Shocking footage of homeless people spending their nights in empty graves outside Iran’s capital surfaced, shocking the cleric-led regime even raising the alarms for the country’s president. Shahrvand daily had first issued a report touching on the subject on Tuesday.
Images by taken by Saeed Gholamhoseini were shot in Shahriar, some 20 kilometers west of Tehran, and published in the Shahrvand daily, which said some 50 men, women and children living in the cemetery.
The photographs only highlighted the never-ending economic struggles that hunt Iranians today.Some of those who lived in the graves had done so for 10 years, according to the daily. More so, many human rights groups have been gravely alarmed by the report, Iran-based media outlet IRNA said.
The story and the haunting images of the homeless staring into the camera from inside the unused grave slots spread quickly on social media, where users and celebrities reacted with expressions of alarm and sadness.
Oscar-winning film director Asghar Farhadi, upset by the images, wrote an open letter to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. In it, he suggested officials should go out in disguise into the communities they represent to see what life is really like.
Unemployment is fairly high in Iran, not to mention that its currency has fallen drastically against the U.S. dollar leaving many citizens in dire situations.
“Today, I read a shocking report about men, women and children who are living in graves of a cemetery near Tehran in these cold nights and now I am full of shame and have tears in my eyes,” Farhadi wrote.
In one of the images published this week, a grime-streaked man rises out of a grave, smoke from a fire providing warmth inside rising around him. Others gather for warmth, smoking.