Some names in this story have been changed for your protection.
Sagor Aliyay, 25, remembers the day Iranian morality police dragged his mother by the hair, distracted his father, and forced the patriarch into a van and drove away.
Then, in her early teens, she watched her father on the side of the road run past a moving car full of screaming women who didn’t know where they were going.
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That was 12 years ago.
But as the situation continues to deteriorate in her hometown, memories like these and the international tendrils of the Islamic Republic regime haunt her family, who are now based in Melbourne.
Watch the video above: How the history of the hijab influenced Iran’s protests.
When Sargol was 13, his mother Rana and father Koroush were stopped. The hem of Lana’s dress was just above the knee, two inches too short.
“Go buy her a longer[dress].” Your wife needs to sit in the van. We won’t leave yet because the van isn’t full yet,” Sagor recounts what the moral police told his father. “We are very kind to you.”
“That was the moment when a woman pushed my mother so hard that she fell into the van,” she told 7NEWS.com.au.
“I started crying. I was literally shaking. I had never seen anything like it in my life.
“My father said: ‘Thargor, run away.'”
They rushed to a nearby clothing stall and quickly purchased a long dress, but when they returned a few minutes later they saw the van driving away with the back door slamming and Lana inside. I got
“(Dad) dropped everything and ran in the middle of the street… I almost got hit, but I knew what was going on, so I didn’t care at the time,” said Thurgol.
As the van hit the brakes hard, Korousch hit the front of the car and yelled for his wife to be released.
“They opened the door and got my mom out of the van and all the girls there were crying. Told.
“I was on the other side of the street and thought either my mother was killed or my father was killed.
“Then he didn’t speak at all for a few days. Then he kept crying and crying. There was something horrible in his mind that these girls were asking him for help, He couldn’t speak.” Help them. “
This was one of Sagor’s first experiences with the reality of being a woman in Iran.
During her early adolescence, she was taken before a school assembly and slapped in the face by a teacher. Later, she was handed a lifelong ban from her deepest passion, taekwondo, for failing to wear a scarf under her protective cap during her black belt final exam.
“They were all women. It was so hot. I knew if I wore that scarf I would lose the fight. Reported me,” she said.
Sargol never fought again. “My heart felt so broken,” she said.
Iran fleeing: ‘I remember everything about that night’
Soon after, Sargol’s family decided to flee the country, but it was not easy as Korosh was a key member of the regime.
A pious figure with deep devotion to Islam, Koroush was coveted by regimes who wanted to take advantage of his untold loyalty, performing tasks such as distributing food to those in need. was often employed to
But charity was only one way to deceive the regime. It also compelled him to commit acts that kept him relatively silent and repressed for days until he had no choice but to flee.
They staggered departures, Korousch being the last to leave, flying to Indonesia, waiting three months for a boat to Australia, sometimes living on the streets.
“We didn’t have money to eat,” said Sargol. “We were walking around all night. I couldn’t sleep and was going crazy.”
The asylum-seeker’s boat captain, who only had enough money to buy passage for one family member, chose his father for the place. However, Sargol later hunted him down and offered him only the currency of his personal desperation.
“We have nothing,” she told him. “It’s your choice. Take us and save us or leave us in the streets and take my father. You can’t go back (to Iran).”
“He was my lifesaver. He told me: ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take you. Don’t cry like that.'”
The trip to Christmas Island was a dangerous one. Her 150 passengers, including a newly pregnant Lana, were crammed into a 50-passenger wooden boat.
“I remember all the nights when I got lost, when my ship was wrecked, when I had no GPS, no phone, I didn’t even know if I would make it,” Sargol said.
They were successful and managed to shake off a family sailing on a yacht, who turned to the Navy for help. Returning to the boat, the passengers who saw them and desperately jumped into the water barely survived.
“He was in my lap, dying. People were helping him and I was watching someone die. He was drowning, he said it was the sea.” He swallowed a lot of water,” she said.
Sargol traces memory.
