Hadis Najafi: The 22 Year Old Shot in the Iran Protests

by Farzad Seifikaran —27September2022

“She loved dancing, music and happiness…”

She glances into the camera as she laughs and dances in bright, cheerful clothing, enjoying and recording every moment of life. If you visit Hadis’ TikTok or Instagram page, you’ll recognise this image of a young girl full of passion for life.

Her friends describe her as a happy, free spirited and independent girl until the murder of Mahsa Amini. After hearing the news, everything changed, and Hadis, upset and filled with rage, said that she would not give up on seeking justice.

Her name is Hadis Najafi, another victim of the protests against the killing of Mahsa Amini. Hadis was killed after being shot by security forces on Wednesday, September 21st around 20:00 on Eram Blvd in Mehrshahr, Karaj.

An informed source and relative of Hadis has revealed to Zamaneh that she left the house around 19:30 that evening to join the protests, despite her mother’s worries:

“Hadis left the house, but her mother was very worried and kept trying to reach her. That’s when Hadis got annoyed and turned off her phone. Suddenly, someone called from her number and said that she was shot and was in the hospital.”

Hadis’ family were told that she was in the operating room, but by the time they got to Ghaem hospital, Hadis had already passed away and her body was re-located to the morgue. Ghaem hospital, where Hadis was taken to, was 8 kilometres away from Eram boulevard, where she was shot.

Her body and face revealed bullet wounds covering parts of her upper body, including her chest, neck and face. A well informed source states, “Her face and body were hit by over 20 bullets (Shotgun bullet), above her eyebrows, lips, neck and all around her chest area. When her family opened the coffin for burial, they found that her body was full of bullet holes.”

Photos obtained by Zamaneh, show that Hadis’ lips, nose and neck were severely wounded and torn by the impact of the bullets. In addition, the bullet wounds on her neck and chest indicate that the shooting took place from a close range. The general range of the 12 caliber shotguns used by security forces in Iran is 100 metres. In reference to the bullet wounds found on Hadis’ body, it is clear that the shooting took place within a 50 metre range.

Pictures of Hadith Najafi’s body in the Ghaem hospital — Source Zamaneh

The body of Hadis Najafi was not handed over to her family until Friday, September 23. During this time, Hadis’ family was placed under considerable amount of pressure by security forces, who also demanded the family to sign a pledge:

When handing over her body, they insulted and pushed Hadis’ in order to pressure him into signing a pledge stating that the cause of her death was a stroke, but he refused.

Hadis Najafi’s body was buried on Friday, September 23rd at “Behesht-e-Sakineh” cemetery in Karaj, plot 29, row 25, a week after the funeral of Mahsa Amini.

In confirmation of this matter, another source and close relative of Hadis Najafi has also stated that security forces have aggressively urged the family to refrain from declaring that she was killed in a shooting and instead, state her natural causes as her cause of death: “They refused to hand over Hadis’ body until her family had signed a false declaration stating that she died of natural causes and agreed that they would not communicate this with the media. Even at her funeral, security forces present forbid us from speaking or crying too loud, so we couldn’t even we really mourn.”

Hadis Najafi, born on January 5th, 2000, would’ve turned 23 in less than 3 months.

In an interview with Zamaneh, Shirin Najafi, Hadis’ older sister, further confirmed statements regarding the immense pressure placed on her and her family by security forces to not speak to the media and to say that she died of natural causes with no bullets involved.

Listen to our interview with Shirin Najafi, Hadis’ older sister below:

Hadis’ family has provided Zamaneh with her death certificate issued on the 23rd of September. Her cause of death as indicated in this certificate is due to “the operation of military equipment outside of war and being shot.”

Death certificate of Hadis Najafi — source Zamaneh

In the night of her killing, Hadis Najafi shared her thoughts in her last video message to her friends: “Now that I am going, I’m looking forward to seeing that in a few years, I’d be happy that I went to these protests, and finally everything had changed.”

According to reports by Amnesty International published on September 23rd, over 30 people including children, have been killed by security forces using deadly weapons in the nationwide protests against the murder of Mahsa Amini.

+Zamaneh Media

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