The Ghost of Freedom: Revolution in Iran a Year on
Oleksiy Pryimak talks to Iranians about how their revolutionary spirit is being put to the test a year on from the protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Ahmini.
“Sometimes I think of killing myself”, confesses Farah, a student from Iran, (all names in this article have been changed). She is one of those few who agreed to talk with me about daily life in the country – most others were too afraid to discuss it on the Internet. “We live in a nightmare, and when I try to explain it to the foreigners, they simply don’t understand me.”
I hear these words from the locals way too often. Their nightmare took on darker tones almost a year ago when the morality police in Tehran killed 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for violating the so-called ‘hijab rules’. Shortly after that, massive protests erupted across the country. Cars were burning, portraits of Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, were being torn down, people were being killed, kidnapped, and tortured by the police. Some called it a revolution.
However, a year on not much of that revolutionary feeling has remained. The months-long absence of ‘morality police’ in the streets of Iran – the most important bargaining chip the Islamic Regime had to offer – has done its job. But it’s not the only thing that has kept people from rioting. “Another reason for that is the brutality of the regime”, Zahra says. “People stay silent to protect their loved ones.”
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