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Ottawa residents protest in solidarity with Iranians over woman's death

22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s death sparked outrage in Ottawa’s Iranian community with one woman cutting off portions of her hair in front of hundreds of demonstrators during a downtown rally.
22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s death sparked outrage in Ottawa’s Iranian community with one woman cutting off portions of her hair in front of hundreds of demonstrators during a downtown rally. | Image Source: ottawa.ctvnews.ca

Demonstrations are intensifying in Iran over the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who died in custody by morality police after she was detained earlier this month for allegedly wearing a hijab too loosely.

"It's not just about the hijab, it's about the body they want to control and oppress all women, control the country," said activist Azin Rezaeian.

The 22-year-old's death sparked outrage in Ottawa's Iranian community after one woman cut off sections of her hair during a downtown rally in front of hundreds of protesters.

“Mahsa is not the first woman to go through this. It was a tipping point," said Ramona Karimi, who joined several protesters on the city's streets to raise awareness of what they say are the oppressive rules of the Iranian regime.

"We need our leaders to listen and help Iran," she said. "The only way Iran can get around this internet censorship and really get somewhere with the uprising and the protest is if the whole world helps."

Progressive Conservative MP for Carleton Goldie Ghamari joined the crowd, tweeting: “Honored to join the hundreds of people in Ottawa who came out to support the Iranian people. Say her name. Be their voice.”

The cries for "woman, life and liberty" are getting louder. Several people in the community say they will continue to raise awareness of the unfolding crisis and speak up for those who can't.

"No one deserves to be treated like this, and a young girl at this age who puts a lot of hopes and dreams into a situation like this is not acceptable," said protester Maryan Kayamkar.

Human rights organizations say Iranian security forces have killed at least 54 people, and hundreds have been detained and beaten. Iran's president, meanwhile, has threatened to "deal firmly" with the growing number of protesters in cities across the country.

News Source: ottawa.ctvnews.ca