James Leon |
Tehran (EFE) tense calm in the Persian country.
The first “woman, life, freedom” resounded at Mahsa Amini’s funeral in her hometown of Saqez, in Iranian Kurdistan, on September 17, a day after she died in police custody after being detained by the Police of the moral for not wearing the obligatory Islamic headscarf properly.
Amini’s death sparked protests that have rocked the country for four months, first with large demonstrations and then with smaller, more scattered mobilizations to avoid security forces, and especially in universities.
“Woman, life, freedom” has resounded in the streets, universities, institutes or from the windows of houses at night, becoming the slogan of some protests in which young people call for the end of the Islamic Republic.
The demonstrations, shouts and gestures of disobedience have almost completely disappeared from the streets, and even from social networks, in the face of a state repression that has caused nearly 500 deaths, and 20,000 arrests, of which several hundred have been sentenced to prison terms. and 17 to the gallows.
But above all it has been the four executions of protesters, the second of them in public, which has cut the wings of the protests.
fear of executions
“I no longer go out to protest for fear of executions,” a young university student from Tehran told EFE, who prefers to remain anonymous for security reasons.
“Many of my friends have been arrested and even acquaintances have died in the protests, but the executions have really scared me,” says the student.
“Somehow an execution makes me more afraid of being shot in the street,” he continues.
An Iranian supported the opinion of the university student, convinced that the hangings have put fear into the bodies of the protesters.
“The executions have stopped the protests,” he explains.
There are people who do not follow the media so as not to find out about friends sentenced to jail or hanged, or even executed.
The first execution was carried out on December 8, when 23-year-old Mohsen Shekari was hanged for wounding a basiji – an Islamic militant – with a knife, blocking a street and creating terror in Tehran.
Amid protests by Western countries and human rights groups, authorities publicly executed a second protester, Majid Reza Rahnavard, convicted of the murder of two security officers four days later.
Images of Rahnavard hanging from a crane at dawn opened in Iranian media the same day as his public execution in a square.
Two other protesters, Mohammad Mehdi Karami and Mohammad Hosseini, were executed on 7 January for the alleged murder of a Basiji.
Since the December executions, the number and intensity of the mobilizations have been decreasing until the current apparent calm.
There are no longer young men in the streets shouting “woman, life, freedom” or women waving veils, nor adolescents taking the turbans from clerics in the streets.
The residents of Tehran also do not take advantage of the darkness of the night to shout slogans against the authorities through the windows, such as “death to the dictator”, in reference to the supreme leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei.
In these circumstances, the Government headed by Ebrahim Raisí is preparing to celebrate next week the 44th anniversary of the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, in a commemoration aimed at “helping the people to follow the correct path”.
But it is a tense calm, with the presence of security forces at some Tehran crossings, such as the Parkway, in the north of the capital, and still censored internet services such as WhatsApp or Instagram, among others.
And above all because the discontent of the Iranians, particularly the youth, is still present, it has simply been repressed by force and the feeling is that it can flare up again at any moment.
“If there is another incident like the one in Mahsa or something like that, the protests come back,” says a neighbor from Tehran.
Many women have stopped wearing the veil, in a gesture of civil disobedience, particularly in Tehran and the neighbor of the capital believes that the authorities will re-impose its use sooner or later.
“When that happens there may be protests again,” he says.
And then perhaps the cry of “woman, life, freedom” will resound in the streets again.