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JINA MAHSA AMINI
The face of Iran's protests. Her life, her dreams and her death.
In memory of Jina 'Mahsa' Amini, the cornerstone of the 'Zan. Zendegi. Azadi revolution.
16 February 2023 | By Gino d'Artali
Read all about the assasination of the 22 year young Jina Mahsa Amini (Kurdistan-Iran) and the start of the Zan, Zendegi, Azadi (Women, life, freedom) revolution in Iran 2022-'23
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Here we are to enter THE IRANIAN
WOMEN'S REVOLUTIONISTS against
Dear reader, from here on the 'Woman,
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and more here:
2-weekly opinion by Gino d'Artali:
November 21 - 17, 2023
When one hurts or kills a women
one hurts or kills hummanity and is an antrocitie.
and: My mother (1931-1997) always said to me <Mi figlio, non esistono notizie <vecchie> perche puoi imparare qualcosa da qualsiasi notizia.> Translated: <My son, there is no such thing as so called 'old' news because you can learn something from any news.>
'THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE BY IRANIANS APPRAISED CINEMATOGRAPHER DARIUS MEHRUI AND HIS WIFE VAHIDEH MOHAMMADIFAR'
The heinously murdered Darius Mehrjui and his wife Vahideh Mohammadifar
Preface: Dariush Mehrjui (8 December 1939 – 14 October 2023) was an Iranian filmmaker and a member of the Iranian Academy of the Arts. Mehrjui was a founding member of the Iranian New Wave movement of the early 1970s, which also included directors Masoud Kimiai and Nasser Taqvai. His second film, The Cow, is considered to be the first film of this movement. Most of his films are inspired by literature and adapted from Iranian and foreign novels and plays. In 2022, Mehrjui publicly dared the officials of the Islamic Republic to kill him for his opposition to censorship. On 14 October 2023, Mehrjui and his wife were found stabbed to death in their home in the city of Karaj, near Tehran.
Iranwire - Nov 22, 2023
<<Three Teens Among Main Suspects in Killing Of Iranian Filmmaker and Wife
Three young teenagers are among the main suspects in last month's murder of a renowned artist couple, Dariush Mehrjui and Vahideh Mohammadi-
Far, the Etemad newspaper reported. In its report on November 22, Etemad quoted an informed source as saying that two suspects named Dawood and Iskandar are aged 14 or 15. A third suspect named Mirweis is no more than 15 years old, it added. The three teenagers and the fourth suspect in the case are held in Ghezelhesar prison in Karaj, near Tehran, according to the report. Mehrjui and Mohammadi-Far were found stabbed to death in mid-October at their home in Karaj. Mehrjui, 83, was known as a co-founder of Iranian cinema's new wave in the early 1970s. The killings caused shock and outrage among Iranians, with many of them drawing parallels with political assassinations that have rocked the country over the past decades. Forty days after the killings, the narratives presented by state-run media outlets contain numerous ambiguities and contradictions.
The judiciary has identified the gardener of Mehrjui and Mohammadi-Far as the primary suspect in the case. It announced on November 21 that the indictments against the four suspects will be issued within two weeks. Initially, a person named Karim was reported to be the main gardener at the villa, but Etemad reported that Mirweis was the main gardener. Four suspects were named in the case's information: Karim, Mirweis, Dawood and Iskander. It cited <hostility, financial demand and theft> as the motives for the killings. However, Dawood and Iskandar are teenagers with no meaningful connection with the assassinated couple. Etemad reported that Mashreq media identified one of the defendants as Dawood, Mirwais' younger brother. However, the newspaper said that <Dawood does not have a brother named Mirwais.> According to a report published by the Mashregh News website, the only media outlet to have interviewed the accused, Karim, the house's gardener, is the <mastermind> of the crime.
