BC Legislature
(File photo)

A group of Iranian Victorians and UVic students have planned a demonstration to stand in solidarity with Iranian women struggling in their fight for women’s rights.

A gathering at the BC Legislature is planned for today following news of protesters being arrested and dying in Iran. The show of solidarity is to take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

On September 16th a 22-year old Iranian woman named Mahsa Amini died while in police custody in the country’s capital, Tehran. 

She was arrested two days prior to her death by the Gasht-e Ershaad, or the Iranian government’s ‘Guidance Patrol’ who are known informally as the ‘morality police.’

The Gasht-e Ershaad are primarily responsible for enforcing Iran’s religion-based dress-code and they focus on women’s compliance with wearing a traditional headscarf called a hijab.

According to Iranian police, Amini suffered a diabetes-induced heart attack while in custody. She then fell into a coma and was taken off life-support.

Amini’s parents refuted this claim by Iranian police, saying their daughter was in good health and did not have diabetes. 

An authenticated, post-mortem CT scan of Amini’s brain that was leaked to the public shows damage that is consistent with blunt-force trauma and the two women who were arrested alongside Amini say they too were beaten by the Gasht-e Ershaad inside a police van.

Since Amini’s death in Iranian police custody, the state has reportedly limited access to the internet. It is believed that this is a tactic to limit the amount of information getting out of the country regarding the protests and the government’s response to them.

The organizers of the event at the BC Legislature this Friday have seen and been inspired by the Iranian response to Amini’s untimely death. 

Protests that began with Iranian women cutting their hair and burning their hijabs in mourning over Mahsa Amini are taking place all over Canada and the world at large.

The organizers say the BC Legislature demonstration invites members and friends of Victoria’s Iranian community, women and allies of women’s rights to stand together in solidarity against the atrocities the people of Iran are currently enduring and protesting against. 

At the event, organizers will be distributing information about the issue of women’s oppression in Iran and what Canadians can do to help and raise awareness.

Demonstration for Iranian Women’s rights:

  • Where: BC Legislature – 501 Belleville Street
  • When: Friday, September 23rd from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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