After death of a young woman, Hawaii residents highlight human rights concerns in Iran

Protests are spreading following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was in custody.
Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 5:18 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 25, 2022 at 5:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dozens of Hawaii residents gather to stand in solidarity with the people of Iran.

On Sunday, dozens of people lined up outside of the State Capitol to show their support for the people of Iran.

Protests have been spreading across Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini.

Iran’s Morality Police accused Amini of not wearing her head scarf or hijab properly.

Authorities said she suffered a heart attack while in detention, but family believe she was beaten to death.

“So, when you see these things happening as an Iranian, you’re horrified, and you’re shocked. and you’re also sort of afraid, because you know what’s going to happen,” said Navid Najafi of Hawaii. “People are going to take to the streets, and a lot of people are unfortunately going to be killed.”

“And we see that happening right now, but this round does feel different, it really does feel like there’s a lot of momentum.”

Najafi moved to Hawaii from Iran 25 years ago and was at Sunday’s demonstration fighting for human rights and freedom of expression for his people.

“A lot of things that a lot of people around the world just take for granted, is what Iranians are asking for,” said Najafi.

In Iran, women are taking off their hijabs breaking Islamic law.

Some are even burning the coverings in protest and cutting their hair.

“I know my auntie’s, they’re so brave, they’re so courageous,” said Mahsa Crum of Honolulu. “They’re doing the unimaginable walking out without their hijab, which is, I mean, it’s only a matter of them taking you and then that’s it.”

Crum hasn’t been able to get in touch with family amid internet shutdowns by the Iranian government.

She helped organize Sunday’s demonstrations to show that even from over 8,000 miles they’re watching and support the people of Iran.

“It’s amazing to know that Hawaii is with the people of Iran,” said Crum. “It’s a beautiful thing we weren’t expecting at all.”