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'We stand together. Iran Forever': Aberdeen's Iranian community calls for change.

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Marischal College lit in colours of Iranian flag

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

The sun began to dip below the horizon as members of the Granite City's Iranian community warmly greeted one another with hugs and handshakes.

Gathered in front of Marischal College, awash with the red, green, and white of the Iranian flag, the group came together to remember the many men, women, and children killed by the fundamentalist Islamic regime in Iran.

Since September 2022, when a young Kurdish woman named Mahsa (or Jina) Amini died in custody after being detained by the Iranian morality police, protests have swept the nation of 89 million.

Ruled as an Islamic theocracy since 1979, Iran has one of the poorest human rights records in the world. Per human rights watchdog Freedom House, at least 500 people had been killed during the protests by the end of 2022, with 14,000 more arrested.

About fifty people attended the rally here in Aberdeen, which was organised by UoA law student and Student Council Chair Nirvan Abedi. Several representatives from AUSA, including Student President Vanessa Mabonso Nzolo, were also in attendance.

Abedi led the crowd in a number of chants, including 'woman, life, freedom': the phrase that has become the heart of the resistance against the current regime.

Abedi also shared several stories of Iranian children and students who were arrested and killed during the protests.

'This is the prospect of the people who fight against tyranny in our country,' he said.

'But it has not bowed them down and it has not stopped them… it has just flamed the fire even more…'

The crowd called on the UK government to declare the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organisation and to shut down the Iranian Embassy in London.

'You need to support this cause,' Abedi said. '... You need to stand up and be part of this movement, otherwise you will be on the wrong side of history. UK government, stop supporting mullahs.'

'Sometimes I think about what would have happened if Mahsa Amini wasn't murdered,' he told the crowd.

'Her unfortunate death was a rebirth for our nation, was a rebirth for our identity as Iranians, and as people who will not stop fighting. Mahsa could have been my sister, could have been your sister. Mahsa could have been your daughter, could have been my mother… [Mahsa] could have been any of these brave Iranian women who are now losing their lives for continuing to fight. So for the sake of their sacrifice, we shall continue until the day our country is free.'

To which the crowd responded, 'democracy for Iran'.


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