For the eighth week in a row, dozens of residents of Kelowna, BC, demonstrated their support for those in Iran who still face government repression.
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Such rallies have been taking place around the world since the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained by Iran’s “morality police” for not wearing the hijab “correctly”.
“The internet is completely shut down in Iran, there is the highest level of censorship, and they are putting their lives in their hands to defend their freedom and to regain their freedom,” organizer and UBCO professor, Ray Taheri explained.
“The least we can do is show our support.”
The event began in the parking lot of UBC Okanagan, where protesters could be seen waving flags and placing signs on their vehicles before forming a convoy on Highway 97 on their way to downtown Kelowna.
Taheri thanked the community for showing solidarity with those who do not have the freedom to express themselves.
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Taheri explained, “I am very happy that there are so many non-Persian people in Kelowna, good people who have joined us.”
“I am very grateful to them, and I would like to ask them to continue supporting this movement.”
Iran includes calls to restore women’s rights, a primary focus for protesters at these rallies. A woman who moved to Kelowna from Iran says she is distraught to see what is happening to her friends and family back home.
Saba Shahrari said, “Seventy-five percent of my family and friends still live in Iran.”
“The easiest thing you do is put you in jail or you’re going to be killed. It’s terrible to think of a country that has so much beauty and wealth going through this kind of situation.” Is going through.
Given the continuing conflict in Iran, many protesters in Kelowna say they won’t be giving up anytime soon.
“Every Saturday until we see freedom,” said Masood Ghaffarizad.
“It doesn’t matter how long it takes; We’re here.”
The next Rally in Support of Iran will begin at 11:30am on Monday, December 5 at the UBCO Campus.