Mohammad Reza, along with four other people, were shot by the Iranian border guards on July 2 of this year at the Nimroz province border when they were trying to enter Iran illegally. This incident once again showed that the situation in Afghanistan is so tense that even teenagers have to leave the country.
To clarify the issue and how the incident happened, I decided to visit Mohammad Reza’s family. I received the notice of his Fatiha ceremony through the office and was told to go and prepare a report.
Despite the security threats and restrictions from the Taliban, I am ready to prepare this report. Before going to the Fatiha ceremony, I called the numbers listed in the notice, introduced myself, and told them why I was calling.
Mohammad Reza’s family agreed to prepare the report and said that tomorrow (Friday, July 7) you can come to Shahrak’s Mosque. On Friday, I collected my belongings and headed to the mosque where the Fatiha was supposed to be held for someone who was still in his teenage world and could live like the millions of other teenagers in the world. When I reached the mosque, a relatively large crowd was there for Fatiha.
Due to security issues, as I arrived at the mosque, I did not pretend to be a reporter; I gave the Fatiha like others and sat in a corner. Fatiha lasted about two hours. During these two hours, the cries and moans of Mohammad Reza’s mother and family members could be heard from the women’s ward. A moan showing how painful it is to lose a teenage son.
Mohammad Reza’s family told me that the situation is not right here and that we should go home and get an interview there. The ceremony ended, and we went to Mohammad Reza’s house together. When I entered the house, it was clear from the door and the walls that the family was suffering from poverty.
Mohammad Reza Hassani was in grade nine at Lal Sarjangal School in Ghor province. He left his home for unknown reasons to go to Iran. Not even a week has passed since his departure, when his family heard the news of his death.
I asked Mohammad Reza’s elder brother about how he was murdered.
Zakir Hossain, the older brother of Mohammad Reza, said, “At first we were not aware of Mohammad Reza’s departure, but a few days later we were informed that he had gone to Iran. Mr. Zakir Hossain explained that Mohammad Reza did not have any problems at home economically or mentally, but we don’t know what made him go to Iran.”
But when I asked about this issue with other relatives of Mohammad Reza Hassani, they said that Mohammad Reza was the only breadwinner of the 12 members of his family. Now that he has been murdered, it is not known who will take care of his family.
Zakir Hossain did not talk about the hardships and pains that his brother suffered, but he blamed the Taliban for not providing an environment for work and activity so that people were not forced to leave their homeland and migrate illegally. He said that this calamity does not only affect our family, but the entire people of Afghanistan are suffering from it. He added that they received Mohammad Reza’s body from the COVID-19 hospital in Nimroz province while his body was full of bullets.
Mohammad Reza’s nephew says that when Mohammad Reza’s body arrived home, one of his arms was completely cut off, his chest, groin, and waist were full of bullets, his hips were black from the beatings, and one of his legs was broken. He added that Mohammad Reza did not go to Iran on a whim, but the pressure of life and family problems forced him to leave his homeland.
Also, Zakir Hossain said that it is currently not known whether the Iranian border guards or Taliban fighters were responsible for shooting Mohammad Reza. He expressed that the border guards of Iran deny shooting Mohammad Reza, but the spokesperson of the third border battalion of the Taliban in Nimroz said that the Iranian border guards are responsible for this killing.
Zakir Hossain stated with emotion and regret, “We have not done anything yet. All we can do is sit silent. Because there is no petition and no justice that will hear the voice of our oppression and ask for Mohammad Reza’s blood.” He said in his casual conversation that Hazaras are slaughtered in Afghanistan for being Hazaras, and in Iran they are discriminated against for being barbarians, Mongols, and having a special appearance.
The story of Mohammad Reza includes the situation of many other people in this country who are subjected to genocide and mass murder in various ways. Poverty, unemployment, and threats from the Taliban are important factors that force people to migrate to Iran and other countries through smuggling.
A while ago, a report from Taftan, Sistan and Baluchestan province was published by VOC News that 70 Hazara passengers were taken hostage by Baloch smugglers, and a number of them were murdered.