This article is taken from Stand 236, 20(4) January - March 2023.
– They took Mehdi they were waiting outside the school gates and they hit him they beat him and they threw him into the bus and they beat others and threw them –Sudden tears. A release that sent her crumbling to the floor at her father’s feet. Her mother stole in from the kitchen in silent steps, bent to her daughter with gentle hands.
– Shhh. Quiet. You don’t know what you’re saying
– They were checking papers and they started hitting him with sticks and feet they were kicking him and it was Mehdi… Mehdi –
– Shahin. Quiet. Quiet. You must not say these things
– But it’s true. I saw them at the gates and I saw them checking papers. And then…
– ShahinEyes prison shut. In denial. How could she talk to her parents when Mehdi, her closest friend at school, even though he was a boy …
– Take her to her room. Talk to her. ExplainIt had been coming for days. Weeks. He knew from the talk in the department that the crackdown was spreading. Intensifying. Lately, it had been in the neighbourhood near the station, not far from their flat at the edge of the market, two suburbs away. It was coming closer. Not that they had anything to worry about as his job gave them protection. Unless the talk turned to lies …
– She’s only fifteen –