Sohrab Aarabi

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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

Sohrab Aarabi (also spelled Arabi) (Persian: سهراب اعرابیSohrāb 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 unrests in Iran.[1][2]

Family and background[edit]

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 killing[edit]

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.

Funeral and aftermath[edit]

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.[5]

On 14 July, former prime minister Mousavi and his wife Zahra Rahnavard visited Sohrab's family and paid tribute to him.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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."[9]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ Assaf, Simon (18 July 2009). "Iranian movement defies state repression". [Socialist Worker online]. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  6. ^ Ali Akbar Dareini (15 July 2009). "Mousavi: Protester's blood will not go in vain". Associated Press. Retrieved 19 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-19. Retrieved 2009-07-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ Keath, Lee (15 July 2009). "Missing Iranians go "off the radar"". Associated Press.

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