‘They shot at us’: A Sharif University student recounts ‘apocalyptic’ repression of protests in Iran

© Observers

Iranian university students have been protesting against the Islamic regime in Iran since October 1. Videos document the brutal repression of these protests by the security forces in the universities: dozens have been injured by beatings and shotgun bullets and dozens more were arrested, according to students at these universities. Our Observer, a student at Sharif University, Iran's most prestigious university in Tehran, witnessed the violent clashes.

With the start of the Iranian school year in October, nearly all major universities in Iran have joined widespread protests over the death of Mahsa Amini following her arrest by the “morality police”. Human rights organisations have documented the arrest of 106 students by security forces – a figure that does not include those arrested during violent clashes at Sharif University on October 2. The exact number of students arrested is not yet clear.

Iranian security forces – in particular, Basij forces, a paramilitary branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – have been brutally repressing protests at universities. They cracked down on protesters using batons, shotguns, paintball guns and rifles, according to our Observers in Iran.

When we got there, we suddenly found ourselves trapped by the Basijis. They gassed us, shot at us with shotguns and arrested at least 30 or 40 students.

As many of us as we could, ran back towards the university... but at that point, the Basijis were there too. They shot at us again and arrested many more.

In the end, I cannot put into words what we experienced there. It was apocalyptic. It was like a war zone, every time a student fainted, either from gas or fear or something else, there were bloodstains here and there.

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