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‘The revolution is still alive’: Diary of an Iranian student protesting against the regime

“The revolution is still alive in people, and people are looking forward to a big change to this country.”

These are the words of a young man studying at a university in Iran, who has shared his diary entries with Sky News.

Mohammed has seen first hand how authorities have cracked down on protests at universities and how students have adapted to continue their activity. His name has been changed to protect his identity.

When protests break out against the nation’s repressive regime, it’s often students who are the beating heart of the resistance.


The sweeping unrest that has followed the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody is no different, and more than 700 students have been arrested, according to the activist HRANA news agency.

At least four people have been executed in connection with the demonstrations.

Diary entry one – University protests

More on Iran

“I want to talk about the day they executed Majidreza Rahnavard.

“I was totally shocked. I was really, really sad and very angry. I wanted to do something.

Majidreza Rahnavard

“I went to university. I was looking forward to seeing students come out and start chanting.

“But because of the high level of suppression and bad behaviours towards students we don’t have that kind of protests but things have changed.

“Changed to writing slogans on walls. At one of the campuses they do artistic protests, they hung hanging ropes from the ceiling in order to criticise the regime’s execution of these two guys.

“But although the form has changed for now the revolution is still alive in people, and people are looking forward to a big change to this country.

“The resistance groups are very active right now, a lot of them have been arrested and they try to keep the fire of the revolution on.

“For those who are truly against the regime, they don’t have a normal life. How can we have a normal life?

“Every step we walk, every piece of food we eat, every minute we spend working, every minute we spend studying and reading, we are thinking of the people who are in the prison.

“We are thinking of the people who are executed or killed on the streets.

“What we want from the world is please if you can’t do something good for us, please do not help this regime.

“You know their overthrow is our job. Stop talking and negotiating with them. This is a regime which is going to fire back at you if you continue working with them.

“We need the whole world to isolate this regime.”

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UK imposes sanctions on Iran following execution of British-Iranian national accused of spying

Diary entry two – Escaping into people’s homes

“I’m going to talk about one of the experiences I had in Iran during the last three months here during the revolution we’re going with.

“We were on the street, we were protesting and chanting.

“Suddenly the special forces of the police and plain-clothes agents attacked us, and so we had to escape.

“We tried to find a way to get out of there.

“I saw that some people would open the doors to their homes to rescue us and we went into one of them.

“I have heard that in some houses they have saved some of the people. They also treated them because they got shot and used first aid kits to take care of those who were injured.

“That was so brave of them because if the government knows that, finds that out, they will also arrest them. Some of those arrested are people who have helped people on the street.”

Diary entry three – ‘She slapped his face and ran away’

“I also saw many girls, especially girls were so brave that would stand in front of those with guns.

“In one case, one girl even slapped the face of one of the plain-clothes agents who had captured one of the guys and was forcing on his back with his foot.

“She slapped his face and ran away. The good thing was that the people tried to help him.”

Diary entry four – Protest in Tehran

“I talked to one of my friends, she is a brave girl.

“She has a friend who was arrested when she wanted to join the people who were protesting in Tehran.

“When she got out of her car to join the protesters, some people suddenly put her in a van. Unfortunately she has been raped.

“After some days she was released, I think in the same neighbourhood.

“She was in a bad place but I think she has gained her energy back and she is even more brave now.”

The aftermath of a fire at Evin prison last October. Pic: AP
The aftermath of a fire at Evin prison last October. Pic: AP

Diary entry five – Evin prison

“I also remember the night when Evin prison was set on fire. That was a very, very bad night.

“Many people in Tehran got on to the street and tried to get to the prison.

“We just got into the cars and tried to get there, but unfortunately they had blocked the roads to not let the people get there.

“That was just a warzone, they just shot some people with tear gas.”


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