Iran: gunshots heard during protests in Karaj
Wanted Iranian protesters voiced their fears of living under an oppressive regime on Express.co. On Wednesday, November 2, the Iranian government announced that it would try more than 1,000 arrested protesters in court with the threat of death. Sarah, an Iranian protester who changed her name for the sake of anonymity, described the horrors associated with living as a woman in Iran and her determination to continue protesting despite government violence. issued a warrant for her arrest, fearing a “mass execution” was imminent.
Protests have erupted in Iran since 22-year-old Masa Amini died in police custody after being arrested by the “morality police” on suspicion of wearing a headscarf improperly.
Iranian authorities have claimed that Amini died from an underlying medical condition, but an autopsy found significant evidence that Amini had been hit in the head.
Since then, Iranian security forces have violently cracked down on those protesting the regime, but the protests have continued, thanks to surprising unity among dissidents and the influence of social media.
State-sponsored violence against protesters
As of November 2, at least 277 people, including many children, had died as a result of the government’s nationwide crackdown on rallies and protests, according to the humanitarian group Iran Human Rights.
Sarah told Express.co.uk that further violence was likely to occur against those currently on trial for protest charges, saying: People say they’re going to do it ASAP to scare people. ”
Solidarity protest with Iran in Berlin, Germany
‘Unstoppable this time’ – Sarah says protesters will continue despite violence
She added that a friend of hers was arrested for protesting a month ago and “no one has heard of her since.”
From October 30, the trial of six protesters began. Lawyers fear they will all be sentenced to death. One such protester, Mohammad Gobadro, was sentenced to death after just one hearing on Monday, according to a statement by his mother. He had been charged with “corruption of the earth” for running over a member of the security forces with his car.
The judge in these trials, Aborkasem Salavati, has earned the nickname “The Judge of Death” due to the frequency with which he orders the death penalty and his lack of concern for the rights of those he prosecutes.
Human rights lawyer Saeed Deghan told the Center for Human Rights in Iran: Detainees are held without formal charges, access to legal counsel, or access to family members. ”
According to Iran’s state news agency IRNA, another 1,000 prisoners will be put on trial after playing a “central role” in the unrest. Trials for 315 of these have already begun in Tehran, also presided over by Judge Aborkasem Salavati.
READ MORE: Iranian security forces drop tear gas from above, fire at demonstrators [REVEAL]
Protests rock country since Masa Amini’s violent death
Amini died in police custody after being arrested for wearing a headscarf
protesters won’t back down
Sarah described the fear she felt as a woman every time she watched Morality Police.
“When I see a white van on the street, even if I’m not in Iran, I always get scared. My whole body trembles.”
Even if she is not Muslim, women who do not wear the hijab correctly will be persecuted in Iran, she added.
Sarah told Express.co.uk on condition of anonymity out of fear of what the government would do to her family. However, she said the protesters did not resist despite the violence by security forces.
Sarah said of the government’s killing of people, “Always let people stop, but this time people are more angry than ever. I believe we can finally change that. Now, We are all united together.”
The protester added: we know that It will take a long time, but this time there is no turning back. It won’t stop this time. ”
Her words echo those of Kurdish freedom fighter Diana Nami, co-author of The Girl With A Gun: Love, Loss, And The Fight For Freedom In Iran.
She also said that the solidarity of the protesters was a key factor, commenting: Both men and women are very brave and courageous. Everyone is very united. ”
Don’t Miss: Iranian Foreigners Urge US to Boost Support for Freedom Struggle [REVEAL]
Israel warned Iran could fight back after attack on drone factory [ANALYSIS]
Iranian president blames hijab protests for IS attacks [INSIGHT]
Protesters unite in London as the world puts pressure on the Iranian government.
Social media is an important factor
Sara said she first heard of Amini’s death through social media and was “not surprised” at first, but the international media spotlight on her arrest has made people want to fight back against the government’s crackdown. He added that he was inspired.
This time around, she said, “it felt like the world was finally listening to us, so it was very refreshing. It was the first time we had the attention of another country.”
Protesters said the government is issuing arrest warrants even for sharing information on social media, adding:
Some analysts have suggested that distrustful state-owned Iranian media has turned younger generations to the internet for news and information.
Nami said younger generations with internet access are leading the protests, weakening the Iranian government’s ability to control them.
“They have access to the world through the internet, they know real life, they know their rights and they don’t accept oppression.”