Etemad quoted an informed source as saying that Mirwais <was their janitor and the gardener at Mehrjui's villa two years ago, but due to a complaint from Mehrjui and his wife, he was evicted from the Zibadasht villa.> The newspaper's source said that after Mirwais was fired, he rented a house in a nearby city. Mashregh News previously reported that Mirwais <has a daughter who was sick the night before the incident, but it seems that revenge against Mehrjui was so important to Mirwais that on the day of the crime, he took his daughter to the doctor and quickly returned to the crime scene.>
Amid the conflicting narratives surrounding the killings, Manoush Manouchehri, the lawyer of Mehrjui's daughter, issued a statement through the ISNA news agency. In the statement, Manouchehri called on the media to <refrain from publishing any news that has not been approved by [the family's] lawyers, including the identification of the murderer or possible murderers.> The daughter of the murdered couple, Muna Mehrjui, wrote on Instagram: <So far, none of the evidence or clues surrounding the crime have been examined by us. In our opinion, the murderer will remain unknown until all aspects have been examined.> >>
UPDATE 25 Oct:
Iranwire - 25 Oct 2023 - by SINA GHANBARPOUR
<<Investigation of Filmmaker's Murder Prompts More Questions—Not Answers
The arrests of suspects in the brutal murder of renowned director Dariush Mehrjui, and his wife Vahideh Mohammadifar, has sparked fresh questions into the facts of the violent incident. A film reenacting the crime scene itself has also amplified uncertainties over the precise sequence of events leading to the double murder. Statements made by the Mehrjui family's lawyer have also intensified the confusion. Manoush Manouchehri, legal representative of Mona Mehrjui, the murdered Dariush Mehrjui's daughter, stressed that the family has not been involved in the investigation and does not have knowledge about the case details. The lawyer has therefore requested that, until the investigation concludes, proceedings are finalized, and a verdict is reached through trial, there should be no news coverage of the case and the identities of the suspects should not be revealed. No indictments have been issued so far and the criminal investigation is ongoing. Authorities have claimed to have apprehended the prime suspects however-yet this seems to have only excited more questions in the minds of the public.
What Happened and When?
The timeline of the murder remains unclear-yet a precise chronology is essential for a flawless handling of criminal cases. According to the official police statement, the initial call to the police emergency center (110) was made at 1020pm on the evening of October 14. Iranian media reports suggest that the crime occurred between 830pm and 10pm that evening. Additionally, police revealed that around 850pm, that night, Mehrjui sent a text message to his daughter, requesting her to return home for dinner. Information on the forensic report detailing the cause and manner of the murder is based on statements by Hossein Fazeli Harikandi, Chief Justice of Alborz province. Harikandi has said that the forensic report indicates the cause of death for Mehrjui and his wife were wounds from a knife or a sharp object. Furthermore, it was noted that blows from <a stick or a hard object struck the head of Mehrjui, resulting in a fractured skull. This was not the cause of death.> The autopsy report is expected to provide comprehensive details, including the manner and depth of the injuries, the angle at which the victim's body was struck and other details. However, due to the ongoing nature of the murder investigation, access to such a report seems improbable. Additionally, there is no available map or floor plan of Mehrjui's residence that would enable a thorough reconstruction of events. Information on the crime scene and how the crime may have occurred is drawn from videos and statements by the police and state media.
A Crime Scene Busier than a City Street
When studying the investigation of the crime scene and efforts to reconstruct events, as depicted in the exclusive footage from the police and the judiciary news agency, several aspects warrant a closer look. These include the absence of firearms and specialized forensic attire at the crime scene, during the investigation, as well as the substantial number of individuals present. <At present, there are 30-40 detectives actively investigating the crime scene,> the police news agency correspondent reportedly said, from the victims' kitchen at their home. All entries and exits to the crime scene should also be meticulously documented to ensure its preservation and proper documentation.
Why Were the Doors Left Unlocked?
News of the murders broke alongside the revelation that Mohammadifar, Dariush Mehrjui's wife, had previously mentioned receiving a threat on her Instagram. The discovery raised a pertinent question. When faced with danger, people often, and unconsciously, resort to taking precautionary measures. Therefore, the question that arises is: why were the doors of the building left unlocked? If Mona Mehrjui, Dariush's daughter, could provide insights into the events leading up to the crime in the preceding weeks, some of these uncertainties might be resolved.
Which Door Did They Use?
In the film documenting the crime scene investigation, Mohammed Qanbari, the head of Iran's detective police, underscores that the doors of the villa where the crime occurred were found to be open. Upon close examination of the videos released, it appeared that there is one main entrance to the building, and the kitchen features a single door as well. he exact whereabouts of those arrested after entering the house were also uncertain.
The circumstances surrounding when and how Mehrjui and his wife became aware of the presence of intruders in their home remain unclear too.
