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Sep 042020

Maryam Rajavi: Iran’s enlightened students and youths rise up in the name of freedom

Categories // Messages : freedom and democracy in Iran

Maryam Rajavi: Iran’s enlightened students and youths rise up in the name of freedom

Message on the new school year 2020-2021

Students,
Academicians, educators, and freedom loving teachers of Iran,
Greetings to all of you in the beginning of the new school year.
My particular salutes to the brave students who led and pioneered the protests and uprisings.
And hail to the honorable and freedom loving teachers who staged nationwide strikes against the regime over the past two years.
For more than 40 years, Iran’s vanguard generation has been fighting the clerical regime to achieve freedom.
Countless students and teachers have been arrested, detained and executed from the 1980s to 2020. But the blood-drenched commitment to overthrow the mullahs’ regime has been passed from one generation to the next, powering further uprisings and energizing the movement that seeks to topple the regime.

A turbulent year is ahead of us

Compatriots,
The new school year is beginning despite the pandemic, and while many Iranian cities are in the alarming red state and in critical circumstances. As such, the premature opening of schools and universities contradicts warnings by physicians and medical experts. In the absence of the necessary resources and conditions to observe the hygiene protocols, the opening of schools will pose a serious danger to millions of students in high schools and universities and to all our fellow citizens.

This painful situation under the rule of the religious fascism is the product of four decades of crimes perpetrated by the medieval mullahs. Instead of building adequate educational infrastructures and providing public health services and resources, they have plundered the national wealth and natural resources, and spent them all on domestic suppression, on export of war and terrorism, and on missile and nuclear programs to protect the regime.

As the regime’s Education Ministry acknowledged, at least three million students have had to quit school because the regime has not offered appropriate options for all students, many of whom do not have the digital equipment needed to continue their education during the pandemic.

Students and teachers protested the ridiculous “Shad” application designed to expand the regime’s control over users in the virtual space. They said it is not possible to replace actual education with virtual education without providing the necessary infrastructures. Doing so will lead to the deprivation of a considerable number of students who do not have access to such resources from educational opportunity.
Therefore, a turbulent year, coupled with deadly crises for the clerical regime looms.

School or prison?

The bell rings at the start of every school year herald the promise of happiness and progress for every child and teenager. But for Iranian children and youths, they only mean captivity, violence, poverty and destitution under the mullahs’ rule.
The gravity of the situation is such that even the state media ask: what is the problem with our educational system that has turned schools into prisons for children?
As the regime officials say, Iranian students must overcome numerous obstacles to obtain a degree. They have to study in schools which are far below the standards. The buildings are 30 to 40 years old and their walls crumble on students.
They have to study in classrooms crammed with 40 students and are short of human resources and teachers. The students have to struggle with voluminous textbooks filled with useless material. Then they have to spend the year in a tense atmosphere, where they have to endure physical punishments and humiliating treatment.

The situation is more tragic with students who live in deprived cities, in slums and in villages. The majority of these students study in sheds or in the middle of a desert.
Most of the boy students enter the job market before entering high school.
Some 75 percent of the girls do not continue their education after the elementary school and are forced into marriage.

According to the statistics collected by the governorate of Sistan and Baluchestan, there are 708 unusable schools in this province. There are innocent child workers who are their families’ breadwinners. They work as porters or scavenge through the garbage. And there are the homeless children who sleep in the streets on in (empty) graves.

This is while according to the regime’s Labor Law, it is forbidden to hire children under 15 years of age.
The largest number of school drop-outs are in the provinces of Sistan and Baluchestan, Hormozgan and Khuzestan. State media have revealed that many of these children do not go to school only because they do not have shoes.
Impoverished children and teenagers also become victims of drug dealing gangs in the city slums and end up in jail.
In the vengeful atmosphere created by the mullahs, the children who get into fights with each other in poor neighborhoods will have to spend years in prison to reach the legal age of 18 to be hanged.

And innocent girls have to bear the double burden of humiliation, corruption and oppression of this regime.
The families’ destitution coupled with the clerical regime’s oppressive and medieval laws have left no future for Iran’s youth and children. So, the highest number of suicides belong to children and youth in Iran.
And finally, one needs to mention the painful conditions of students who are street peddlers, the unemployed graduate students, and the teachers who have not received their salaries for many consecutive months.

The ultimate solution is to end the mullahs’ criminal rule

Dear students, academicians and educators,
There is no end to the stories of pain and suffering under the ruling theocracy. But there is a decisive solution which is to end the mullahs’ corrupt rule.

Iranian society and especially Iran’s young people put an end to the game of “principlists vs. reformists” during their blazing uprisings in 2017, 2018 and 2019. They further demonstrated their formidable resolve to rise up and achieve freedom by overthrowing this criminal regime in its entirety despite the mullahs’ cruelty and wickedness.
As the Leader of the Iranian Resistance Massoud Rajavi has said, “The people of Iran have the final say. The vanguards and the army of freedom will write Iran’s destiny. We are the ones to write our own, our country and our nation’s destiny.”

So, hail to the enlightened students and youths of Iran who rise up in the name of freedom and in memory of the martyrs who gave their lives in this path.
Those who refuse to surrender to religious fascism’s reactionary ideology, superstition, and oppression.
They undertake the path of struggle and rebellion, and rise up to change the status quo.

They do so by participating, supporting and forming Resistance Councils and Resistance Units, and shattering the atmosphere of silence, fear and submission.
Instead of becoming demoralized and introverted, they join hands and expand the protests and strikes.
The bright future of Iran is tied to this very choice.
This is a choice worthy of every freedom loving student and youth in Iran.

This is a solution whose fruition and triumph are in the hands of each and every one of you.
So, let us commemorate Iran’s vanguards and trail blazers of freedom, and honor the memory of Mohammad Hanifnejad and the founders of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) who broke through the impasse of struggle in September 1965.
Let us pay tribute to all the Mojahedin and combatants who fight in the path of freedom and who have refused to compromise with the ruling religious fascism.
And let us commemorate the 1,500 red tulips (the martyrs of the November 2019 uprising) who are missed in many schools and universities, today.
Fill every neighborhood, school and university by crying out their names.

And keep the flames of their memories alive and alight by your protests and uprisings.

God bless the martyrs
Long live freedom

Maryam Rajavi

 

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

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