‘It was very emotional’: BC woman describes participating in protests in Iran IG News

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“I saw the brutality of the regime.”

Nazanin, a BC woman, recently returned to Metro Vancouver from Iran after participating in protests and witnessing nightmarish events.

“A young man was hit by a bullet in his chest and was having trouble breathing,” Nazneen told Global News. She said that other protesters provided first aid because going to the hospital would have resulted in one being arrested.

Global News is not disclosing Nazneen’s identity out of fear that her life may be in danger if she speaks out.

She left Iran in September before an uprising sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in the custody of so-called Morality Police for allegedly wearing a hijab improperly.

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Click to play video: 'Vancouver resident describes his time at Evin prison in Iran'


Vancouver resident describes his time at Evin prison in Iran


Nazneen was in Iran to help a close family member with serious health problems and saw the country change overnight.

“After Amini’s death people were very mad and upset about 44 years of brutality, dictatorship, lack of human rights and lies to the people in the Islamic Republic,” he said.

She described the night she joined the protest as a defining moment in her life.

“The Basji lobbed tear gas shells and fired at us. We all ran and a kind man opened his door and we ran towards his house.

She said that her eyes were burning from the tear gas.

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A protester, she said, warned her not to touch her eyes and blew cigarette smoke at her eyes to relieve the stinging pain.

He said that it is beautiful to see the unity and bravery but it is devastating to see the inhuman action of the protestors.

“I had a mix of feelings. I am excited and hopeful for an Iran that the younger generation will be proud of, especially the women who are standing up against the dictatorship and demanding their human rights,” Nazneen said. It was very sad to see how they were beating people, shooting and I was worried and scared not only for myself but for all the brave young people.”

227 out of 290 lawmakers in Iran recently called on the judiciary to issue death sentences to all imprisoned protesters.

At least five protesters have already been sentenced to death. The United Nations said that around 15,000 protesters have been imprisoned and at least 300 have been killed – including nine-year-old Kian Pirfalak, who was killed in action.

Kian Pirfalak.

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While the men awaited their death sentences, Zohreh Elahian and Kazem Gharibabadi, the two lawmakers who voted in favor of calling for the execution of the protesters, traveled to New York to attend meetings of the United Nations General Assembly.

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Nazanin feared for her life on her way back to Canada.

She was worried at the airport in Iran, scared that a security officer at the airport would arrest her. She deleted all photos and videos from her cellphone and said she prepared herself for the worst.

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Four decades ago, Nazneen’s cousin, a political prisoner, was executed by the Islamic Republic.

Nazanin said that she waited almost 44 years to stand against the regime, and did so out of respect for her late cousin.

She said that tears welled up in her eyes while being taken on the streets.

“It was a very emotional time, I cannot explain with many words. We were waiting for that moment for 44 years and I was there and it made me very happy.

One moment he is hopeful that he is on the path of a revolution.

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