Reconstruction the Scene
The video depicting the reconstruction of the crime scene, released by the Iran judiciary' news agency, Mizan, lasts 5 minutes and 31 seconds.
Seventy-four seconds are dedicated to the murder of Mehrjui, while 144 seconds revolve around the events leading to the killing of Mohammadifar.
The individual posing questions in the film sequentially queries the arrested individuals in a manner that is more suggestive than investigative.
When addressing the blows inflicted on Mehrjui's head with the sticks, the interrogator merely inquires about the number of strikes, neglecting to ask about the hand used, the specific area of impact on the head, and the ensuing injuries on the victims. Moreover, no queries are made regarding the manner in which the knife was obtained or held. Notably, in the film, the actor portraying the victim positions his head forward, even though the objective of reconstructing the crime scene is to elucidate the potential consequences of each action taken. At another juncture, the questioner inquires whether the arrested individuals had a verbal argument. Throughout most of this film, the arrested individuals appear to be affirming the questioner's queries rather than elaborating on their actions.
Why Are There No Signs of Injuries?
According to accounts provided by the police, coupled with the televised search operation initiated with the assistance of police dogs in the villa and the adjoining vacant land, to locate traces of the perpetrator or perpetrators' blood at the crime scene, there was another significant development.
Javan newspaper, in an article dated October 18, stated, <The blood of the assailants was tracked in the Mehrjui case.> In a video of the crime scene investigation, Mohammad Qanbari, head of Iran's detective police, remarked, <We discovered marks on the victim's hands that we believe are linked to the perpetrator.> However, an examination of the photographs released by the Mizan news agency and the video documenting the crime scene reconstruction reveals that none of the four arrested individuals displayed any hand injuries that would result in bleeding and leave blood at the scene. Given that the use of dogs in crimal investigations adheres to established standards and is typically employed in operations aimed at providing support or discovering victims' remains or personal belongings, a pertinent question arises: was the police's involvement merely a staged performance for public consumption? Furthermore, if the police indeed possessed such a vital lead, why were the arrested individuals devoid of any injuries?
Ambiguity Surrounding Blunt Trauma
In the same video of the crime scene investigation, Hamid Hodavand, the police commander of Alborz province, states, <Mr. Mehrjui was struck on the head with a stick.> In the film, the arrested individuals are questioned about how many times they struck Mehrjui, with one of them saying
<four.> This raises a significant question: what was the nature of these four blows to the head of an 84-year-old man? Did they strike with force, as in a serious assault, or was it more as a form of intimidation? Furthermore, it is crucial to ascertain which side of Mehrjui's head was targeted. One would expect that the force of such blows would push him backwards and immediately destabilize him. Considering the impact of the four blows, should the location of the stab wounds not correspond to the point at which his balance was disrupted? Regarding Mehrjui's location at the time of the incident, the arrested individuals were questioned about it. However, it remains unclear when Mehrjui rose from the sofa and moved towards the assailants, or whether the assailants advanced towards him as well. At this point, meanwhile, the precise position of Mehrjui's wife remains a mystery.
One of the questions that contribute to the confusion surrounding the crime revolves around the binding of Mohammadifar's hands. According to the accounts of the arrested individuals, after entering the room, one of them held her head while another bound her hands and gagged her mouth. This raises a crucial question: if the assailants intended to harm Mohammadifar, would they not have first used the same methods they used on Mehrjui, involving a stick and a knife? The act of binding Mohammadifar's hands becomes significant when the attacker or attackers seek to extract information from the victim, or in another scenario, if they harbor concerns about the victim's physical strength, potential escape, resistance, or willingness to fight back. But these potential motives become obscured due to the significant number of alleged attackers involved in the crime.
Who Lit the Cigarette?
In the crime scene reconstruction film, the interrogator repeatedly poses inquiries to the arrested individuals regarding cigarettes and Mohammadifar's phone. Three minutes and 11 seconds into the film, the detainees are asked, <When she dropped the cigarette, did she have her phone in her hand or not?>
This question introduces yet another layer of ambiguity.
