Hundreds of members of Ottawa’s Iranian-Canadian community rallied just outside Parliament Hill Tuesday to show support for their counterparts in Iran.
“We’re here to ask for re-election,” said Hesam Mahdavi, one of the organizers for the protest.
The demonstrators want the Canadian government to help push for a fair election, including the presence of a third-party observer, Mahdavi said.
Mahdavi, who has been in Canada for almost 13 years, said he’s asking “my Canadian government to step forward and observe the re-election.”
“I’m here to support the Iranian people’s fight for democracy and freedom,” said Ottawa resident Mehdi Ardekani, adding that the rally was also aimed at raising awareness for the general public.
Ottawa resident Shabnam Assadollahi left Iran in 1985, but said she attended the rally because her family still lives there, and she hopes for a regime-changing revolution.
The public can help, she said. They can educate themselves and write letters to their MPs and to the UN voicing their concern, she said.
Paul Dewar also attended the rally to show his support.
“The people of Iran need to be respected. People around the world are asking for a review of the Iran election,” he said. “The message is clear — we stand with the people of Iran.”
Protesters from Ottawa were joined by people travelling from as far as Montreal and Toronto, some of whom had no connection with Iran, Mahdavi said.
“They’re joining because this is a human rights violation.”