Mon. Dec 5th, 2022

“I saw the brutality of the regime.”

Nazanin, a BC woman, recently returned home to Metro Vancouver from Iran after participating in protests and witnessing events that left her with nightmares.

“The young man was shot in the chest and was breathing hard,” Nazanin told Global News. She said that the other protesters provided first aid because going to the hospital would have resulted in one of them being arrested.

Global News is not revealing Nazana’s identity for fear that speaking out could put her life in danger.

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

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Click to play video: 'Vancouver resident describes time spent in Iran's Evin prison'


A Vancouver resident describes his time in Evin prison in Iran


Nazanin was in Iran to help a close family member with serious health problems and witnessed the country’s transformation overnight.

“After Amini’s death, people were so angry and upset with the Islamic Republic for 44 years of brutality, dictatorship, lack of human rights and lying to the people,” she said.

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

“The Basians attacked us with tear gas and shooting. We all run away, and a kind man opened his door and we rushed to his house.”

She said her eyes burned from the tear gas.

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The protester, she said, warned her not to touch her eyes and blew cigarette smoke into her eyes to ease the burning sensation.

She said it was nice to witness unity and courage, but devastating to witness the inhumane suppression of protesters.

“I had mixed feelings. I am excited and hope that Iran will be proud of (that) young generation, especially the women who are fighting against the dictatorship, demanding their own human rights,” said Nazanin. “On the other hand, I was very sad to witness them beating people, shooting and I was worried and scared not only for myself but for all the young brave people.”

Of Iran’s 290 lawmakers, 227 recently called on the judiciary to impose death sentences on all jailed protesters.

At least five protesters have already been sentenced to death. The United Nations said nearly 15,000 protesters were jailed and at least 300 were killed – including nine-year-old Kian Pirfalak, who was killed in the crackdown.

Kian Pirfalak.

@1500 Tasvir

As the people await the death penalty, Zohreh Elahian and Kazem Gharibabadi, the two lawmakers who voted to call for the execution of the protesters, traveled to New York to attend meetings of the UN General Assembly.

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Nazanin feared for her life traveling back to Canada.

She was anxious at the airport in Iran, terrified that the airport security officer would arrest her. She deleted all photos and videos from her cellphone and said she prepared for the worst possible scenario.

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

Nazanin said that she had waited almost 44 years for that moment to stand up to the regime, in honor of her late cousin.

She said she had tears in her eyes as she walked out into the street.

“It was a very emotional time, I can’t explain it with many words. We waited 44 years for that moment, and I was there and it made me very happy.”

The moment he hopes for is on the way to revolution.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.