Death of Iranian woman while in police custody sparks protests in Toronto

Click to play video: 'Death of Mahsa Amini sparks protests in Toronto'
Death of Mahsa Amini sparks protests in Toronto
WATCH: A group of University of Toronto students is looking to raise awareness about the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody in Iran. Shallima Maharaj has more – Sep 23, 2022

On Friday afternoon, protesters took to the front steps of the University of Toronto’s Sidney Smith Hall. Impassioned cries of, “Say her name!” and, “Mahsa Amini” rang out repeatedly, as those in attendance hoisted signs condemning the Sept. 16, 2022, death of the 22-year-old Iranian woman.

PhD student Maryam Fashandi was one of the organizers of the rally. The goal: To raise awareness about the escalating situation in Iran, and the treatment of women.

Read more: ‘Mahsa is all these people’: Vancouverites rally over death of Iranian woman in police custody

“We are trying to be their voices,” Fashandi told Global News before the event.

The death of Mahsa Amini has led to widespread condemnation. The United States government imposed sanctions on Iran’s morality police on Thursday.

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The previous day, Canadian members of Parliament adopted a motion to stand in solidarity with Iranian women.

Read more: Iran protests: Canada’s House of Commons adopts ‘solidarity’ motion after woman’s death

Protests have escalated in Iran since the death of 22-year-old Amini, who died while in the custody of Iran’s morality police for reportedly wearing her hijab too closely.

“We want our basic human rights, we don’t want anyone to tell us what to wear. We don’t want to be beaten to death, we don’t want to be imprisoned for freedom of speech,” said Fashandi.

According to reporting by the BBC, Amini slipped into a coma and died only hours after being detained.

The broadcaster also reported that witnesses accused officers of beating Amini while she was en route to a detention centre.

According to The Associated Press, authorities insist she suffered heart failure and was not beaten. Her family says she had no history of heart issues.

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