NOS . News•
Night after night, Iranian men and women take to the streets, young and old. They are protesting against the persecution of the Islamic regime, and against corruption and despair in Iran. More than two weeks after the protests began, anger and resistance have yet to subside.
NOS asked a number of people in Iran their view of the situation. Fearing retaliation, they just wanted to respond anonymously.
Kill Mahsa Amini
The protests began after the death of 22-year-old Kurdish Mehsa Amini. She was arrested in Tehran in mid-September by the morality police for not wearing her headscarf according to the Islamic dress code.
She became ill at the police station and died three days later in the hospital. Witnesses told Amini’s family that officers beat her hard on the head after arresting her.
“Beginning of the End”
From the capital, Tehran, says M. “This is the beginning of the end for the murderous rule of the Islamic Republic, a regime that slaughters its youth to secure its existence.”
“If the government thinks you’re not wearing a headscarf properly, you could be caught in the street in the middle of the day and treated like a criminal. We’re talking about ordinary women who don’t make any special demands,” said H.
I hardly dare to write a few words.
There are police everywhere on the street and the security services are watching everything, says H. In the meantime, fewer and fewer pictures of the protests are emerging. Foreign journalists are turned away and local journalists are not allowed to cover the protests.
Moreover, the internet is throttled by the Iranian government and WhatsApp, Instagram and Telegram are often inaccessible.
H writes. “I hardly dare to write a few words, but I also want to pay attention to the protests.” A friend of H., who is actively involved in the protests, disappeared a few days ago. “I was in contact with her before, and then I got threatening letters.”
“Over the past few nights, we’ve had very violent shows,” says M.:
Aswat al-Iran: ‘They use guns and tear gas, we hardly get a chance’
Violent measures were taken against the demonstrators. And not just by riot police, say the Iranians we spoke to. They say there are rumors that men from Lebanon and Iraq have been used to crush the protests.
According to the data of the opposition and non-governmental organizations, more than 133 demonstrators were killed and about 1,200 people were arrested.
President Raisi’s government says it is doing everything it can to quell the protests. According to Raisi, “foreign enemies” are behind the unrest and protests.
We hardly get a chance, but there are other ways to show our displeasure.
But the Iranians don’t seem to have any intention of giving up at the moment, although pretending is becoming more and more difficult, says F. “There are now fewer protesters in some places, because there are police and security services everywhere. There are other ways to express our discontent. They go up on the rooftops and chant slogans against the regime, others drive through the city and sound their horns.”
After the 2009 presidential election, millions of Iranians took to the streets. They disagreed with the re-election of conservative President Ahmadinejad. This was followed by new demonstrations in 2019 after the government raised fuel prices.
But this wave of resistance is different than it was before, says B. in a voice message. “The difference is that a new generation has emerged. Young Iranians who followed the 2009 protests or even the November 2019 protests are less.”
“Hope in despair”
After the war between neighboring countries in the 1980s, the population was under severe pressure. Spiritual leaders did everything they could to prevent people from learning about other cultures.
“But this new generation has the Internet. They are much closer to the Western world. Their families give them the freedom to participate in the demonstrations.”
“We live in a difficult time, just like all people who live under tyranny and dictatorship,” says M. But we Iranians have a saying: ‘There is much hope in despair and at the end of the dark night there is light.’ “.
“Infuriatingly humble social media buff. Twitter advocate. Writer. Internet nerd.”
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