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Island Iranian-Canadians express outrage at Iran’s ‘regime of discrimination’

Rally held at Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park the afternoon of Oct. 22
The Iranian-Canadian community in Nanaimo held a rally speaking out against Iran’s government and the death of Mahsa Amini. Amini, an Iranian woman, died in police custody Sept. 16, sparking protests. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)

Iranian-Canadians and supporters in Nanaimo expressed outrage over Mahsa Amini’s death and the oppressive nature of Iran’s ruling party.

A rally took place at Maffeo Sutton Park in Nanaimo this afternoon, Oct. 22, speaking against the Iranian government and the circumstances of Iranian woman Amini’s arrest and subsequent death while in custody. She was detained for the way she wore a hijab, according to reports.

Kian Pakdel, an organizer originally from Iran, told the News Bulletin Iranians are constantly oppressed by the government.

“When you’re an Iranian, you’re bound to have experienced such things, the environment of repression,” he said. “When you follow the news you see every day there has been someone who has been arrested because they’ve expressed their opinion or there are religious minorities that have been repressed, prevented from exercising their religion … it’s a regime of discrimination of all levels and of course for women. It’s also an anti-women regime.”

Amini’s death has raised awareness, but the situation has been ongoing for decades, according to Pakdel.

“I’ve seen the morality police actually, where they stop women just because of their dress code,” said Pakdel. “This is not what Iranians want. This is just what a small minority in Iran, who has the power, wants. It wants to enforce [its] own way of thinking, way of dressing. We’re in 2022 and people won’t accept that any more.”

Amini’s death on Sept. 16 has sparked outrage and protests have occurred in Iran and across the world, as a result.

Pakdel estimated 50 people attended the event at Maffeo Sutton.

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