“Woman, Life, Freedom”: Northeastern Students Protest Iranian Regime

On November 30, Iranian students from Northeastern Universitys Boston campus came together to promote awareness of the current situation in Iran human rights issues.

Photo by Sabira Khalili/Northeastern University

On November 30, Iranian students from Northeastern University’s Boston campus came together to promote awareness of the current situation in Iran human rights issues.

Sabira Khalili, Contributor

“Jin, Jiyan, Azadî,” (“Woman, Life, Freedom,”) is the phrase that Iranians have been singing in protest of the Islamic Republic regime in the country for the last few months. 

The phrase, meant to draw attention to accusations of Iran’s systematic oppression of women’s rights and other minority groups, has been loud throughout the country’s cities since the assassination of Mahsa (Jina) Amini at the hands of Iranian security forces on September 16, 2022. 

Since then, it has been reported that more than 400 people have died, including 63 children, and over 18,000 individuals have been imprisoned.

The protests have now reached Northeastern University’s Boston campus. This week, Iranian students gathered in the courtyard of Snell Library, hoisting the tricolor flag of the Islamic country and posters with the slogans, “Woman, Life, Freedom” and “Who was Mahsa Amini?” and singing the song “For Freedom.”.

The students at yesterday’s gathering declared that the Iranian regime has; “mass murdered students in universities, raped and murdered teenage girls, shot and beat protesters of all ages including toddlers, imprisoned thousands of protesters, bombed the Evin prison which holds brilliant minds and political prisoners, and silenced all who dare to stand in solidarity.”

Amin Pishehvar is a 26-year-old student majoring in electrical engineering at Northeastern University who is fed up with “oppression” and wants to elevate their voice for freedom to be heard all over the world. They said, “we’re gathered here in solidarity with Iranian people who are now going through a revolution.”

The sad faces and pained looks of most of the students were the image of a deep wound in their hearts and worry about their loved ones and families in Iran.

Pishehvar described, “I am facing problems communicating with my family back in Iran because the government has shut down the internet. Also, they’re living in daily hard, daily terror because you don’t know when the government would approach them to arrest them or kill them.”

Nazanin Bani Amerian, a postdoctoral teaching associate in the communication studies department at Northeastern, was born and grew up in Tehran. They described, “We don’t ask anything from the government anymore. We tried many times to ask them for freedom and not to kill people because of their rights, to let them live. Let people live life in the way they want. They won’t listen to us and no one has heard us. They did it. We want the world to know what is happening in Iran. We want the world to be on the side of the Iranian people, the side of Iranian women and the side of Iranian students.”

The students who gathered yesterday have now produced written statements to demand justice for political prisoners and victims and garner more of the international community’s support.

Amerian said, “Our intention here is to raise awareness, the world needs to know what’s going on. We want to raise the awareness that the students like us are in Iran, and they’re being arrested, tortured, killed, because of what they’re saying. Just what they’re thinking and what they want. So we want the world to know, especially the universities.”

The students at yesterday’s gathering believe that: “numerous students and professors in Iran are being beaten, imprisoned and abducted. Some of those inmates are subjected to torturous interrogations, coerced confessions, torture, and rape, while others face erroneous convictions, including death sentences imposed by the regime’s courts. The imminent threat to students’ lives and safety in Iran is extremely grave, necessitating quick action and attention from those who enjoy the freedom of expression.”

Hamid Tarashyoun, a 24-year-old student of interdisciplinary engineering at Northeastern, believes that, “I don’t think Iran is going to be the same after this, because people are tired of oppression and darkness and this time we all seek to cast light on the ongoing revolution against the totalitarian theocracy in Iran.”