18 Tir Message from the Islamic Association of Students for Democracy at the University of Tehran and Medical School
Persian text originally published on: July 9, 2010
We were just 22 years old.
We had dreams of love.
We died before having the chance to fall in love.
Eleven years ago, a tragic and violent event turned the University of Tehran into a blood zone. Those in power supposed that such carnage would demolish the will of the people for freedom, democracy, and social justice. But simpleminded people do not understand the statement that the “university is the last entrenchment of freedom.” The cries of students, with the bloodshed of July 9, 1999 (18 Tir), gave new life to Iran’s freedom movement, followed by ten years of struggle for civil, social, and women’s rights.
18 Tir marked the beginning of the Iranian people’s peaceful struggle for democracy. Students endured much grief in the following years with imprisonment, torture, and the inability to continue their education or work. Now, eleven years after 18 Tir and more than a year after the revived uprising of the people of Iran, we still insist on our demands for democracy and freedom.
Ten years after the events of 18 Tir 1999, the children who had grown older under the dictatorial regime and developed into young adults bellowed louder for social justice. This time they stood even taller and stronger, demanding rights for women, youth, workers, and teachers.
Even though they had never met the original students who rose in 18 Tir 1999, the youth ten years later took up arms, but again, they were met with violence. The dorm rooms were set ablaze and destroyed. Once again, the blood of the students stained the dormitory rooms. Students were severely beaten, and now more than 30 of those students are still imprisoned under rugged conditions as they await their sentences.
This government knows the Green Movement is not withering, and it has reaffirmed its repression against the people with much greater force. They are dominating the universities with the expulsion of students, and preventing many from completing their studies. However, even with such forcible intimidations, the Green Movement for democracy in Iran will not perish. The rulers have gone as far as shutting down the schools for ridiculous reasons such as the time they closed the University of Tehran to “spray insects.” In the past year, they have managed to reduce the population at the University of Tehran to a third of what it was the previous year.
Deceiving students and all the people is no longer acceptable. The Student Movement is united with the struggle of the workers, who are under more pressure than ever before. The students stand united with women and youth who want freedom and democracy in Iran.
The student organization cherishes and commemorates all the martyrs who lost their lives on the path to freedom during 18 Tir, in particular the memories of martyrs Ezat Ebrahimnejad and Akbar Mohammadi who relayed and consolidated their faith in the freedom fighting people of Iran. They demanded the advance of people’s rights on the path to freedom and democracy and they pressed for unconditional freedom of political prisoners in Iran.