BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – The eldest daughter of Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor who died mysteriously while investigating a Jewish centre bombing, helped mark the 21st anniversary of the attack.
Iara Nisman, 15, appeared on stage and lit a candle on Friday at the ceremony in Buenos Aires. The organizer was the AMIA, the Jewish organization whose headquarters in the Argentine capital were bombed in 1994, killing 85 people and wounding 300.
“My sister Kala and I ask for help finding the truth about what happened to my dad, because he cannot defend himself and there are some detractors of his work,” Iara said in a written message read aloud on stage by a journalist.
Approximately 5,000 people attended the ceremony in front of the rebuilt AMIA headquarters.
“We invited Iara to join the ceremony, and she accepted with bravery and honor,” Luis Czyzewski, whose 21-year-old daughter, Paola, was killed in the bombing, told JTA. “It’s not easy for a kid; she shows maturity.”
While the bombing has never been resolved, Iran is widely believed to be responsible for it, along with the bombing two years earlier of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires.
As the anniversary of the bombing fell on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, the ceremony was held a day earlier
“The AMIA cause is not an issue for the judicial community, the government or the opposition,” the organization’s treasurer, Ariel Cohen Sabban, said at the ceremony. “The resolution must become a national question that takes us from the shame in which we Argentinians have been living in for the past 21 years.”
World Jewish Congress CEO Robert Singer, who participated in the ceremony, said in a statement: “After the tragic and mysterious death of Special Prosecutor Alberto Nisman last January, a man who did so much to advance this investigation and who is sadly missed, we are now faced with a crucial question: Will we ever see justice in the AMIA case? Will the Argentine government continue to have the worst terror attack in this country’s history investigated, or will it try to close this chapter?”
Mario Averbuj, who lost his 20-year-old daughter, Yanina, in the bombing, said, “We want to mention the human tragedy involved in Nisman’s death. It prevented his daughters from enjoying their dad.
“Iara and Kala, you should feel proud of your father,” he said, interrupted by applause from the crowd. “We want to tell you that every time we met him, the first thing he talked to us about was about you, about how well you were doing in school and how happy he was to see you grow.”
Saturday was the six-month anniversary of Nisman’s death. The prosecutor was found dead of a gunshot wound in his apartment.
Prosecutor Viviana Fein has not yet released a final ruling on the cause on whether it was suicide or homicide.
While the banner appearing onstage at previous AMIA ceremonies honored “justice” and “memory,” this year’s banner bore the words “Victims of Impunity” and “Victims of Terrorism.”