noticed that he was covered in stitches.

After burying the body, families normally hold a ceremony at a mosque on the third day of the person’s death. But for the Farajzadeh Taranis, each mosque they approached refused them.  Apparently the government had threatened the mosques and forbade them from hosting the ceremony.

Like many families who have lost their relatives to the post-election upheaval, Shahram’s family was forced to quietly mourn for him in their home, in fact, his brother had to sign an agreement saying he would not have a public ceremony.

As if the Iranian intelligence community does monitor its citizens’ behavior enough, four intelligent officers oversaw the Shahram’s ceremony at his family’s home. Men filled one room and women the other, all the while, Shahram’s father kept crying out, “Shahram, your blood was unjustly shed!”

Two days ago, on Monday, a week after his death, the Farajzadeh Tarani’s were allowed to mourn the seventh day since Shahram’s death at a mosque. Normally families print out flyers and paste them outside the mosque or near their work places, but once again, they were denied this basic custom. Instead they printed flyers themselves and handed them out to friends who seemed to be unaware of their son’s death. Traditionally, on the top of these flyers is a line of poetry, and his reads, “From every death, rises some sadness, but there are differences between death and death.”

“I feel he died in vain,” expressed one of Shahram’s relatives to our third-party source.  So the responsibility once again falls to outside media and Iranian citizen journalism to ensure the world remembers Shahram’s fight for freedom.

Sign the Petition

 

7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.

Sincerely,

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