Funeral held for Assyrian martyr of Iran-Iraq war

April 28, 2023 - 23:10

TERHAN – A funeral service was held on Friday for Assyrian martyr Jony Beth Oshana in Tehran. The funeral is part of a days-long tribute to Oshana, whose body was discovered recently in Iraq.

The funeral service began after the Friday Prayer at the University of Tehran, with participants in the weekly prayer taking part in the funeral. 

The body of Oshana was found after 38 years. But this is not the only remarkable part of his story. He has no living family members in Iran. He was a conscript in the Iranian Army during the war, locally known as the Holy Defense. He was martyred in the east of the Tigris in a region known as the Badr Operation Field. Since then, his body has remained in enemy territory, and in March 2023, Iran’s search teams found his remains. His identity was confirmed through a DNA test.

But nothing is known about the current status of his family. A few days ago, the Association of Assyrians of Iran released a statement calling for any kind of information on the family of the fallen soldier. “The name of this martyr is Jony Beth Oshana. After 38 years, the body of this martyr has been identified through DNA but the search team has not found any address for his family. So, in case you identified [the family] of this martyr, call the secretariat of this Association,” the statement said, according to Vaten Emrooz newspaper. 

The parents and all three brothers of Jony have died. One of the brothers was laid to rest abroad and another was buried in the Iranian city of Urmia. 

Even the Association had no information on this family and it had no contact with the members of the family. The third brother converted to Islam in his final years and after his death, he was buried in Tehran’s Behesht Zahra cemetery. A daughter of this one has been found and the funeral service will be coordinated with her.

Participants in the Friday funeral were keen to express words of solidarity with the fallen soldier. “I have been participating in Friday prayers for many weeks, but today, when the weather is a bit hot, I have come just because of this martyr to say that I am also a member of your family,” a woman participating in the funeral told Fars News. 

Another funeral service was also held at the St. Joseph Assyrian Catholic Cathedral in Tehran with Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf in attendance. 

Qalibaf paid homage to the fallen soldier. 

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