SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Members of Sacramento’s Iranian community are nervously watching anti-government protests in their homeland.
The outrage was triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman allegedly killed by Iran’s morality police after she wore her headscarf improperly. Since then many people have lost their lives.
“I have a very vivid memory of our good days… I remember the revolution and when things turned upside down,” said Iranian-American activist Shehab Parnianchi.
Parnianchi moved to the United States 17 years ago and is now living in Sacramento.
“When you get up as a woman, you stand in front of the mirror just to make sure your head scarf is covering your hair and you’re aligned with what the government wants you to do. It’s a sign of obedience,” he explained.
Protests have broken in Iran and even in Northern California to show support for not just rights of Iranian women but basic human rights for all Iranians.
“Iranian people have a culture of patience, and they’ve had this patience for 43 years. The economy has failed, brutality has skyrocketed, prisons are full, they’re drug trafficking is going on, drug addiction and prostitution because of the bad economy. The people are sick and tired,” said Dr. Amir Hamidi at a local protest.
Iranian-Americans are asking their fellow citizens to stay informed and call on our country’s leaders to help.
“These are 15, 17, 20-year-old kids getting shot, getting killed on a daily basis. And these people have been raised in this regime, in this environment, brainwashed but they’re still coming out to fight. A stable Iran is good for the United States,” human rights activist Christopher Benham said.
President Joe Biden has praised “the brave women of Iran” and says he plans more sanctions against the Iranian government soon. However, the American support for protesters could complicate the Biden administration’s efforts to get Iran to comply with the 2015 nuclear arms agreement, enacted under President Barack Obama and then scrapped by President Donald Trump.