Protesters at a march in downtown Montreal Saturday afternoon said the biting cold was little match for what anti-government demonstrators in Iran have been enduring for months.
“This is the least we can do, really,” said Saba Shahcheraghi, a volunteer with the Woman Life Freedom movement, the group which organized the event.
Hundreds marched along Park Avenue to Place des Festival in support of protests in Iran, which started September 2022, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody.
“We want everybody, the international community to recognize that people of Iran are fighting day after day for their freedom, and that this is not something isolated to a geographical area,” Shahcheraghi told Global News.
Because, she pointed out, the fight for human rights should concern everyone.
At Saturday’s protest other groups, including Amnesty International Canada, added their voice to the protest, out of concern for what they say the Iranian government is doing to its people.
“You can be arrested and put in jail and condemed to the death penalty for just sayin that you are not ii agreement with the government or the regime, or for not wearing a veil correctly,” France-Isabelle Langlois, executive director for Amnesty International Canada Francophone, pointed out.
In February, a couple in Iran was sentenced to ten years in prison after they posted video online of themselves dancing in public.
Others in the country have been executed over crimes allegedly committed during the protests.
In Montreal, demonstrators are calling on the Canadian government to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization.
“They are killing every day in Iran,” reasoned Mahak Karami, one of the protesters.
Some added that she has concerns about their family there and that they might be targeted if they speak out.
“It’s been five months that the internet situation is not a very good situation, and I don’t have any news from them.”
She and other Iranian Canadians stress that though they’re grateful for the support in Canada, they plan to keep up the pressure on the Iranian regime to help make sure that it eventually comes to an end.