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Ghamari Leads Moment Of Silence At Queen’s Park

It was a moment at Queen’s Park when silence said more than a thousand words.

Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari called for a moment of silence for all Iranians who have been tortured and murdered by the terrorist regime over the last 43 years in that country.

The day marked the 40-day anniversary of the killing of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini, who was killed by Iran’s morality police for not wearing her hijab properly. The incident sparked protests and demonstrations around the world. Ghamari, who is the first Iranian-Canadian woman ever elected in Canadian politics, has been front and centre of the protests in Ottawa and Toronto. Many Iranian-Canadians from Ottawa, including Barrhaven and Riverside South, which is in Ghamari’s riding, attended the protests.

Ghamari was one year old when she arrived in Canada with her family. Her father, an electrical engineer, had just survived a roadside execution attempt in Iran and decided to move his family to the safe haven of Canada. The family arrived with one suitcase full of clothing and $50 cash.

“Mr. Speaker, 40 days ago, on September 16, 2022, a young 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman, Mahsa Jina Amini, was brutally murdered by the morality police of the terrorist and illegitimate Islamic regime in Iran. Since then, the brave people of Iran have been protesting—protesting 43 years of a brutal dictatorship,” Ghamari said in her member’s statement.

Ghamari added that the same dictatorship shot down Ukrainian Flight PS752 nearly three years ago. Fifty Canadians died in the crash, including a handful of local residents.

“Hundreds if not thousands of Iranians have been arrested, murdered, tortured and killed by the brutal and terrorist illegitimate Islamic regime in Iran,” Ghamari added in her statement. “For Iranians mourning someone’s passing, the 40th day is incredibly significant. And it’s not just Mahsa Jina Amini’s family that is mourning; all of the people of Iran are mourning. Iranians around the world are mourning, and the world is mourning with them. There are nation-wide strikes happening, and while pro-Islamic regime lobby groups like the Iranian Canadian Congress have tried to apologize for the regime, the world has opened its eyes.”

Ghamari has been giving interviews to media outlets in Ottawa, throughout Canada, and around the world in the past month. She says it is important to give the oppressed people of Iran a voice.

“The regime has shut down the Internet to prevent the voices of the people of Iran from being heard,” she said. “But they are asking the world for one simple thing: to be their voice, to share their stories and to make them heard.

“I have several hundred constituents in my riding who, just like me, are of Iranian origin. Today, I want to let the people of Iran know that they are not alone in their fight for freedom and democracy. Here in Canada, we are blessed to live in a free and democratic society. The people of Iran deserve the same.”

According to human rights organizations, at least 54 demonstrators have been killed by Iran’s security forces. They add that hundreds have been detained and beaten. Ghamari, as the first ever Iranian-Canadian woman ever elected in provincial or federal politics in Canada, offers an important voice in Canada for the people in Iran.

Ghamari arrived in Canada as a one-year-old with her parents. Her father, an electrical engineer, survived a random roadside execution attempt and made the decision to come to Canada to raise his daughters in a free and democratic society where they were safe. The family arrived in the mid 1980s with one suitcase full of clothing and $50 cash.

“Mahsa Amini was a 22-year-old young woman who was brutally murdered by the illegitimate and terrorist regime in Iran just because she was not wearing her hijab properly,” she said.

Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari speaks at a protest last month.

Hijabs were not compulsory in Iran until the country’s Islamic revolution. Currently, only hijabs are only compulsory in Iran and Afghanistan.

Ghamari said that what makes the riots in Iran unique is that they are being organized and led by women. She added that the death of Mahsa Amini was the final straw.

“The people in Iran want to live in a free and democratic society,” Ghamari said. “There are women of all ages in Iran out in public without their hijabs, and they are burning their hijabs in protest even though they are aware of the potential consequences.”

In January, 2020, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down Ukraine International airlines Flight 752 on its way from Tehran to Kyiv. There were 57 Canadians on board, including family members of residents in the Carleton riding.

The IRGC shot down the plane shortly after take off, killing all 176 passengers and crew members aboard. The shooting was in response to the assassination of IRGC major general Qasem Soleimani, who was killed by a US Air Force drone strike at Baghdad International Airport. Soleimani was considered a brutal mass murderer by the people Iran.

Since Iran shot down Flight PS752 there have been calls for Canada’s federal government to take a harder line on Iran and declare the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.

Canada must do more

As the Carleton MPP was interviewed by numerous news agencies both locally and nationally last month, she called for more to be done to help Iran and make people aware of the situation there.

Ghamari said that while Iran is a country rich from oil, the economy is terrible and people have no opportunity. The money is being used to fund terrorism.

“The young people of Iran are highly educated, and more than 70 per cent of young people in Iran have university degrees,” she said. “But when they graduate, there are no jobs for them. When they ask the government why or if they speak out about the situation, they are thrown in jail.”

As the riots grow not just in Iran but throughout the world, Ghamari is sensing change. The riots in Canada and in Iran are being organized by women rather than being spearheaded by young men. Iran, she said, is a highly educated country with religious, political, cultural and ethnical diversity.

“What unites Iranians is our love of freedom and the desire for a free and democratic Iran,” she said.