Video footage of an Iranian man bleeding to death on a busy Tehran street after he was stabbed during an argument has sent shockwaves throughout the country.
WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC CONTENT.
Video posted on YouTube by sina440.
The man in the video is called Mohammed. He was killed on October 28 during a fight with his girlfriend's former boyfriend Yaghoob Ali in the western Tehran neighborhood of Saadad Abad. But what most shocked Iranians was the fact that in the 45 minutes that followed the fight, Mohammed was left to bleed to death on a busy street corner, while panicked onlookers, including two policemen, did nothing to help.
“No-one understands how the wounded man could have been left without assistance for so long”
Alireza is a former journalist, he lives in Tehran.
According to media reports, the two men, both in their 20s, were arguing over the girl they both wanted to marry. Yaghoob Ali had recently finished a three-year prison sentence (for unknown reasons). Upon his release, he discovered that the girl he was engaged to before his arrest had decided to marry another man, Mohammed. Furious, he challenged Mohammed to meet him on the corner of Kaj Squ street [the video’s location.] Witnesses then say they the two men began arguing violently, and at one point Ali pulled out a knife and stabbed Reza in the stomach.
But it is the end of the story that is most shocking. Many onlookers witnessed the fight, including two policemen. After Mohammed was stabbed and collapsed onto the floor, Ali threatened everyone not to come near or help the victim because otherwise he would kill himself. What’s incredible is that people listened to him! There is a man lying on the floor drenched in his blood, and his murderer is standing a few feet away, watching him die, and there are two policemen at the scene and they do nothing!
Police eventually called reinforcement, but according to media reports they took over half an hour to get to the scene of the crime. When they finally did, they succeeded in overpowering and arresting the murderer. Then an ambulance arrived to take Mohammed to the hospital, but it was too late to save him. Yaghoob Ali is currently detained in Evin prison where he is awaiting trial.
“The entire country was under shock after the incident”
The entire country was under shock after the incident. No-one understands how the wounded man could have been left without assistance for so long. There is a general feeling that the incident is symptomatic of the growing insecurity in the country, especially in Tehran. Personally, I believe that police have been weakened by the bloody repression that followed the 'Green Revolution' protests after Ahmadinejad's re-election. There were so many civilians killed, and police were so despised that now many officers are reluctant to resort to force.
There is also widespread condemnation of the lack of police intervention, and both the Iranian parliament and the National Security Commission have launched an inquiry into the issue. Faced with this wave of popular anger, the Tehran police announced the suspension of the two officers present at the scene. But official state media have tried to downplay or ignore the question, because it’s embarrassing for the government.”