The Actor And The “Bullet Fee”

Ken AshfordIran1 Comment

A37282898f2e5e975c110bbd5985f2ea If you were following the situation in Iran this weekend, you no doubt already know about Neda Agha-Soltan, the young woman shot and killed in Iran on Saturday, who has since become an international symbol from the time the gruesome video of her death went online. [I won't post the Neda video here — too disturbing even for me — but you can see it here]

Of course, hers isn't the only story of cruelity inflicted by the Iranian regime on its own people.  Here is a story about another young person — an innocent bystander again — killed in Iran this past weekend, a 19 year old named Kaveh Alipour

On Saturday, amid the most violent clashes between security forces and protesters, Mr. Alipour was shot in the head as he stood at an intersection in downtown Tehran. He was returning from acting class and a week shy of becoming a groom, his family said.

The details of his death remain unclear. He had been alone. Neighbors and relatives think that he got trapped in the crossfire. He wasn't politically active and hadn't taken part in the turmoil that has rocked Iran for over a week, they said.

"He was a very polite, shy young man," said Mohamad, a neighbor who has known him since childhood.

When Mr. Alipour didn't return home that night, his parents began to worry. All day, they had heard gunshots ringing in the distance. His father, Yousef, first called his fiancée and friends. No one had heard from him.

At the crack of dawn, his father began searching at police stations, then hospitals and then the morgue.

Of course, we now know that Kaveh Alipour was killed.  And to add insult to, uh, injury….

Upon learning of his son's death, the elder Mr. Alipour was told the family had to pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a "bullet fee"—a fee for the bullet used by security forces—before taking the body back, relatives said.

The Alipour family refused to pay the fee, and morgue officials eventually caved, but "demanded that the family do no funeral or burial in Tehran."

It's no wonder there is an uprising against the Iranian government.