Iran protests Security forces beat shoot and detain students at

Iran protests: Security forces beat, shoot and detain students at Tehran’s elite university as crackdown on protests escalates


When Farid’s friend screamed for help on Sunday, he jumped on his bike and quickly rode to Sharif University in Tehran.

“Please come and save us. We’re stuck here. They’re shooting at us,” his friend said.

Scenes of violence and “viciousness” struck him as he arrived at the elite university’s campus, he said, where hundreds of students had been trapped in the parking lot by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, according to videos verified by CNN from social media.

“They had guns, they had paintball guns, they had batons,” said Farid, whose name was changed for his safety.

“They used gases… [that are] banned internationally…it was a war zone…there was blood everywhere.”

In a video posted by the scene on social media, police can be seen arresting people and transporting them on motorcycles. Loud popping noises can be heard in another.

It was the first day of school, but many students had refused to attend class. Instead, they protested against the regime in a nationwide movement sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old who died in a hospital last month after being arrested by Iran’s morality police and sent for “re-education.” Center” for non-compliance with the state’s hijab laws.

Protests have been taking place in more than 45 cities across Iran, including the capital, for more than two weeks, with dozens of people reportedly killed in clashes with security forces.

CNN cannot independently verify claims of arrests or detentions, as an exact number of protesters arrested or detained cannot be confirmed by anyone outside the Iranian government. Figures vary depending on whether they come from opposition groups, international human rights organizations, or local journalists. The state media company Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) reported that at least 41 people were killed in recent protests in Iran. The crackdown has killed at least 52 people and injured hundreds more, according to Amnesty International.

While the rallies began with calls for justice for Amini’s death, they have since grown into a larger movement uniting a range of social factions and classes.

Farid said the incident began on Sunday after a group of students were reprimanded by campus security – who had called in reinforcements – for staging a strike and engaging in anti-regime chants.

“It started with students refusing to go to class. And then the (professor) of science came to talk to them because they were singing stuff…the students were led out by the university security forces and then stopped by Sepahs (IRGC forces) who were wearing normal human clothes,” Farid told opposite CNN.

“They told them, ‘If you get close to the subway station, we’ll start shooting, go back to the university.’ And after half the students got back into the university, they let the others into the parking lot. And after that they started shooting paintballs at them and taking them into custody in a very, very brutal way,” he added.

The university’s official newspaper, the Sharif Daily, also reported that security forces fired less-fatal shots at large groups of students in the campus parking lot as they tried to flee from security forces on Sunday. Social media videos reviewed by CNN captured the incident.

The “three main dormitories” of Sharif University were also “fired upon” by security forces, according to Farid, who claimed that students were still hiding at the university after Sunday night’s events.

“As we speak, students are still hiding at the university in the parking lots or in the professors’ rooms,” he told CNN.

“We don’t have a record [of detainees] still. The student council has been trying to take stock, but we won’t know for sure for five or six hours.”

Citing a source at the university, Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA said on Monday that 30 of the 37 students arrested during the protests had been released.

CNN cannot independently verify what happened during the confrontations at Sharif University or how many students were arrested afterwards. Sharif University officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

In a statement Monday, the Islamic Association of Sharif University Students urged all “Professors and students at Sharif University not to attend classes until all arrested students are released,” and urged students and professors across Iran to: to interrupt classes out of solidarity.

Snippets of this ongoing solidarity have already been seen in the Iranian capital, where Video Posted on social media shows a line of cars blocking roads near Sharif University on Sunday night in support of students.

The nationwide protests – which bring together a combination of complaints about a faltering economy, curtailed civil rights and the marginalization of ethnic minorities – are the biggest domestic threat the Iranian regime has faced in years.

Today’s protests are also bringing together younger Iranians with internet access who didn’t know Iran before the Islamic Republic.

The government – which has blamed Western media for instigating the protests – is unlikely to make any concessions, analysts say, and an end to the demonstrations is more likely to be achieved through the use of brute force.

But Farid insists that he and his contemporaries are not afraid, saying they have nothing to lose.

“It’s far from over. We’re not scared. We are outraged. we are angry You know, these people think we’re the previous generation – if they do, we’ll just quit. We won’t stop,” he said.

“These children are our future,” added Farid. “We will not accept that.”