In late 2022, many Iranians protested the death of Mahsa Amini a woman who lost her life when arrested for improperly wearing her hijab. This horrific event led many Iranians to take to the streets of Iran in protest. This uprising was met with a harsh crackdown that included the deliberate shooting of the protesters in the eye. It is estimated that greater than 2,000 protesters lost complete or partial vision due to receiving direct hits to their eyes from projectiles or pellets from different weapons used by security forces.
These types of eye injuries can be particularly devastating and life-changing. For many, vision loss is permanent as the eye is one of the few organs that can not be (entirely) transplanted. Thus, these victims will be faced with life-long emotional, psychological, and physical disabilities.
IRIS is a not-for-profit society that aims to assist Iranians who experienced an injury in their eye during the 2022 protests in Iran. We strive to help as many victims as possible helping them to improve their vision (where possible) and also providing psychological and in some cases financial help.
Saman was a young Iranian in his 30s who received a direct hit to the left eye in the 1401 protests. He will be needing multiple eye surgeries in the future. Since this horrific incident, although he has lost his eye sight, he has not lost his vision to fight on and continues to fighter for his cause.
Kimia Zand, a 26-year-old woman who lost an eye to a paintball directly fired at her by security forces. This horrific incident occurred during a peaceful demonstration for Mahsa that Kimia participated in. She was suddenly attacked by security forces hitting her with buttons and later was shot in the eye with a projectile from a paintball gun. Since then, she has lost her eyesight and can no longer go to work.
Raheleh Amiri, an Iranian psychologist, lost one eye after she was shot during the protests. During the Mahsa protests of 1401. Fortunately, Raheleh left Iran a few months ago and has received surgical care for her eye in Italy. She continues to fight for the Iranian “Women, Life, Freedom” movement.
What does IRIS do?
IRIS is a not-for-profit society that aims to help protesters who lost total or partial vision in the Iranian protests. Specifically, the objectives of our society are to :
- Assist in the medical treatment plan of any of the protesters who experienced an eye injury in a protest
- Assist, where possible, in fundraising and crowdfunding efforts to raise funds for those who cannot afford eye-related treatment
- Direct victims to resources that provide emotional and mental health support for them or their families