As the asylum seekers were rescued, the rickety boat shattered at the feet of the naval officers who were the first to board.
Sargol celebrated his 15th birthday on Christmas Island.
But ten years later in Melbourne, she said, “Not even Australia can escape the clutches of the Islamic Republic of Australia regime.”
Australia’s eye of government
Sargol’s entire family still lives in Iran, but she only has access to one uncle. “I’m afraid to message him,” she said.
“I know (the administration) will come to catch him soon.
“Especially at this time in case they pass some information on what is going on in Iran. , they don’t realize they’re killing a 10-year-old child.”
“It’s like a horror movie, but it’s real and I totally feel it because I was in that situation. It seems,” he explained.
But the regime’s watchful eye is not just on Iran, Mr Sagor said, adding that the Iranian and Australian communities are well aware of our coastal operatives keeping an eye out for anyone who escapes. He added that there were
“People here have to cover their faces when they go to protest because it is clear that many people in the regime work all over the world. I will get all the information and threaten my family at home,” she said.
“We keep quiet all the time because we don’t want anything to happen to our families back home.
“My father’s family is being harmed. They are being tortured. Because I know we are protesting here.”
Hundreds killed in protests in Iran
The latest unrest in Iran was sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Tehran’s moral police custody for violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code.
The early protests quickly escalated into one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s hardline regime in more than 40 years.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard General Amir Ali Hajizadeh has issued his first public statement in two months, admitting that more than 300 people have died in unrest over nationwide protests, but has questioned the sources of the figures. did not elaborate.
This estimated death toll is well below figures reported by Iranian human rights activist groups, which say 451 protesters and 60 security forces have been killed and more than 18,000 detained since the beginning of the unrest. says.
This figure includes 40 children.
Iranian-Australian scholar and journalist Dr Sabah Vasefi on Monday asked a one-day Senate probe into the country’s human rights abuses why Australia was “seeking ties to the rape and child-killing regime”. rice field.
“How would Australia react if one of the dead children was a white child?” she asked.
A call to action for the Australian government
Melbourne-based barrister Ek Tagudil also filed an inquiry submission, but his aim is to “build institutional support for autonomous sanctions,” he told 7NEWS.com.au.
He works with a community of Iranian-Australian activists in Australian cities and internationally, including Dr. Minoo Gamari, who “raises awareness through protests almost every Saturday.”
Gamari told 7NEWS.com.au that the group’s protests, petitions and submissions to the Senate called for the Australian government to “sanction the (Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) IRGC, call them a terrorist group and export their ambassadors.” ‘I’m asking.
Tagdir said sanctions against the regime’s military wing, the IRGC, were “a good place to start”, but said that “the entire Islamic Republic regime, its officials and its ministers should be sanctioned. “I believe,” he added.
Organizations such as The Women’s Barristers Association have also issued statements supporting calls for sanctions against the regime, Tagdir said:
“So far they appear to be silent on the issue. No,’ he said.
Kylie Moore Gilbert, a former Iranian prisoner, also provided evidence to the investigation, saying the Australian government’s response was lackluster compared to other stronger sanctions in Canada and Germany.
She said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) opposes the sanctions because it has concerns about dual Iranian-Australian nationals currently believed to be detained in Iran.
Her submission to the investigation also stated that “Iranian regime operatives filmed and monitored protests and even more to crack down on other forms of legitimate political activity undertaken by the Iranian and Australian communities.” We need to do something,” he said.
7NEWS.com.au reached out to DFAT for comment.
“The fact that when I was young I was brutally arrested and beaten by the moral police in Iran now sounds like a joke when compared to the real horrors happening on the streets of Iran,” Gamari said at 7NEWS.com. told .au..
“As I write this statement, dozens of children have been charged with protesting at school and their sentence is execution.”
To Australians who said, “This is not our problem, we need to focus on Australia,” I said, “We don’t need to save the Iranians, but by providing them with a safe haven.” , we need to stop helping murderers.”