PITTSBURGH — Dozens converged at Carnegie Mellon University on Thursday for a gathering in memory of a young woman who died in Iran following her arrest.
Mahsa Amini, 22, died soon after she was taken into custody by the nation’s notorious “morality police,” who enforce strict dress laws. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/iranian-woman-dies-arrested-morality-police-sparking-protests-rcna48135
The police claim Amini died following a heart attack, while witnesses have reported she was brutally beaten following her arrest. She entered a coma and died on Friday.
“She was not the first and she’s not going to be the last if the regime stays,” said Fayezeh Haji Hassan. “It could have been me, it could have been my nieces, my mom, any other woman. For us, it’s not only about her, it’s what she represented: the oppression of women.”
Haji Hassan, an Iranian native who now lives in the Pittsburgh region and attended Thursday’s gathering, told Channel 11 that women are stripped of basic human rights in Iran.
“All of us have experienced that, so this is in one way a support for all of us, to show each other that we are not alone, and to be a voice for all of those who are fighting there,” said Shima Rasapour.
“It’s just quite awful. I don’t know how else to describe this extreme feeling of anger – anger towards the people that have done this and remorse for the people who go through this on a day-to-day basis,” said CMU Professor Ali Shourideh.
Amini’s death has sparked violent protests across Iran. As a result, the nation has reportedly shut down internet access.
“We are here to be their voice,” Rasapour said.
Many of the Iranian natives in attendance opted not to speak on camera or to be filmed, out of fear of government retaliation.
The United Nations has reportedly called for a thorough investigation into what happened to Amini.
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