Demonstrators at a boy’s funeral whose family says they were killed by Iranian security forces chanted anti-regime slogans and ridiculed the official account of his death.
Hundreds of mourners poured into the southwest city of Izeh Iran for the funeral of Kian Pirfalak, according to footage posted online.
His mother said at the funeral service that Kian was shot dead by security forces on Wednesday, despite Iranian officials insisting he was killed in a “terrorist” attack by an extremist group.
“Hear from me yourself how the shooting happened, so they can’t say it was by terrorists because they’re lying,” his mother told the mourners, according to one of the 1500 tasvir activist twitter account. “Maybe they thought we were going to shoot or something and they bombarded the car with bullets… Plainclothes cops shot my kid. That’s it.”
Protesters mocked the official version of events, chanting “Basij, Sepah – you are our Isis!” according to a video posted by Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR). The Basij is a pro-government paramilitary force and Sepah is another name for the feared Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Isis is an alternative name for the Islamic State extremist group.
“Death Khamenei,” they shouted in another video posted by 1500tasvir, which referred to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Activists have put Kian’s age at nine or ten when he died.
Opposition media outside Iran said another child, 14-year-old Sepehr Maghsoudi, was shot dead in Izeh on Wednesday in similar circumstances.
Funerals have consistently become the focus of protests in the movement that began after the September 16 death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by Tehran’s Vice Police.
Iranian state television reported seven people were buried, including a nine-year-old boy who said they were killed by “terrorists” on motorcycles.
The Fars news agency, linked to the Guard, quoted Khuzestan province governor Sadegh Khalilian as saying “foreign elements” were responsible.
“Kian Pirfalak, nine, and Sepehr Maghsoudi, 14, are among at least 56 children killed by Iranian forces working to crush the 2022 Iranian revolution,” said Hadi Ghaemi, director of the New York-based center for human rights in Iran.
IHR also said anti-regime slogans were chanted at the funeral of Aylar Haghi, a young medical student who activists say was killed in a fall from a building blamed on security forces, in the northern city of Tabriz.
In another development, video clips showing the burning ancestral home of the late Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, were shared widely on social media, with activists saying it was set on fire by protesters.
Reuters verified the location of two video clips based on the prominent arches and buildings that match the file images. However, the semi-official Tasnim news agency denied that Khomeini’s house was set on fire and said a small number of people had gathered outside the house.
Social media videos show dozens of people cheering as a firebolt is ignited inside a building. Reuters could not independently verify the shooting dates of the videos. 1500 Tasvir said the incident took place in Khomeini’s native town of Khomein, south of the capital Tehran, on Thursday evening. The house had been turned into a museum.
“The report is a lie,” Tasnim news agency said, adding: “The doors of the late founder of the great revolution’s home are open to the public.”