SCOTTSDALE – The Arizona Persian Cultural Center held a memorial on Saturday to honor Mahsa Amini and other individuals who stood for Iranian freedom.
The memorial took place one year after the death of Amini, who died in custody three days after her arrest by the Iranian morality police for an “improper hijab,” according to news accounts.
Amini’s death sparked protests across Iran pressing for women’s rights. Human Rights Watch estimates more than 500 people were killed during the protests, with dozens executed following unfair trials, according to the nonprofit.
The event in Scottsdale included multiple Farsi and English speakers who showed video of ongoing protests in Iran and urged people in the United States to continue the fight against the Iranian regime.
Kian Rajaeian, who moved to the U.S. from Iran at a young age, promoted the importance of government recognition of the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement, which promotes human rights for the women of Iran, and education of what is happening there.
“I would like to see people be more educated about it. I feel like a lot of people don’t really even understand what’s going on in Iran; they’re not super- educated on what’s going on there. They hear Iran and they’re like, ‘Oh terrorism or something,’” said Rajaeian.
The memorial event also featured art from Nazanin Mirzaii, who spent 23 years in Iran and dealt with the morality police firsthand.
“I was always scared to go out just because I wanted to be free as a young woman. I just wanted to have fun,” Mirzaii said. “Enough is enough. We want to be free; we want to be able to live however we want to live.”