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Sohrab Erabi: a new martyr for Iran's protesters?

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Without an identity card on his body, he went unrecognized for nearly a month, according to the Farsi-language blog Khasokhashak.wordpress.com.

Typically, individuals who sacrifice their lives for the sake of Islam or one of its precepts are called martyrs.

"It has to do with the idea of death for a noble cause, one which is not in vain but has rewards both in this world and after death," says Asef Bayat, a professor of sociology and Middle East studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. "It is at the same time an attempt to connect Sohrab Erabi's death to a familiar legacy, that of the martyrdom of Imam Hossein, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad who died in his struggle against injustice."

An additional 190 people arrested late last week

Erabi's mother, Parvin Fahimi, had made numerous inquiries at prisons and courts since he disappeared, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. On Saturday, she was finally called in by officials and asked to identify her son in several photographs of corpses.

"The lack of transparency and calculated delay in releasing the information about [Erabi's] unexplained death only raises anxieties about scores of others who are among the disappeared as well as those who have been held in incommunicado detention, with no contact to family members or lawyers, many for almost a month," said the group in a statement. "An additional approximately 190 persons were arrested following the most recent demonstrations on 9 July."

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