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Hoosiers protest human rights abuse by the Iranian government

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dozens of Iranian-Americans rallied on Monument Circle Saturday, days after the Iranian government executed a 23-year-old protester.

Haniyeh Eyvani, an IUPUI PHD student was among those standing in solidarity with other Iranian Americans. She left Iran for the United States in 2017.

“I literally could not live there anymore, because every minute, every moment I was told you are not anyone, you are just here to obey us,” Eyvani said.

In September an Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini died in police custody. She was detained for not properly wearing a head scarf. Women in Iran are subject to strict Islamic laws imposed by the government. Amini’s death sparked months of protests and a crackdown by authorities.

“The government is so brutal and they torture and killing and hanging innocent people,” said Parisa Keywfard, protester.

Although Iran is a multi-national country with Persian, Turkish, Arabian and Kurdish people living there, citizens are forced to adopt Persian customs.

“You have to speak in Farsi. You have to chose Persian names for your children when they are born. You have to be taught in schools in Farsi,” Eyvani said.

Although the regime has been in power since 1979, people protesting here in Indiana believe a newer generation of Iranians are so fed up they are protesting like they have nothing to lose.

“Young people between 15 and 25 years old, they had enough, they said we die or we are going to have our freedom,” Keywfard said.

Some of those protesting in Indianapolis Saturday think President Biden should impose harsh sanctions on the Iranian government for human rights abuses.