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“I Don’t Regret Losing My Eyesight,” Iranian Crackdown Victim Says

January 17, 2023
2 min read
"All the optic nerves, retina and cornea have been damaged," she wrote in an Instagram post
"All the optic nerves, retina and cornea have been damaged," she wrote in an Instagram post

Elaheh Tavakolian is one of hundreds of Iranians who sustained severe eye injuries after being hit by pellets, tear gas cannisters, paintballs or other objects fired by security forces amid a brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.

Tavakolian, a PDH student, says she was struck by several pellets during a recent protest and that she lost sight in one of her eyes as a result.

"All the optic nerves, retina and cornea have been damaged," she wrote in an Instagram post.

Tavakolian then addressed her attacker, sayong, "I don’t want to complain against you because I do not regret losing my eyesight. I am even grateful to you for this honor.”

The student said that she will be implanted a prosthetic eye on February 11, “and you will receive your medal on February 12," when the Islamic Republic will mark the 44th anniversary of the 1979 revolution that installed the theocracy.

Iranian authorities have cracked down hard on the protest movement sparked by the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of morality police.

Security forces have killed more than 500 people across the country, including dozens of children, and detained over 18,000 others since the start of the demonstrations.

At least 100 protesters are currently at risk of “execution, death penalty charges or sentences,” one rights group said in December. Two young men were hanged earlier this month amid international outrage, bringing to four the number of people executed in connection with the protests.

Many other detainees have been handed long term prison sentences.

 

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