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  • Jan 17, 2024

Sonia Sharifi

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With both hands raised towards the sky, signaling victory, and above the roof of a car shining like a small but bright star in the middle of the night, Sonia Sharifi stands amidst the joy and jubilation of people celebrating her freedom.

Her name is Sonia Sharifi, a 17-year-old girl who, amid protests against the government's killing of "Mahsa (Jina) Amini," was violently abducted by authorities in Abadan, western Iran, from her grandmother's house. She spent over two months imprisoned in the correctional center of that province.

The Islamic Republic pressured Sonia's family to secure their teenage daughter's temporary release by providing a "one billion Toman" bail. Her family's understandable inability to raise this amount prolonged her stay in the custody of security forces.

She is part of Iran's Z generation and one of the brave girls who, after her release, repeatedly informed on her Instagram account about being stalked by suspicious individuals; facing harassment from plainclothes officers; and even receiving death threats and physical abuse.

Now, coinciding with the anniversary of her freedom, she has shared a hopeful message along with a photo of herself in Kurdish attire. She wrote, "A year has passed, and exactly a year ago on such a day, I returned home amidst the cheers and joy of the people, and perhaps I will never be able to repay their love and unwavering support. It is the power of people's unity that can overcome anything in this world. A city is made beautiful through unity, and it is this unity of the people which will make the city even more beautiful."

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