Protesters are fighting the Iran government by staging a sit-in and hunger strike at the B.C. legislature.
As Christmas lights drape the B.C. legislature building and trees on the grounds, bringing light to Victoria, a much darker situation is at play for millions of people in Iran.
Hossein Reyhani is just one of the Iranian Canadians attempting to bring awareness to the tragedies and acts of violence committed against women, journalists and protesters in Iran by the Islamic Republic.
In the more than three months that have passed since the killing of Mahsa Amini sparked global outrage, Reyhani said at least 450 people have been killed by the Islamic Regime, with countless others arrested.
“More than 11 per cent of those killed were children,” Reyhani told the Victoria News. “During this time, the Islamic Regime committed every known human rights violation against Iranians. Torture, sexual assault, corpse theft, kidnapping, and execution are only a few of the inhumane actions of this criminal sect.”
Over the past few months, the Greater Victoria area has seen many protests in support of the anti-government protests and over that time have locals have coordinated with other protests groups around the world to collaborate on a handful of actions they would like to see.
“We Iranians on Vancouver Island attempted to echo the message of Iranian brave-hearts during this time by organizing a variety of protest activities, most of which were coordinated with protests in other parts of the world,” Reyhani said. “We will now take a further step and sit in the grounds of the British Columbia Parliament to reiterate the significance of supporting the Iranian protest movement.”
In addition to staging the sit-in, Reyhani and others will also take part in a hunger strike from Dec. 15 at 8:30 a.m. until Dec. 16 around 4:30 p.m., in the hopes of spreading the message of the dire situation befalling Iranians. During this time, he and others will only consume water as they sit outside, with lows of 1C expected.
Staging this protest on the grounds of the B.C. legislature will not only provide the protesters with visibility, but also proximity to lawmakers. Reyhani has a list of requests that Iranians supporting the movement want to see on behalf of the Canadian government, including a meeting with parliamentary representatives so his group can show the details of what is happening inside Iran.
Among other requests, Reyhani and others want to see new laws supporting the Iranian-Canadian community, including applying pressure to allies to work together in order to remove the Islamic Republic’s ambassadors and high-ranking officials, end negotiations related to the Iranian Nuclear deal and support a regime change in Iran.