Dictators need slaves bound to the state for unlimited control and obedience. These slaves are usually unconscious people with extremely radical beliefs, weak in terms of thinking. Khomeini’s Revolutionary Guards depict examples of this slavery. When these people are given weapons, the consequences can end in disaster. They take on either teacher or director duties in schools. It is very important for the state that they carry the identity of the Revolutionary Guard.
The Iranian regime is penetrating our lives with the help of tools such as social media, television, newspapers, books, pictures and music. In the past, even watching videos was forbidden during the Iran-Iraq war, so various methods were used to store tapes in houses with video devices. At that time, it was also forbidden to play chess, for men to wear T-shirts, for women to have their hair uncovered and to wear tight trousers. Many of these bans are still in place, and I want to tell you how they have taken our lives captive.
The regime’s books are designed more to manipulate people than to educate. It is taught to destroy the values you believe in, to ensure that you are connected to the state and its leader. People from the background, who have great power in society, have penetrated into all areas of the state. They want Iranians to live under the full control of the state.
When I was watching TV as a child, there was a woman who presented children’s programs. Cartoons Old cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, Pinocchio, Sinbad, Tusubasa were shown. They were all censored. In foreign films, women used to be censored if they wore short sleeves or low-cut. The scenes in which the songs were sung were censored and removed without explanation.
In the family scenes in Iranian films, girls hug their mothers and boys hug their fathers. It is forbidden to touch hands. It is forbidden to show the wrists of female cooks in cooking programs. The songs usually consist of martyrs, revolution or religious songs. You can’t hear the names of English brands on TV. They use sadness as a method of controlling everyone’s subconscious by imposing it. Dictators aim to control people more easily by preventing the hope.
Children used to wear white headscarves and dark navy blue coats in schools in the 90s. The walls were colorless. There were black-colored inscriptions, pictures of martyrs, verses and words of Khomeini. Pictures of Khomeini and Khamenei are hung all over the school. It was forbidden to use colored pencils in schools. There were not many colorful chapters in the books. In the books, a girl did not play with a boy, she could only play with girls.
In these teachings, children were told that happiness was a bad thing The school used to tell the story of a tortured family During inspections of public schools, it is checked whether children are really crying or not. Especially when the month of Muharram begins, students are asked to draw painful pictures.
WAYS TO BECOME AN ACCEPTABLE JOURNALIST
Secondary schools are more simple and colorless. There is nothing hanging on the walls either. It was forbidden to use mirrors and wear makeup. School newspapers were required to emphasize issues praising the regime. If our articles were liked, they would direct us to do journalism or to television.
In this way, journalist candidates who start university are checked from one hand. The government loves these journalists very much. They are aware that they will direct the public with the news they make by brainwashing them. These people earn decent because of their pro-regime news. If this kind of journalist earns a lot of money, there is a big problem.
Some journalists, in addition to their professions, extend helping hands to people in need. But these journalists have started to be subjected to a lot of pressure. However, they were publishing their articles in a way that would not harm the state within the framework of the laws.
Journalist Niloufer published only pictures to clarify the Mehsa Emini incident that put Iran on the world agenda. She was touted as a spy for announcing the facts to the world.
JOURNALIST OR INTELLIGENCE?
Most of the journalists who want to do interviews in Iran are connected with intelligence. You should answer the questions by knowing whether the person you are dealing with is a journalist or an intelligence officer. If you make oppositional statements, you will be detained.
When journalists tell the truth, they are jailed or executed. Being a journalist in Iran means holding the ‘death rope’ in your hands. Books are censored. An author cannot publish his books without the approval of the state. Both writing and publishing are the most dangerous professions in Iran.
Foreign words are not published in Iranian newspapers. Traces of Islamic culture should be used in publishing. Young journalists are obliged to participate in the events organized by the state. Most journalists should have a Mullah friend as a reference. This is an incident specific only to Iran.
ANCIENT THEN MUM’S YOUTH
There are big differences between my mother’s youth and my youth. During elementary school, I used to look at my mother’s pictures and think that the period I lived in was still in the past. My father brought a satellite TV and we used to watch the Turkish music channel. We would feel ourselves in a completely different world. It was forbidden to watch television at that time. If you got caught, you would be jailed. That would have scared us. But thanks to television, we used to see that the world was normal, only we were different.
We are starting to see what is happening in the world now. We are learning more about different cultures, lifestyles and people. This has made me a tolerant, understanding person. I started to see both the beautiful and challenging aspects of life.
The Iranian people were not surprised at all when the Taliban began to increase its pressure on the bans imposed in Afghanistan, and especially on women. Because we have been living with these bans for years. – State administrators act brainwashed when implementing bans. This has nothing to do with Islam. Most people know where Iran is, and those who don’t already found out after the murder of Mehsa Emini.
No matter how much we live under oppression, we should not lose our faith in freedom. I believe that one day we will achieve our freedom and the persecutions we have experienced will come to an end. We will not give up women’s basic human rights such as the right to education, freedom of thought and expression. By fighting together, we can build a future in which freedom prevails in the world. The most important thing on this path is that we don’t lose hope by supporting each other.
* Azadeh Dindar lives outside Iran as a human rights defender and electrical engineer.