SALT LAKE CITY – A large crowd marched from Washington Square to the steps of the Utah State Capitol on Saturday to show solidarity with those suffering in Iran.
“They don’t ask for much. Women in Iran are demanding basic human rights. The Iranian government is just a fraudulent act, and they will never have peace unless America steps in to help,” said Amy Zadh.
Zadh is part of the Persian Student Association at the University of Utah.
“I was very emotional as I walked. I’m running for my country. I am safe here; this is not the case for so many who are threatened by the morality police,” she said.
Mahsa Amini, 22, from the Iranian Kurdish town of Saqez, was arrested last month in Tehran for “inappropriate dress” by vice police who enforce the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women. His death sparked protests around the world. Salt Lake City hosted one of 153 marches held in cities around the world.
What you need to know about the protests raging in Iran
Navid Farzan also marched today. Farzan told KSL that he was abducted by the Iranian regime in 2009 while participating in a pro-democracy movement in Iran.
“I was in tears today as I walked. The world does not know about the terror and inhumane conditions in Iran. I have experienced it. Tens of thousands of people are being tortured, beaten and raped. Please hear our voices. There is a complete media blackout in Iran, and yet Iranians are standing up against this corrupt regime,” Farzan said.
The former president of the University’s Persian Student Association, who goes by the name MG, said there was no support from the University.
“If an Iranian has to get out of Iran, it will be because he goes to school in the United States. We have a large number of Persian students at the University of Utah. We asked the U of U admins for help, and we were ignored,” MG said.
The students expressed their frustration: they shared that the school press would not cover the protests in Iran and that the university president would not respond to requests for solidarity.
Those marching on Saturday hope the Biden administration will shift Russia’s gas and oil trade dependence on Iran. The students encouraged anyone wishing to help to contact their representatives in Congress.