The police asserted that, upon finding Mohammadifar's mobile phone in the possession of one of the arrested individuals, they discovered an unsent text message. Shargh newspaper reported this information on October 22, indicating that Vahideh Mohammadifar typed a message with the content <Karim came to our house ttttttt> to her daughter when the assailants entered their home, but she did not have the opportunity to send it. This message remained in her phone's memory, which was recovered after the phone was found on one of the defendants and subsequently unlocked by the police. However, in light of this data, another puzzling question emerges: if Mohammadifar had the chance to reach out for help by calling 110 or another person, why did she solely send a text message to her daughter? Adding to the complexity of the situation is the statement made by Mohammad Ghanbari, the head of the detective police, in the video of the crime scene investigation, where he states, <The lady ran into the room and closed the door and locked the door,> while pointing to bloodstains on the bedroom wall. This statement raises questions regarding the act of smoking and discarding the cigarette inside the room. Contrarily, the accounts provided by Ghanbari suggest that Mohammadifar may have initially been in a public area of the house and sought shelter in the bedroom. Consequently, the question arises: if Mohammadifar did not have her phone on her during the attackers' assault, where was the text message, which the police claim to have found on her phone, written and saved?>>
Iranwire - 23 Oct 2023
<<Iranian Officials Accuse the Filmmaker's Gardener in Brutal Double Murder
The former gardener of renowned Iranian director Dariush Mehrjui and his wife, Vahideh Mohammadifar, an accomplished screenwriter, has been named by the Alborz chief justice as a suspect in the couple’s brutal murder. Mehrjui and his wife were knifed to death on October 14 in their home.
Iran's Mizan news agency has meanwhile released a video reconstructing the murder scene. The footage presents three individuals as alleged perpetrators of the crime. Hossein Fazli Harikandi, Chief Justice of Alborz Province, also claimed that the motive behind the murder is believed to be revenge over financial disputes and a claimed debt of 30 million tomans ($600). Harikandi also said that a total of 20 individuals were initially apprehended as possible suspects. Three individuals emerged as prime suspects after interrogations. The individuals later also confessed to the involvement of a fourth person in the murder. Facts around the double murders have been buffeted by conflicting statements from various security and judicial institutions. Harikandi has pointed out that four individuals were present at the crime scene on the night of the incident. The fourth person possessed a knife, the murder weapon, and stolen mobile phones. The apprehension of this individual proved pivotal in advancing the investigation by providing critical evidence. The prosecutor also underscored factors such as the low height of a wall and an open entrance to the building - facilitating the assailants' entry and the subsequent knife attack. A chilling video, republished in Iran's state-run media under the title <Reconstruction of the Murder Scene,> features the alleged perpetrator describing how he struck Mehrjui on the head four times with a blunt object before stabbing him. The Alborz prosecutor told Mizan news agency that the case is currently under review in his office. Following an indictment, the case will be forwarded to the court, with further details expected to be unveiled. Many Iranian artists and filmmakers have meanwhile called for official transparency in the case amid growing public concern and interest in the high-profile case. They are demanding answers regarding the murders of the prominent director and his wife. But a spokesperson for the police, under the mandate of the Ministry of Interior, has declared that all information related to the case should be confined to the judiciary. Saeed Montazer-al-Mahdi stated that every relevant document linked to the murder of Mehrjui and Mohammadifar has been handed over to the judicial system. <As of Thursday, October 19, the Ministry of Interior ruled that all information concerning this case will be published exclusively through judicial channels,> he said. The reconstruction of the crime scene was carried out under stringent security measures, in Zibashahr, at the residence where the incident took place. No reporters or media personnel were allowed to be present except for a designated state television reporter. The justice system and due process in Iran is seriously flawed, according to many observers and activists inside and outside the country, with suspects being routinely forced to <confess> to crimes they did not commit and facing show trials without access to lawyers. Mehrjui was renowned as one of the founders of Iran's new wave of realistic films in the 1970s while Mohammadifar was a screenwriter and costume designer. The slaying of Mehrjui and his wife has caused shock and outrage among Iranians, with many of them drawing parallels with political assassinations that rocked the country in previous past decades. The 83-year-old Mehrjui and Vahideh Mohammadifar were stabbed to death over the weekend in their home in Karaj, near Tehran. Their October 18 funeral was attended by many of the country's most well-known artists. Slogans such as <Women, Life, Freedom> and <Murderers, murderers should be disgraced> were chanted, highlighting the grief and defiance running through the crowd.>>
