Iranians in Portland prepare for rally following death of Mahsa Amini

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 9:33 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Iranians living in Oregon and Washington are holding a rally on Saturday in support of the continued protests across Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini.

The 22-year-old was in Tehran with family when the country’s morality police arrested her for an alleged headscarf infraction. Her family states officers beat her in the police van, which authorities deny. She was taken to a “re-educating” center where she can be seen collapsing on surveillance video. She was taken to the hospital, where she later died.

Amini’s death sparked protests across Iran that have continued the last two weeks. Despite internet outages in the county, human rights organizations say at least 80 have been killed in the protests, with over a thousand detained including over a dozen journalists.

Iranians in the Portland metro area say Amini’s death was the final straw for those feeling oppressed by the government for decades. Fox 12 spoke with several ahead of Saturday’s rally. We are only using their first names due to concerns over retaliation against family and friends living in Iran.

“All the women across Iran and across the world heard and they had just had enough,” said Nilo. “It’s not something that is new to us. We’ve all grown up with it. All the women in Iran have lived in fear for many, many years.”

Iranians in Portland prepare for rally following death of Mahsa Amini.
Iranians in Portland prepare for rally following death of Mahsa Amini.(KPTV)

Many say they are rallying to be the voice of those in Iran.

“We are now having this outside power to give a voice to the young, to give a voice to the people who were there prior to the revolution and saw the change in their country,” said Shirin. “We are advocating for choice, for freedom, and respect.”

They hope to shed light on the situation and continue to keep Iran in the global spotlight.

“We all worry that people are dying on the streets,” said Behzad. “They are our brothers, our sisters. They are our friends. We are here, but our roots are there.”

“I talked to a family member today after trying to reach her for two weeks,” said Bahar. “Hearing the stories of what is going on from the perspective of someone there really just opened my eyes even more that we have so much freedom here, but in Iran they are losing it second by second, minute by minute, day by day.”

The rally is planned for Saturday, Oct. 1 at 2 p.m. at Pioneer Courthouse Square.