The University of Manitoba Iranian Students’ Association (UMISA), along with over 200 universities across the globe, have been participating in demonstrations of solidarity with Iranians protesting the killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. The U of M rally was held on Nov. 30, which marked 75 days since Amini’s death.
Amini died in the custody of Iran’s morality police, who detained her in early September for improperly wearing her hijab.
The incident sparked outrage in Iran and worldwide, with Iranians and other demonstrators around the world taking to the streets in protest.
The movement has adopted the slogan, “woman, life, freedom.”
For Pouya Farokhzad, the president of UMISA, this slogan resonates internationally because women have little freedom in many developing countries.
“Without freedom, you cannot have anything, you cannot even have justice,” he said.
“I think it’s a chant that all people around the world could relate [to], and as I said, it’s not a matter of a region even, it’s a matter of the whole world,”
Farokhzad said that the idea for this series of rallies originated at universities in the United States, and soon spread to other schools in Canada and overseas.
He explained that the uprising in Iran has affected U of M’s Iranian students deeply, as many have loved ones living under the country’s “brutal regime.”
Nazanin Roshanshah, an Iranian PhD student at U of M, said that spreading awareness about Amini’s death is important, as many in Iran “don’t have any voice” because the government has restricted internet access, and those who try to speak out are often censored.
She emphasized that due to the Iranian government’s violent crackdown on protests, it is important for the world to show its support for the people of Iran.
“Be [the] Iranian voice, take action.”
To find more information and support, visit UMISA’s webpage or social media platforms.