Hundreds of members of Ottawa’s Iranian-Canadian community rallied near Parliament Hill yesterday to protest the result of Iran’s presidential election and 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 protesters want the Canadian government to help push for a new vote and to get a third-party observer for the election, 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.
The other purpose of the rally is to let the general public know what it’s all about, he said.
Ottawa resident Shabnam Assadollahi left Iran in 1985, but said she attended the rally in support because her family still lives there. She’s hoping for a revolution, a change of regime.
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.
Ottawa Centre MP 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 participants who came out yesterday had no connection with Iran, Mahdavi said.
“They’re joining because this is a human rights violation.”