The eldest daughter of Alberto Nisman, the special prosecutor who died mysteriously in January, helped mark the 21st anniversary of the Argentinian Jewish center bombing he was investigating.
Iara Nisman, 15, appeared on stage and lit a candle Friday at the ceremony in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The organizer was the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina, the Jewish organization whose headquarters in the Argentinian 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 Nisman said in a written message read aloud on stage by a journalist.
“We invited Iara to join the ceremony, and she accepted with bravery and honor. It’s not easy for a kid; she shows maturity,” Luis Czyzewski, whose 21-year-old daughter Paola was killed in the bombing, told JTA.
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.
Because the anniversary of the bombing falls on Saturday, which is Shabbat, the ceremony was held a day earlier, on Friday, in front of the rebuilt Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina headquarters. Approximately 5,000 people attended.
“The AMIA cause is not an issue for the judicial community, the government or the opposition. The resolution must become a national question that takes us from the shame in which we Argentineans have been living in for the past 21 years, ” the organization’s treasurer, Ariel Cohen Sabban, said at the ceremony.
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.”
In addition to being the 21-year anniversary of the bombing of the Jewish center, Saturday will be 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. “I cannot determine for the moment whether it was a suicide or a homicide,” she said on March 6, when she convened the authors of an independent forensic report to examine the evidence.
While the banner appearing onstage at previous Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina ceremonies honored “justice” and “memory,” this year’s banner bore the words “Victims of Impunity” and “Victims of Terrorism.”