On Wednesday, December 21, 2022, Iranians from all walks of life mark the ancient Yalda Night celebration as the longest night of the year. Due to the regime’s mismanagement and financial failures, this night has become a nightmare for around 80 percent of Iranian families who cannot afford an acceptable celebration.
Activists annually pointed to the huge prices of sweets, fruits, nuts, etc. on this occasion. However, many families mourn their lost loved ones during the past three months this year.
The fundamentalist regime propagated against this ancient celebration every year. The state-aligned mullahs vehemently prevented citizens from marking the Yalda Night celebration, reckoning it is a “superstition.” Instead, they have installed large banners in public areas, encouraging families to come together and celebrate this night.
Nevertheless, citizens reject the regime’s propaganda and insist on the continuation of protests. Netizens say:
—The longest night of the year was November 16, when the mother of Kian Pirfalak, 10, was seeking ice for the lifeless body of her loved one.
—The longest night of the year was November 29, when the brother of Mehran Samak, 27, put the lifeless body of his brother in his car and drive all night to save his brother’s corpse from being seized by authorities.
—The longest night of the year was December 7 or 11, when Mohsen Shekari and Majid Reza Rahnavard spent their last night awake and waiting to be hanged at the next dawn.
—The longest night of the year was November 13, when the joy of Yalda Aghafazli’s parents merged with the eternal grief of losing their loved one and today marked her birthday and memorial at the graveyard simultaneously. Yalda had derived her name from this ancient night when she was born.
—and many other nights that families gazed at the streets, waiting for their beloved children to return or spent nights behind the doors of notorious prisons…
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, referred the Yalda night to the Iranian people’s longstanding suffering and grief, heralding this suffering would end with the dawn of freedom thanks to ongoing uprising and resistance. “At the end of a dark night, there is light.”
December 21 marked the 97th day of anti-regime protests in Iran. The demonstrations began following the heinous murder of Mahsa Amini, 22, in police custody. However, it immediately turned into a revolution against the entire theocratic regime.
According to the Iranian opposition Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI), the protests have extended to 282 cities. The regime has killed over 750 citizens, injured tens of thousands, and detained more than 30,000. The MEK has published the names of 601 killed protesters.
As of 12:30 pm Tehran time on December 21, protests in #Iran have expanded to 280 cities.
Over 750 people killed & more than 30,000 arrested by the regime's forces. The PMOI/MEK has published the names of 601 killed protesters.#IranRevoIution#مرگ_بر_ستمگر_چه_شاه_باشه_چه_رهبر pic.twitter.com/32sOqA4WjM
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) December 21, 2022
- “The human rights situation in #Iran has a high priority for the Netherlands,” said Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra. “We are committed bilaterally, EU and UN to condemn the situation in Iran, work for justice, and get sanctions passed for those responsible.”
- “Sweden expresses its strong support for the Fact-Finding Mission,” stated the Swedish Foreign Ministry. “Accountability for the violence and human rights violations in Iran remains essential.”
- Austrian MPs sponsor 183 people imprisoned and sentenced to death in Iran.
- “Yalda should be a festive time for the Iranian people,” said U.S. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price. “Instead, tonight we mourn with the many families missing loved ones who have been detained or killed during the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on peaceful protestors.”
- “I’ve written to the government of Iran expressing concern at the sentencing, arrest, and detention of four women human rights defenders in apparent retaliation for their work advocating for the rights of women,” said UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders Mery Lawlor.
Locals in the capital’s Sa’adatabad district are continuing the nationwide protests against the regime. Source Protesters chanting: “Death to the dictator!” and “This is the year Seyed Ali (Khamenei) is overthrown!” Source
Protesters chanted in Shahrak-e Naft, Punak, after midnight: We don’t have Yalda Night this year; we have many corpses instead, referring to the regime’s mass killing of protesters and executions. Source
Political prisoners must be freed! Source
Protesters in Sanandaj are establishing roadblocks and chanting: “Death to Khamenei!” and “Death to the dictator!” Source
Locals in Saqqez’s Karim Abad district are continuing the nationwide protests against the regime. Source