“Women, Life, Freedom”: NDSU students and staff speak on Iran

A call to action for the oppression in Iran

A movement has spread across Iran and the world titled “Women, Life, Freedom.” This movement was sparked after the arrest and killing of 22 year old Mahsa Amini. She was arrested and beaten by Iran’s Guidance Patrol for not wearing her hijab incorrectly. The Persian Association at NDSU put on an event in the Memorial Union on October 27 to teach others more about the movement taking place in response to oppression in Iran. 

After the death of Mahsa Amini on September 16, protests have sparked in Iran and throughout the world. About 1000 alleged protesters are being charged for their activism. Students, professors and staff at North Dakota State University spoke on the protests and politics going on in Iran. 

Other women have protested in Iran simply by standing up and holding up a hijab. Women could be arrested, beaten and killed because of this action. 

People around the world have stood up to show their support for the movement in Iran and their sorrow for the death of Mahsa Amini. They show their support by cutting their hair as a sign of grief. Cutting hair is “the highest level of sadness and sorrow that they can show,” said Fardad Azarmi, a professor of mechanical engineering at NDSU. 

Amini’s “death was so painful for many people that it ended up being the final little bit of a push that was needed for a mass protest,” said Shokoofeh Ghasemi, Ph.D student at NDSU. The movement quickly spread, getting the support of people all over the world. 

The event held was to spread awareness about the oppression in Iran. “We are here to raise awareness, to give you the correct information,” said Ghasemi. By knowing the information, others can help give support to the movement in Iran. “We are not free until everybodys free,” said Ghasemi. 

The oppression in Iran is severe, with little civil rights given to the people and is filled with corruption. “The Islamic Republic Regime has demonstrated a lack of concern about its own people,” said Mohammad Erfatpour, postdoctoral researcher at NDSU. This oppression has led to the suffering of many people in Iran. “Enough is enough,” said Erfatpour. 

For the people in Iran, oppression is a constant concern. “This is their everyday life, they are beaten, they are arrested,” said Azarmi. 

The slogan for these demonstrations are “Women, Life, Freedom.” This movement is asking for change within Iran. “We ask the international community to pursue every possible tool to stop the regime from arresting, torturing, raping and killing of children, teenagers and young people,” said Erfatpour. 

“Following the death of Mahsa Amini our brave sister and brothers across Iran have taken to the streets chanting the slogan ‘women life freedome,'” said Erfatpour.

This cause is calling for immediate action and support. “If all the people of the world don’t stand up against the politicians who trample on human rights due to their selfishness and desire for power…sooner or later the world will not be a good place for humans,” said Masoomeh Nazem Salimi, Ph.D student at NDSU. 

“Your support is the support of all humanity,” said Salimi. 

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