Protesters sporting purple blindfolds and holding nooses collect in Kelowna to pay tribute to activist executed in Iran – Kelowna Information

Red blindfolds for Iran

Cindy White

Wearing red blindfolds and holding nooses in their hands, a group of Iranian-Canadians and their supporters gathered on the Kelowna waterfront Saturday to remember Mohsen Shekari.

They held a silent demonstration against the Iranian regime on the steps of Kerry Park.

Organizer Ray Taheri, an engineering professor at UBCO, says Mohsen was the latest young protesters in Iran to be killed while in detention.

Shekari’s slaying was the first death penalty carried out by Tehran of a prisoner convicted for a crime allegedly committed during the country’s ongoing nationwide protests.

Taheri says all the young man did was push back at police who were beating female demonstrators.

The execution of Shekari comes as other detainees also face the possibility of the death penalty for their involvement in the protests, which began in mid-September. The protests have expanded into one of the most serious challenges to Iran’s theocracy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The UBCO professor says the regime is trying to frighten people to make them stop taking to the streets, but the execution is instead mobilizing older Iranians who have been sitting on the sidelines.

“They realize if they don’t do anything, there’s going to be 18,000 executions. They’re going to kill everyone almost who has been detained. And perhaps it will be someone’s cousin, brother, sister, sons, daughters,” said Taheri.

“Now there are more protests in the street. They have come in the streets and they are condemning. And also, there has been a lot of international condemnation,” he points out.

Taheri believes there are signs the totalitarian government is starting to crumble. He says the circle around the Supreme Leader is starting to shrink as some officials step down.

The Saturday demonstration was the latest in a series of events in Kelowna aimed at raising awareness about what is happening in Iran.

On Dec. 5, faculty and students at UBCO staged a powerful performance protest.

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