Iran: protests continue, with the brave contribution of young women

By Anna Rita Canone
The Iranian protests, which have now reached the 51st day after Mahsa Amini’s death, continue to spread. Just 2 days ago Ghazal Afsahr, an Iranian exile, explained to Rai News 24 that the tension is high: “this is indicative of a general discontent among the Iranian people after 43 years of extreme repression and there are continuous clashes. The Iranian authorities make the most of the repressive forces, which are part of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, to open fire on the demonstrators; demonstrators who, by now, are no longer afraid to even pay the price for these protests with their own lives. Many images – which come with difficulty, due to the blocking of the Internet – show young people, women, especially students “.

Images arrive on Twitter: girls hugging strangers, without a veil (both are prohibited in Iran), girls standing in a car, calling for the death of dictators, or throwing stones. President Maryam Rajavi has repeatedly praised the courage of her compatriots and, in particular, of these women.

Facebook user Ruth Li-Buch also comments: “Absolutely immensely brave women and men which I admire tremendously. They’re absolutely aware that this could be life-threatening. We Europeans & North Americans would never have this same courage because most of us believe that our Freedom is granted… or they never even think so far”. Here are the names of some young women who paid with their lives (source: National Council of Resistance of Iran): Fereshteh Ahmadi, 32, mother of a young daughter, was shot dead in Mahabad as she stood on her balcony on 27 October 2022; her daughter died of grief on her grave; Maedeh Javanfar, 28, a nurse, killed in Rasht on October 26, 2022. Sarina Saedi, 16, was killed in Sanandaj on 26 October 2022 with a baton to the head. Behnaz Afshari, was killed in Tehran on October 26, 2022; Sadaf Movahhedi, 17, was killed in Tehran on 24 October 2022 with a baton to the head. Negin Salehi was shot dead in Tehran on 8 October 2022. What is striking is the young age of the victims.
It must be said that the protests were triggered on a situation that was previously ready to break out: teachers, students, employees with back wages, doctors, etc. have been protesting for years. Furthermore, this time the protests are really spreading throughout Iran, involving Iranian Arabs, Turks, Kurds, etc, showing strong unity.
Anna Rita Canone is an Italian freelance journalist. Former judiciary translator.

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