‘Human Rights Drive’ held in Kelowna for Ukrainian and Iranian communities


The Ukrainian and Iranian communities of Kelowna joined forces to show where they stand in the face of the difficulties in those countries, through a “human rights collection” on Saturday afternoon.

The movement was sparked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began in February, as well as the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by Iranian morality police for wearing her hijab too loosely. , two months ago.

“There is no internet, no free media in Iran and we can be the voice of those who have no voice, it is everyone’s responsibility as a citizen of the world to defend those who have no voice and no choice,” said Ray Taheri. , co-organizer of the event and professor at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

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Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian acknowledged on Saturday for the first time that his country had supplied drones to Russia, insisting the transfer came before Moscow’s war on Ukraine that saw the Iranian-made drones bomb Kyiv.

Iran’s move left the Ukrainian and Iranian communities connected.

“The idea is that we have a common enemy, the Iranian regime which is oppressing the Iranian people and supplying arms and drones to Russia, and these drones are being used to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure now and kill the Ukrainian people,” he said. said Denys Storozhuk, president of the Kelowna Stands. with the Ukrainian group.

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The parade of vehicles traveled from UBCO to Westbank and then looped back to the university donning their flags to draw the public’s attention to continue the conversation.

“Everyone who cares about freedom, liberty and human rights should be part of this very deep momentum,” Taheri said.

As Iranian authorities carry out a deadly crackdown to end the unrest caused by protests over the death of Mahsa Amini, some Iranian-Canadians fear for the safety of loved ones living in their home.

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“It’s so difficult because all my family and most of my friends still live there – thinking about it, they’re not safe, they can be killed if they raise their voices or try to amplify their vote, they can be killed for it or put in jail,” said Iranian student Negar Yassaie.

The Iranian and Ukrainian communities plan to continue their efforts to be a voice for their country until they see a change.


Click to play the video: “Rally in Kelowna to show solidarity with Iranian Mahsa Amini”


Rally in Kelowna to show solidarity with Iranian Mahsa Amini


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