Setareh means “Star” in Farsi and Dari. Setareh Tajik was a shining 17-year-old star. A brave and cheerful girl who was full of life, Setareh was born on November 18, 2004. She loved her birthdays so much that she would remind her friends weeks in advance that her birthday was fast approaching.
Setareh was a Hazara girl (ethnic group native to the Hazaristan region in central Afghanistan) who was born and raised in Iran. Before she was born, her parents had fled the brutality of the Taliban to seek refuge in Iran. The Hazara people are an ethnic minority in Afghanistan, therefore these people continue to face exceptional levels of discrimination and persecution in Afghanistan. Sadly, the Regime in Iran did not provide a safe place to Setareh and her family.
On September 22, 2022, thousands of people were on the streets of Tehran to peacefully demonstrate against the Regime, demanding freedom and their basic human rights. Setareh was also out on the streets that day. We don’t exactly know what happened to Setareh, but her lifeless body was found later that night. She was brutally beaten and her bones were broken in several parts of her body. Her death certificate indicates that “multiple injuries caused by blows to the body using a hard object” as the cause of death, however Regime authorities made a public announcement that she had committed suicide and that her death is not related to the crackdown on protesters. This is a false narrative that Setareh’s family strongly rejects:
“My sister was much stronger than me,” writes Setareh’s sister. “She fought for the freedom she loved so dearly and gave her life for this cause. As her name reflects, she became a star.”(1)
If Setareh was alive, she would have reached 18-years-old. Unfortunately, for the girl , who loved celebrating her birthdays, she never had the chance to blow out the candles for her 18th year.
Setareh’s death certificate
A tweet from Setareh’s sister, quote (1)
Wikipedia article about Setareh
An Instagram post about Setareh