Atrocities in Iran spark Solidarity Rally for Iranian Students within Brock University

Photo by Hadi Yazdi Aznaveh on Unsplash

Content Warning: mention of violence.

News about the anti-women atrocities taking place in Iran have become widespread in Western news over the last month. In Iran, it’s mandatory that women wear a hijab, and those that do not comply may face a fine or even a prison sentence.

In July, a video showing two women on a Tehran bus went viral. One, in a full hijab, attacked Sepideh Rashno for not wearing a hijab. The virality of the video led to the arrest of Rashno, and soon, she was abused and forced into presenting a televised apology for not wearing a hijab.

Rashno soon became a face for women’s freedom in Iran, with the incident sparking global protests and outcries for change within the country.

The anger only grew stronger when Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, died while being arrested, due to wearing her hijab “improperly.” The murder exposed the Iranian government’s oppression of women to the world, igniting subsequent calls for change across the globe.

Protests have also sparked in Iran itself through acts of courage and bravery by protestors who are fighting against the regime in an attempt to keep them oppressed. Nika Shakarami, who was engaged in an Iranian protest, died after a chase from security officials. While the Iranian government insists that Shakarami was thrown from the top of a building, her death certificate reveals her cause of death to be strikes from a hard object.

At least 233 protestors have been killed since protests in Iran began on Sept. 17, according to the St. Catharines Standard. The article also details that the Iranian government believes that the global upset is due to a “purported Western plot,” though this governmental claim came without evidence.

Protests have been spreading across Ontario, with a recent rally taking place on Brock’s campus, called the Solidarity Rally for Iranian Students. The Student Justice Centre, in coordination with a group of Iranian students, organized the event for Oct. 7 at the Rankin Family Pavilion.

Brock University Interim President Lynn Wells spoke at the event in front of students who wished to demonstrate their support for Iranian students impacted by the news coming out of their home country.

Brock has made it clear that they are aware of the impact these atrocities may be having on students’ wellness and mental health. As such, the University has reminded students about their resources, both on-campus and virtual, that are available to support students who may be struggling.

For the resources that the University has provided through the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre, including personal counselling, click the link here.

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