Iranwire - October 16, 2023 - by SHIVA RAHBARAN
<<'Come and Kill Me!': Killing Mehrjui and the Repeat of 1990s Chain-Murders
<I am a protester! […] I am a victim of [your injustice]. ...You give me permission for the release of my films and then retract it [at your whim]? Who are you [to act] like ghosts behind curtains and issue orders [arbitrarily]? .... Mr Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance! I want my rights! I can't take this [injustice] anymore! I declare war against you and your organisation! Look! Here is my chest - Come and kill me! Destroy me! Do what you want to me! But know that I will seek my rights with my life,> Dariush Mehrjui's video message, March, 2022. In an emotional and eerily prescient video message - some 18 months before he and his wife, Vahideh Mohammadi, were savagely stabbed to death in their home in a Tehran suburb - Dariush Mehrjui pulled at his chest and railed against the Islamic regime and its stifling culture policies. Dariush Mehrjui, a scholar of cinema studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the 1950s and 60s, became known as a founding member and doyen of the New Iranian Cinema movement. With his early film Cow (Gaav), for which he won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1971, he put Iran as a <film-nation> on the map. According to Dariush Mehrjui himself, his film Cow in a way single-handedly saved Iranian Cinema from being completely cancelled under the Islamists who took over Iran after the 1979 revolution toppled the Shah. In an interview with me, he pointed out that the burning down of Cinema Rex, which killed over 600 people in the city of Abadan, was a life-threatening sign for cinema:
<At the beginning of the revolution, Iranian cinema was nothing! All the studios, film institutes and film theatres were dead. [....] Remember that one of the first revolutionary acts that people committed was to burn down a cinema. Why? Because they thought that cinemas were centres of immorality; the core of vulgarity, corruption and Western decadence. So, we entered a complicated stage: fanatics burning down cinemas and intellectual film makers saying that they wanted to make films! It was a most precarious situation. We were on a knife's edge,> Mehrjui said. Were it not for Ali Khomeini watching Cow by chance on TV, Mehrjui believes cinema might have died in Iran - just as it did in Saudi Arabia, where theatre movies were closed from the early 1980s onwards before being reopened in 2018.
Smita Nordwall, 'After 35 Years, First Cinema to Reopen in Saudi Arabia', VOA, April 4, 2018.
<No one knew what to do until, by chance, Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the 1979 revolution, watched my film Gaav, i.e. The Cow (1969) on television. The next day he made a speech and said, 'We are not against the art of cinema at all. We are in favour of educational and cultural films such as this film, The Cow,> Mehrjui said. Mehrjui's role in the resurrection of New Iranian Cinema in the Islamic Republic has always been a point of contention, especially amongst certain Iranians in the Diaspora. This has become particularly clear from the varied reactions to his savage assassination, with some going as far as saying that it <served him right.> According to these people, Mehrjui was not only believed to be an <appeaser> of the regime but also an active part of the anti-imperialist Marxist ideology that found its ally in the anti-west Islamist school of thought, which directly contributed to the onset of the brutal and backward theocratic regime in Iran. The fact is that the founders of New Iranian Cinema in the 50s and 60s had left-leaning (sometimes downright leftist) inclinations.
These inclinations were very typical in the global flora and fauna of the <art world> in those days. Iran, being very much in the midst of that world - not least because of the Pahlavis' enthusiasm and subsidies for culture -- was no exception. Despite all this, Mehrjuii always saw himself and his art as a part of Iran, its people and its culture. Iran was where he got sustenance from. And like many of his colleagues in Iran who continued to stay, for fear of losing that creative connection between their country and their art, he too was forced to accept the same role that most artists in totalitarian regimes have to play; namely that of the engagé intellectual, while simultaneously working under an oppressive regime that restricted artistic and intellectual activity. <Yes, because of my rebellious spirit I have always worked in that way. I am always pulled towards those who don't accept