SAN DIEGO — Chanting “down with dictator” and “we want women’s freedom,” dozens of Iranian Americans rallied in front of the Hall of Justice Tuesday protesting what they call the murderous regime in Iran and in particular Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi.
“Under his ruling, or command, tens of thousands of Iranians were innocently murdered,” Iranian American Matthew Tasooji told FOX 5.
The protest comes following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last week. She was severely beaten and taken into custody by the country’s Morality Security Forces for a headscarf violation. She was wearing a hijab but part of her hair was uncovered. She died in custody, and Iranian police said she died of a heart attack.
“She was innocent,” Safieh Rashdi, another Iranian American at the protest, said. “She was 20 years old, young, and she just didn’t have fully covered hijab. Sometimes the wind blows your hijab, sometimes it’s going to go a little bit further down the head. It’s not the crime that you can kill innocent people for.”
Protests erupted in Iran following the funeral this past weekend. But the bigger issue in the United States surrounds President Raisi’s appearance in New York this week at the United Nations, where he will address the General Assembly.
“It’s a slap in the face of democracy – the murder of tens of thousands of people and political prisoners murdered further more. He’s a person that has crumbled the country into ashes,” Tasooji continued. “He’s a Holocaust denier.”
One woman at the protest, who came to the U.S. in 2005, wants Americans to know how brutal it is for everyone, but especially women, in Iran.
“Woman in Iran, they have very difficult time to live, every day and every moment of their life, because they can be executed,” the woman, who identified herself only as Naci, told FOX 5. “Not only women, all the young people are being executed for no reason.”