An elderly man dressed in head-to-toe black sits motionless on an ornate rug in the middle of the living room.
His shoulders are slumped and he looks lost as he stares at the chaos around him.
Furniture is overturned. Cushions, pillows and blankets are scattered on the floor.
The clock on the wall shows 6:35 am
This was what Ayub Kezrunedjad discovered when he walked into his father’s house in Bukan, Iran, in the early morning hours of November 19th.
There are few details about what happened that morning beyond what Kezlnejad described in a short 45-second video shot on his smartphone.
“They broke in at 5:30 am and took Muhammad Kezrunedjad and his eldest son Yasser. This is the state of our house,” he said in Persian.
The man on the rug is Kezulnejad’s father. Muhammad Khezrnejad is his brother and Yaser is his nephew.
The “they” that Kezlnejad refers to in the video are believed to be the Islamic Republic’s security forces. It is not clear why they raided his father’s house or detained his brother and nephew.
Kezrunedjad is not in the video, but his voice can be heard explaining what happened.
“When I heard it, I recognized Ayub’s voice and was shocked,” a friend of his said in an interview with CBC News in St. John’s.
CBC did not name the friend because of the potential danger to his family in Iran.
“I haven’t spoken to Ayub much in the last few years. I had never seen Ayub speak like this. The emotion in his voice was … stress, frustration, shock. did.”
Kezrunedjad posted the video online and was summoned for questioning by Iranian judicial authorities shortly after, according to social media posts by local media and community members.
According to the post, he has not been seen since.
St John’s Morning Show16:02MUN graduate believed to be detained in Iran
A chance encounter in Newfoundland
Despite both being from Iran, Kezrunedjad and his friend did not cross paths until they met by chance in 2013 at Memorial University in St. John’s, thousands of kilometers from their home country.
“We were having coffee together.
“He was just a normal guy. We used to go to the gym together sometimes. A year later, we knew each other a little bit more. We would get together on the weekends and play card games.”
Khezrnejad had a master’s degree in engineering from Memorial. There he was researching enhanced oil recovery, a matter of great interest to those seeking to maximize extraction of the lucrative offshore oil reserves of Newfoundland and Labrador.
“He did very well in his course. But he was motivated. He was interested. I really liked trying to understand. [in oil recovery]said Leslie James, professor of process engineering and supervisor of the Master’s program at Kezlnejad.
In addition to being a talented researcher and an enthusiastic student, she remembers him for his calm personality.
“Ayub was kind and unpretentious. He was very respectful and gracious.”
Kezlnejad Arrest News
Khezrnejad completed his master’s degree in the fall of 2015 and returned to Iran in early 2017.
According to his friends, Kezlnejad completed his compulsory military service (18+ in Iran) by working at Sharif University, an alternative to actual service in the army for those with higher education qualifications. all male requirements).
Kezrunedjad was fine when they last spoke in 2019.
“He never had a problem with his job,” said a friend of his. “Maybe he was complaining a little bit about the income because he was basically doing something for military service. It’s a very, very low income — you say no income.” I can.”
Over the past few years they had lost touch, but still shared some friends and acquaintances.
So he was shocked when a mutual friend sent him a text message informing him that Kezlnejad had been detained in Iran.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “Ayub was probably the first person I knew firsthand who was arrested by the security forces and who was directly affected by this situation in Iran.”
James was equally surprised by the news.
“I can’t believe it,” she said. “But it’s incredible that it could be someone I know and I taught. It’s always been a while to hear these situations and it seems so far away.” It looks like
Ayub’s detention in the big picture
Getting arrested for posting a 45-second video online can seem like an incredible excess of power.
But Kezlnejad’s friends see a role for the Islamic security forces and the Iranian judiciary.
“They are organizations that have higher powers than regular police and have direct orders from the Ministry of Information. My understanding is that if they see any behavior from you, they will call you and question maybe,” he said.
“I think that’s what happened to Ayub. They called him to ask him to be present and that’s when they arrested him.”
His arrest comes at a time of massive civil unrest in Iran.
Protests and the current Iranian government since the death of Martha Amini in September after she was detained by Iran’s Guidance Patrol (also known as the Moral Police) for not wearing the hijab properly Calls for his dismissal continue throughout the country. .
These demonstrations have faced an increasingly brutal response from Iran’s government-controlled security forces. According to various human rights groups, 400 to 500 Iranian citizens have been killed and 18,000 arrested since mid-September.
With the unrest continuing and detention seemingly inevitable, it makes sense to ask why Kezrunedjad showed up for judicial summons.
“When he was summoned to justice, I think he knew it was because of the recording. He probably knew he might get arrested,” said a friend of his.
“But he still went there and showed up with his family to follow up on the situation. Based on his bravery, we would have expected him to go and show up.”
And while no one has heard an update since Kezrnejad showed up in the summons, his friends say this is what people outside of Iran need to speak up for those still living in his home country. I hope this is another example of why.
“I think what the Iranian people need from outside, from other countries, especially from other countries’ leaders, heavyweights, they need others to be their voices,” he said. Said.
“They want to be heard.”
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