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Hoosiers on Monument Circle support protestors in Iran

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A few dozen demonstrators gathered Friday night at Monument Circle in to show their support for protestors in Iran.

The Hoosiers say they want freedom and rights for women, but their similarities stopped there. Some want a return to peace while others want the monarchy to be reinstated. Some want a total revolution.

In Iran this week, thousands of people have been in anti-government protests and seen unrest over the death of a young woman who was being held by the morality police. State TV suggested late on Friday that the death toll from this week’s unrest could be as high as 35, raising an earlier estimate of 26.

Hessam Alizadeh, a Monument Circle demonstrator in favor of peace, said, “We are here in solidarity with the men and women in Iran in whatever they demand from the government.”

The death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman in police custody, sparked these protests. She was said to have been taken into custody by the morality police on claims of a hijab violation.

“This is exactly the way we want to dress in Iran in our home country,” Alizadeh said. “Our people back home, they want to dress like this, normal clothes. Even I, as a guy, cannot wear shorts on the street in Iran.”

Chants of “women, life, freedom” could be heard as demonstrators demanded fairness no matter the gender.

Parisa Keywansard was one of the demonstrators who wants to see these protests turn into something more. She wants the monarchy reinstated in Iran.

“This is not just for women, for the hair. No, this is for everyone in Iran,” Keywansard said. “They are torturing. They tortured me when I was 16 years old because I showed my hair just a little bit and had lipstick. This is not right. This is the 21st century. They cannot tell us what to do. They want to control us.”

Others at the Monument Circle gathering brought images of the protestors in Iran and called for a total overthrow of the current theocratic government.

Mehdi Shafiee is one who would like to see a revolution. He said, “Women, life, freedom. Women, life, freedom. Women have been the people that suffered most from this Islamic regime and they want life, they want economy, and they want a good standard of life for themselves and for their children. They don’t have it and, on top of all of that, they do not have the freedom to express. They do not want this regime. We do not want this regime.”