Iranian doctors: “In three hospitals in the capital, 500 protesters risk losing their sight.” Between sexual violence and brutality, the Iranian resistance does not step back
The bandage, the bloodied face, but above all his words: «The last thing my right eye saw was a guard who shoots me in the face and laughs. Why are you laughing?”. Almost a month after the blow that took half her sight, Ghazal Ranjkeshthe 19-year-old law student from the port city of Bandar Abbas, has reluctantly become one of the symbols of the violence of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who, in addition to killing, brutally wound.
A Tehran surgeon who prefers to remain anonymous uses a precise term, “branding”: «The regime is branding an entire generation». “They shoot bullets half a meter away that shatter into hundreds of metal and rubber pellets. They are those used for hunting birds, some of Italian-French origin. They shoot at the torso, at the genitals, but above all they hit the eyes, leaving permanent damage to the retina, to the ocular nerve: they blind». Only in three hospitals in Tehran — Farabi Hospital, Labafinejad Clinic and Rasul Akram Hopital — have doctors confirmed over 500 cases of demonstrators, often minors, arrived in hospital with very serious damage to their eyesight. An ophthalmologist tells us that three hundred of these will never see again. “Today, it is very difficult to collect data in Iran, but if three hospitals speak of such a high number of blinded people, who knows what the total is”, comments an Iranian doctor in Italy. The situation is so serious that on Nov. 25, 140 ophthalmologists wrote a letter to their president asking for action.
If what happens in prisons is terribly imaginable, the story that comes out of the corridors of hospitals is striking. «For weeks, plainclothes paramilitaries have been present in all departments. They take protesters from operating rooms, hand them over to the security forces who take them to prison. Many of the twenty thousand protesters in prison were taken from our clinics,” says the doctor. Reason why, those who are injured in the protests, if they can, avoid going to the hospital. «But being treated at home is very dangerous because these bullets end up everywhere and not all of them are easily removable. We saw radiographs of metal pellets stuck near the cerebral cortex.”
Also from Tehran, they tell us that in all cities a secret network of clinics is springing up where doctors treat in secret. They do it to help the young protesters, but also to protect themselves since their category is targeted by the regime. It is no coincidence that after the hanging of 23-year-old Mohsen Shekari, news came of the death sentence of Hamid Garehassanlu, a radiologist: «It seems he was accused of injuring a member of the Basiji paramilitary forces. By now President Raisi and his friends are picking randomly from among the population with exemplary punishments aimed at reassuring the guards demoralized by the revolt. It is said that in the last week they raised the salary of the military by 20%», explains the surgeon from Tehran.
The stories of girls and boys raped in prisons are also increasingly frequent, but the data is nearly impossible to find. «A colleague recounted that in one day six girls from the same prison were taken to a clinic in the capital who suffered from very serious vaginal and anal lacerations. They say that the policemen choose the most beautiful minors to rape in groups », reports the doctor.
But the violence of the regime does not seem to have the strength to stop the revolution. In a post on social media, Ghazal Ranjkesh wrote: ‘That guard didn’t know I was bulletproof. He didn’t know that my body and my soul are bigger and don’t tremble in front of the rifle than him.’
December 9, 2022 (change December 9, 2022 | 19:46)
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