oppression and extortion. For instance, before the revolution I concentrated on the oppressed and disgruntled working class, and my ideology and philosophy were based on Marxism and the socialist ideologies of the time,> he said. <Jean Paul Sartre and his supporters were my role models. After the revolution, as you are aware, the class for which I fought became dominant, so addressing that group was ridiculous. [...] So now I concentrate on the middle class, the bourgeois - especially the bourgeois women. I mean, universally, women do not have the same rights as men, but in the post-revolutionary Iranian society and under the pressure of religious fanaticism, Iranian women face worse deprivations than women elsewhere,> he added. <Especially the compulsory hijab in Iran has become a symbol of oppression and deprivation globally. It's interesting for me to see what a woman can do in such a situation; what means of manoeuvring she has. By now I have made five or six so-called 'women's issues' films - films such as
The cow  with English subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGpVlLmC4v4 Farsi only
, Pari ,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVsUG6hf2JA with English subtitles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3PJGvCy1Ek with English subtitles
, Banoo 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxa6FZsgVTw with English subtitles
and so on. I did not make these films only because I'm interested in women's issues, but also because I am very sensitive about social injustice,> Mehrjui continued. Mehrjui and his comrades-in-arms had to carve out intellectual and artistic spaces within the censorship restrictions of the regime to operate and create. This was and continues to be extremely difficult in a system that not only restricts art, but also uses it as a means of propaganda. That made him a target for both the proponents of the Islamic regime and its adversaries. Both of these groups criticised him and his colleagues for continuing to stay and work in Iran. He was attacked for being both a non-conformist and an appeasement artist. Mehrjui argued this was one of the regime's tactics, leveraging both of these sentiments to create a large 'double' divide in a sense - between artists and their works on the one hand and the audience on the other. This divide is the biggest tragedy affecting the film industry in Iran after the Islamic revolution. In the context of the Woman_Life_Freedom Uprising, this tragic divide is not only damaging the film industry but also the unity of the opposition against the Islamic regime. After his and his wife's dead bodies were found by their daughter, the police immediately released a statement saying that the incident had happened for an unknown reason by an unknown person or persons, with the motive of the murder still unknown. However, judging by the storm of anger and resentment, it is clear that nobody in Iran believes this statement. Faced with the greatest wave of protests since 2009, the regime has resorted to increasingly brutal methods of oppression in an effort to stem the Woman_Life_Freedom Uprising. Blinding, jailing, torturing, poisoning, and killing of protestors is what people risk every time they openly raise their voices against the regime. Assassinations are on the everyday agenda. Most Iranian people view this 'mysterious murder' in the same light as the assassinations of public intellectuals in the 1990s -- infamously known as the 'Chain-murders.' The death of Mehrjui and Vahideh Mohammadi serves as a particularly gruesome reminder of the double murder of Dairush Forouhar and his wife Parvaneh - another intellectual couple that was murdered in an eerily similar way 25 years ago. Dariush Forouhar - Mehrjui's namesake - the leader of the Iran National Party at the time, and his wife Parvaneh were butchered by savage stabbings in their home, too. The 'mysterious assailants' were never found and tried. Now as then, it is widely believed in Iran that the regime aims at scaring public intellectuals: <No one is safe; you won't be spared! Even the great Master Dariush Mehrjui wasn’t!> - that is the message. In the last days of his life, Mehrjui was collaborating with Hassan Solhjou, a filmmaker and a senior producer of BBC World Service, on a (unfinished) documentary in which he passionately expressed his opposition to the regime and the compulsory hijab by beseeching his wife to remove her hijab. After some deliberation she does and they both laughingly hang the pink scarf from a tree. Sadly, it took his and his wife's bloodied corpses to show that Mehrjui stood on the right side of history.>>
Note by Gino d'Artali: I love the Iranian cinema! I must have, through youtube, a database of about 100 movies and most as I call them socially-society engaged. Since yesterday I'm watching again 'PARI', a gem! Especially and also the opening scene when the main-role character recites part of a poem and I'm not sure but I wouldn't be surprised when it was written by the passed-by (unfortunately) Forugh Farrokhzad. If you know please mail me at email@example.com Thank you, Shukrah.
