City of Ottawa installs tribute to Mahsa Amini outside former site of Iranian embassy

March 8, 2023, London, England, United Kingdom: Protesters dressed up as handmaids marched through Whitehall in solidarity with the growing freedom uprising in Iran, over the death of Mahsa Amini following her arrest by the Iranian morality police. Mahsa Amini was killed in custody on 16 September, after her arrest for allegedly breaching Iran's laws for women on wearing hijab, headscarves and modest clothing. Thomas Krych/ZUMA Press Wire

The City of Ottawa has installed a commemorative sign in front of the former site of the Iranian embassy that honours Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who died in the custody of Iran’s morality police after allegedly violating a strict dress code for women.

Amini’s death in September 2022 sparked mass protests in Iran condemning the government’s treatment of women and its broader human-rights record.

It also prompted demonstrations in Ottawa that attracted hundreds of people.

The sign at the intersection of Metcalfe and MacLaren Streets features her full name _ Mahsa Jina Amini _ on a background of the colours from the Iranian flag.

The former embassy site remains unoccupied more than a decade after Canada and Iran halted formal diplomatic relations.

Politicians from all levels of government attended the ceremony, including Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden, Ottawa Centre MP Yasir Naqvi, Kanata-Carleton MP Jenna Sudds and Ottawa-Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari, who is of Iranian descent.

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Ghamari said she attended protests last fall organized by Iranian-Canadians for Justice & Human Rights.

She said it is important governments and elected officials across the world are recognizing Iran’s abuses of women’s rights.

“It’s great to see that the world is opening its eyes to the horrific reality that Iranians face at the hands of the terrorists and illegitimate Islamic regime in Iran that has been holding the Iranian people hostage for 44 years,” said Ghamari.

“We are ethnically diverse, we are culturally diverse and we are religiously diverse. But there’s one thing that unites us as a community, and that is our love and desire for a free and democratic Iran.

“And I hope that one day we will get that back, because everyone deserves to live in a democracy just as amazing as Canada.”

Ottawa’s city council voted to create the tribute to Amini in January after a motion by city councillors Theresa Kavanagh and Ariel Troster, and the city expects to move the signage to City Hall after a year.

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