Before each gathering at her university, Mona (who speaks under a pseudonym) goes through three phases. “In the morning, until I arrive at university, I am torn between anxiety and anger”, explains this 19-year-old Iranian, a student at the University of Noshirvani, in Babol, in northern Iran. Once she arrives, as soon as she finds herself surrounded by her comrades gathered to shout “Woman, life, freedom”the flagship slogan of the current Iranian uprising, “It’s a mixture of hope, confidence and pride” who occupies it. At the end of the gathering, it is crossed “for fear of being arrested when going out into the street”explains this young student, contacted on encrypted Telegram messaging.
Since September 16, the day Iranian Mahsa Amini died after being released from police custody for her appearance on trial “inappropriate” by the morality police, the universities have become the beating heart of protest. Students gather in their establishment, hold sit-ins, boycott their classes, demand the release of their arrested comrades and chant slogans against the Islamic Republic.
The uprising seems to be gaining momentum. Repression remains fierce. Every day, the faces and names of the victims appear: children, teenagers, men, women, inhabitants of small but also large cities, from the underprivileged and middle classes. Hamidreza Rouhi Javan, 20, is the latest student to be killed in the protests to date on Thursday, November 17. We deplore today at least 381 civilians killed by the repressive machine, according to the organization Iran Human Rights, based in Norway.
Mona finds out about the lives and journeys of the Iranians killed on the Internet. For her, each death is one more reason to demand the departure of the regime. After Mahsa Amini’s death, Mona and her classmates tried to eat together, girls and boys side by side, in their university canteen. In normal times, like everywhere, this canteen is not mixed. “One day, at the beginning of October, one of the university employees intervened to stop us. He knocked down two girls. The next day, the students came with their own Tupperware and ate together in front of the canteen”, explains Mona. Some students were summoned by Herasat, the branch of intelligence services in state organizations. They were accused… of having distributed disposable tableware.
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