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Kelowna protest against Iranian regime will release balloons with victims' names

A crowd at Kerry Park, Oct. 1, to rally for Iran human rights.

Rallies continue in Kelowna for those suffering from human rights abuses in Iran and next week a special event will be held at the UBC Okanagan campus.

The event is co-organized by Ray Taheri, an engineering professor at the university, who is originally from Iran. It takes place Monday, Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the engineering building with presentations and interpretations of human rights abuses currently happening in the Middle-Eastern country.

Balloons will also be released into the sky outside of the engineering building to represent those who have been killed for opposing the Iranian regime and will include the name’s of victims.

“We wanted a way to represent and reflect the regime’s brutality for the last 43 years, specifically the last 66 days. There will be some kind of small shows in every corner of the building,” Teheri said, adding there will be actors but they won’t be speaking.

READ MORE: Iran government supporters confront protesters at World Cup

For the past eight weeks, rallies have been held in Kelowna. Global protests have been held since September after a 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, was detained by Iran’s morality police and killed for not covering her hair. The U.N. Human Rights Council voted this week to condemn the bloody crackdown on peaceful protests in Iran and create an independent fact-finding mission to investigate alleged abuses, particularly those committed against women and children. 

Teheri is passionate about his homeland because he considers himself a global citizen and said these issues across the world also impact Canadians.

He said he organizes the rallies for his two young daughters, who are half Iranian.

“We live under a very thick blanket of freedom and safety in Canada to represent those who don’t have this luxury,” he said.

A driving rally is being held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, in UBCO’s parking lot F, which will end at the Ogopogo statue in downtown Kelowna at 3 p.m.

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