“There was no mercy on us, my friends were tortured for days”

“One Step Towards Freedom”

“Last Year One Step to Freedom”, assures Hessam (not his real name), who, in his twenties, studied in Tehran and vehemently opposed the rule of the mullahs, whom he had known all his life. This supporter of the MEK (People’s Mujahideen, hunted by the regime inside and outside its borders) knows this: He is taking a risk by daring to speak to a foreign Western media outlet. For good reason, in the past 12 months, at least 3,626 MEK supporters have been arrested. However, the anger animating the Iranian youth goes beyond possible political will: “Not just in universities, there’s a large part of the population waiting for the spark to come out and rise.Hessam assures. This regime wants to end what happened last year once and for all, but people are waiting for a chance to start again.

Time will tell whether the smoldering fires in Iranian universities will reignite in the coming months. And yet, despite the regime’s efforts to placate Iran’s youth, the embers are still hot. “A year ago, immediately after the news of Mahza Amini’s murder, the news spread and people took to the streets.Hessam comes to mind. This was also the case with many students, who stopped going to class and started raising agitation-related slogans. These slogans are openly directed against mullahs and leaders. Statues of Khamenei (Editor’s note: Supreme Guide, in power since 1989) Or other leaders were burned and trampled.”

A burning fire

“Since thenHe continues, We have no mercy. University leaders responded directly to the authorities, allowing the Revolutionary Guards to arrive. Many of my friends were arrested. This continued for some time until the rebellion reached its peak. Seven or eight months after the start of the uprising, there were numerous arrests in universities. Some students were arrested for a few days, others for a few months, and some are still in jail today. My friends were tortured for days. Or sign a pledge not to protest again and then be released. Many students are barred from joining the university. Unbanned: Banned, for life.”

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“We spent the summer with universities closedHessam continues. Now the regime is trying to control what happens in the university as closely as possible. As a result, teachers have been forced to stay home or have been fired in recent weeks. Instead there are ‘teachers’ who do not know the subjects they teach, or lack academic skills. But who are directly involved in governance?

Poor people

From outside the country, the exiled National Council of Resistance of Iran, NCRI, which unites most of the MEK’s leading organizations, tries to report what is happening inside the country, while making as much money as possible. . “The uprising had a considerable psychological impact on a section of the population, who were no longer afraid”, observes this interlocutor within the MEK, while tributes to Mahsa Amini are proliferating these days. Above all, “Nobody expects major fundamental changes from the regime, while 70% of Iranians live below the poverty line.. But Iran is a rich country. In gas, oil, minerals. God has blessed us!”, the latter said with a wry smile. Before finishing: “People are starting to wake up to this reality. The regime can change it, but it won’t because the system will collapse. It has to keep feeding its loyalists, and if it stops, the regime will fall.”

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