Members of the University of Nevada, Reno’s Iranian Student Association and of the Iranian community gathered in front of the Joe Crowley Student Union building on Sept. 28 at approximately 1 p.m. to show solidarity against the killing of Mahsa Amini.
Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, was detained on Sept. 13 in Tehran, Iran by morality police due to her hair sticking out of her hijab. After the detainment, she was beaten, tortured and entered a coma. She died on Sept. 16.
Amini’s death sparked an uprising in Iran and protests against the regime. Iranian diaspora groups are also participating in protests against the Iranian government across the globe.
The Iranian Student Association posted about the event on their Instagram to “amplify the voices of brave Iranians fighting against misogyny and suppression!
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Bahram Vahedi, research faculty of civil and environmental engineering, talked to The Nevada Sagebrush about what the ultimate goal of the protest was.
“So today, we gathered here to show our solidarity with our friends and family inside Iran… fighting against this brutal regime,” Vahedi said. “We want to be the voice of these unheard people.”
Tayebeh Goli, an Iranian PhD student at UNR, shares the same goal as Vahedi with an added political element. In 2015, the United States and other nations signed a deal with Iran as a nuclear non-proliferation agreement.
Goli hopes the protests will urge elected officials to end cooperation with Iran for nuclear power.
“If you can’t help us, at least don’t support the terrorists,” Goli said. “Don’t support the government that has taken 80 million hostages.”
Vahedi explained the Islamic Regime of Iran came into power in 1979 after the Iran Revolution. After coming into power, the regime enforced strict laws, one of them enforcing all women to wear hijabs — the reason for Amini’s detainment and killing.
Iranian students are directly affected by the protests overseas. According to Goli, a friend received news during the protest that her friend was killed on the street. The government shutdown of internet services limits the contact Iranian students have with their families.
“We don’t know how they’re doing. We don’t know how they’re going. We just know they are on the streets protesting,” Goli said. “Sometimes … you just hear who’s killed, who is injured, and you don’t know what’s going on.”
The country is coming together to protest and spread awareness about Iran and Amini’s killing. Los Angeles is having protests about the death of Amini, and a human chain was formed on the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Iranian Student Association plans to have a club meeting in roughly two weeks to discuss the history of Iran.
“Iran is a country with 6,000 years of history, and we want to just tell that these 40 years does not represent us,” Goli said.
The Iranian Student Organization did not get back for immediate comment.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Jessica Cabrera and Lizzie Ramirez can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.