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 Bullet Fee?? For What?
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Posted on 06-24-09 1:55 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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First China, Now Iran??  To me, just the concept of a "bullet-fee" demeans humanity as a whole.  Adding insult to grief in terms of such a low blow just proves where humanity is heading (or whether we still need correction with our ways)...

Indeed, this is a beautiful world we live in!!


Son's Death Has Iranian Family Asking Why

family, clad in black, stood at the curb of the road sobbing. A
middle-aged mother slapped her cheeks, letting out piercing wails. The
father, a frail man who worked as a doorman at a clinic in central
Tehran, wept quietly with his head bowed.

Minutes before, an ambulance had arrived from Tehran's morgue carrying the body of their only son, 19-year-old 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.

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.

Mr. Alipour told officials that his entire possessions wouldn't
amount to $3,000, arguing they should waive the fee because he is a
veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. According to relatives, morgue officials
finally agreed, but demanded that the family do no funeral or burial in
Tehran. Kaveh Alipour's body was quietly transported to the city of
Rasht, where there is family.

Everyone in the neighborhood knows the Alipour family. In addition
to their slain son, they have two daughters. Shopkeepers and businesses
pasted a photocopied picture of Mr. Alipour on their walls and windows.
In the picture, the young man is shown wearing a dark suit with gray
stripes. His black hair is combed neatly to a side and he has a

"He was so full of life. He had so many dreams," said Arsalan, a
taxi driver who has known the family for 10 years. "What did he die

Write to Farnaz Fassihi at farnaz.fassihi@wsj.com


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