Read below all about the news of him and Vahideh Mohammadi being slaughtered and the pressumable arrest of their murderer:
Iranwire - October 16, 2023
<<Iranian film director and Wife Found Stabbed to Death
Noted Iranian film director Dariush Mehrjui has been stabbed to death alongside his wife at their home near Tehran. The 83-year-old Mehrjui and Vahideh Mohammadifar, were discovered dead with wounds to their necks, the official IRNA news agency quoted a judiciary official as saying. The official, Hossein Fazeli-Harikandi, said the director's daughter, Mona Mehrjui, found the bodies when she went to visit her father late on October 14 at the home in a suburb west of the Iranian capital. Police said that <no signs of forced entry can be seen at the crime scene.> <Traces have been found> at the scene they believe to be <related to the murderer,> they added. Four suspects have been identified for their links with the case and two have been arrested, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency. On October 15, the Etemad newspaper published an interview with Mehrjui's wife saying she had been threatened and that their home had been burglarized. The director was known as cofounder of Iran's film new wave in the 1970s that mainly focused on realism. He received many awards, including a Golden Seashell at the San Sebastián International Film Festival 1993 and a Silver Hugo from the Chicago International Film Festival in 1998. Mehrjui studied cinema at the University of California in the early 1960s. Besides his cinema career, he also translated works by the French playwright Eugene Ionesco and the German Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse into Persian.>>
Iranwire - October 18, 2023
<<Brutal Killing Of Iranian Filmmaker Reminds of Past Political Murders
The recent slaying of renowned film director Dariush Mehrjui and his wife has caused shock and outrage among Iranians, with many of them drawing parallels with political assassinations that have rocked the country over the past decades. The 83-year-old Mehrjui and Vahideh Mohammadifar were stabbed to death over the weekend in their home in Karaj, near Tehran. Anti-establishment slogans such as <Women, Life, Freedom> and <Neither Gaza nor Lebanon. My life for Iran> were chanted at their funeral on October 18. Mehrjui is known as cofounder of Iran's film new wave in the 1970s that mainly focused on realism. Zahara Rahnavard, who has been under house arrest since 2010 alongside her husband, prominent opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi, said in a letter that the stabbing of Mehrjui and Mohammadifar <serves as a grim reminder of the brutal murder of Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar.> The 70-year-old Dariush Forouhar and his wife, both outspoken critics of Iran's religious leadership, were stabbed to death in their home in southern Tehran in November 1998. The couple ran a small secular opposition party. <It also evokes memories of the tragic suicides and mysterious deaths that have befallen artists and other activists,> Rahnavard also said. Jailed human rights advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh commented on the killing of Mehrjui and Mohammadifar in a Facebook post, questioning the nature of the crime. <Regardless of whether this is a politically motivated murder, it underscores our determination to pursue a referendum to establish a functioning government. Even in the most optimistic scenario, it is clear that the current government cannot ensure public security,> she wrote. Speaking to the BBC's Persian service, firm director Mani Haghighi noted that <just 25 years have passed since the 1988 series of political murders, and the Iranian people earnestly hope that such heinous crimes will never occur again.> <The minimum expectation is a swift identification of the perpetrators of this crime,> Haghighi said.
On October 15, the BBC's Persian service aired excerpts of a documentary about Mehrjui, in which he says he is tired of <four decades of deceit,> referring to the 44 years of Islamic rule in Iran. In another scene, the film maker removes his wife's headscarf and whispers: <The headscarf is done, finished, come with me...oh, you have such beautiful hair...my beauty.> >>
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Iranwire - October 19, 2023
<< <Main Murderer> of Famed Iranian Filmmaker Mehrjui and His Wife Arrested
Iranian authorities say they have arrested the <primary murderer> of renowned Iranian film director Dariush Mehrjui and his wife, Vahideh Mohammadifar, semi-oficial media reported. The 83-year-old Mehrjui and Mohammadifar were stabbed to death over the weekend in their home in Karaj, near Tehran. Mehrjui is known as cofounder of Iran's film new wave in the 1970s that mainly focused on realism. His wife was a screenwriter and costume designer. Their slayings have caused shock and outrage among Iranians, with many of them drawing parallels with political assassinations that have rocked the country over the past decades. Tasnim news agency, which is close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), quoted police spokesman Saeed Montazer-al-Mahdi as saying on October 19: <Moments ago, the primary murderer, who had previously been taken into custody by the police, confessed after undergoing technical procedures.> <We can now confirm with confidence that the individual responsible for the deaths of this artist and his wife is now in custody,> he added. Justice in Iran is seriously flawed, with suspects being routinely forced to <confess> to crimes they didn't commit and facing deeply unfair trials. The police spokesman also said that investigators are now seeking to identify potential accomplices, adding, <In the near future, we intend to reconstruct the crime scene and provide additional information.> The previous day, the funeral of Mehrjui and Mohammadifar in Tehran was attended by many of the country's most well-known artists. Slogans such as <Women, Life, Freedom> and <Murderers, murderers should be disgraced> were chanted, highlighting the grief and defiance running through the crowd.>>
Women's Liberation Front 2019/cryfreedom.net 2023