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Day 36: Students Remain Defiant Amid Harsh Crackdown On Protests

October 23, 2022
Akhtar Safi,  
Shohreh Mehrnami
5 min read
More university students across Iran also defied orders to return to class, while the judiciary alleged that a student in Tehran had committed suicide
More university students across Iran also defied orders to return to class, while the judiciary alleged that a student in Tehran had committed suicide

Classes were canceled at multiple schools across Iran on Sunday in protest over the government’s crackdown on student protesters, as the country faced nationwide unrest for the 36th consecutive day. 

More university students across Iran also defied orders to return to class, while the judiciary alleged that a student in Tehran had committed suicide.  

Authorities have been accused of covering up the killing of students by security forces amid a heavy-handed crackdown on the anti-government rallies.  

Young men and women, including university students, have been at the forefront of the protest movement, and intelligence agencies have tightened the security situation at campuses across Iran. 

The ongoing burst of public anger was sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in hospital on September 16, three days after her arrest for allegedly wearing a hijab, or head scarf, improperly.    

The protests first focused on Iran’s strict dress code for women, but soon grew into one of the most serious challenges to the country’s clerical establishment, with demonstrators clashing with security forces and calling for the downfall of the Islamic Republic. 

Authorities have waged a violent crackdown on the protest movement, killing at least 215 people, including 27 children, according to one human rights organization. Several thousand people, including teachers, have been arrested. Attacks against schoolchildren have caused public outrage in many cities.  

The Coordination Council for Teachers Union reported that schools, mainly in predominantly Kurdish cities, heeded its call to boycott classes for two days in protest over the deaths and detentions of students.  

“We know very well that the military and security forces are invading the sanctity of schools and educational spaces,” the union said in a statement. “They have taken the lives of a number of students and children in the cruelest way.” 

Photos shared on social media show teachers holding up protest signs instead of teaching at schools in the cities of Saqez, Sanandaj, Marivan, Kermanshah and elsewhere.  

Their slogans included “Woman, Life, Freedom” and "Don't disturb the mental safety of students" and "I sacrifice my life for my students." 

Meanwhile, the judiciary said a student at the University of Tehran had taken his life, while Mizan news agency reported that the student sent messages before hanging himself inside the campus.  

No independent information was immediately available. 

In the city of Yazd, footage shared on social media showed protesting students singing outside the Faculty of Art and Architecture. They asked lecturers to join them in condemning the heavy-handed crackdown on students. 

A video of students chanting "Women, Life, Freedom" at Gohardasht Azad University went viral. 

"We all have a dream" 

On Saturday, protests were reported on Saturday in Tehran, Isfahan, Mahabad, Sanandaj, Yasuj, Yazd and many other cities. 

Many university students refused to attend class in Tehran, Ahvaz, Zahedan, Tabriz and Khorasan, while school students took to the streets across the country. 

In the capital, riot police and members of the Basij militia were out in force near Tehran University and at major intersections. 

In videos published on social networks, students chanted "Death to the dictator" in some streets of the city. 

In Zahedan, home to an ethnic Baluch population, Friday prayer leader Molavi Abdul Hamid accused the leader of the Islamic Republic of being "responsible" for last month’s crackdown against protesters in the city that claimed more than 80 lives. 

The Sunni imam described Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as the "Commander-in-Chief of Iran's Military Forces."  

The rallies in Iran triggered solidarity rallies in Europe and the United States on Saturday.  

Berlin police estimated that some 80,000 women and men joined such a demonstration in the German capital by late afternoon. 

"We all have a dream," protest leader Hamed Esmaeilion told the crowd. “In this dream, the prisoners are not tried and executed in three minutes. In this dream, thugs do not put belts around the necks of writers and poets."  

Thousands of people gathered in Washington and shouted: “Be scared. Be scared. We are one in this.” In Los Angeles, home to the biggest population of Iranians outside of Iran, a large crowd of demonstrators chanted for the fall of Iran’s government.  

More detentions, abductions, deaths in custody 

Meanwhile, sources told IranWire that Mohammad Omran," a resident of Borujard in Lorestan province, was arrested by intelligence agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. There was no information available about his whereabouts or the charges against him. 

Atrin Azarfar, a graphic artist from Sanandaj, was also arrested by the security forces and taken to an unknown location. Azarfar's family said she had not contacted them after her arrest and that they do not know where she was taken. 

Two members of a teacher's union in Khomeini Shahr, Hamid Mujiri and Satar Zarei, were kidnapped from their schools and taken to unknown places by the security forces. 

Political prisoner Alia Matalzadeh was returned to Tehran’s Evin prison. His wife told Iranwire on Friday he had been transferred from Lughman Hospital to an unknown location. 

Abbas Driss, who was arrested during the November 2018 protests in Mahshahr, was sentenced to death.  

Ramin Fatehi, a citizen of Sanandaj, died in custody eight days after his arrest by officials of the Sanandaj Intelligence Department. 

Nuclear reactor hacked 

As protests and repression persisted across Iran, the country’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Sunday that hackers acting on behalf of an unidentified foreign country broke into an e-mail server belonging to one of its subsidiaries, leading to some information being published online. 

The Iranian hacking group Black Reward claimed on social media it had released hacked information relating to Iranian nuclear activities, declaring the action an act of support for “women, life, freedom" in Iran. 

The information released included "management and operational schedules of different parts of Bushehr power plant", and "atomic development contracts and agreements with domestic and foreign partners,” according to the statement.  



Iranian Student Commits “Suicide” Amid Continued Protests At Universities

October 23, 2022
Iranian Student Commits “Suicide” Amid Continued Protests At Universities