On Oct. 11, the Beverly Hills City Council unanimously approved a resolution that condemns the government of Iran for the wrongful death of Mahsa Amini. The resolution also calls upon the United States government and the United Nations to increase sanctions against Iran.
“The City of Beverly Hills strongly supports the right of all women to live a life without repression, brutal violence and restrictions on their basic human rights,” the resolution states. “The City of Beverly Hills honors the life and legacy of Mahsa Amini by urging the Iranian government to implement meaningful laws ensuring basic human rights for all its citizens.”
Amini was a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who died tragically while in the custody of Iran’s morality police. On Sept. 13, Amini was at a train station in Tehran when she was detained for allegedly wearing her hijab incorrectly. She died three days later in the hospital after falling into a coma. The Iranian government claims her death resulted from underlying health conditions, but witnesses and family believe Amini was beaten to death by the morality police.
In the weeks since her death, demonstrations have taken place around the world, expressing outrage against the morality police’s brutality and the lack of women’s rights in Iran.
The City Council has been persistent and passionate in its efforts to denounce the government of Iran for the incident. On Sept. 20, the Council opened its meeting with comments regarding Amini’s death, followed by a moment of silence. On Sept. 29, Councilmember Sharona R. Nazarian gave a speech at West Hollywood Park during a candlelight vigil hosted by the Iranian American Women’s Foundation. On Oct. 1, Mayor Lili Bosse and Los Angeles city officials led thousands on a march from Pershing Square to Los Angeles City Hall holding a banner that stated “Women, Life, Freedom.”
“I will never be afraid to stand up and speak out,” said Bosse during an emotional speech at the Oct. 11 meeting. “We are all in this together and we in Beverly Hills will be the beginning of the change that will help around the world. We need every city, every country to understand that this is not something that is happening over there to other people because this is something that can happen anywhere.”
Directed at U.S. government officials including President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, the resolution asks for additional financial sanctions while still allowing critical economic and medical aid to reach the citizens of Iran.
“I’m very proud of our Council and I’m proud of my colleagues for taking a stand and being present with this issue,” said Nazarian. “Any deals, nuclear or otherwise, made with Iran pose a threat to us all. The Islamic Republic cannot be trusted. The more people speak out on social media and reach out to their elected officials, the more I pray that we will make a significant impact to help the innocent victims, the people of Iran.”
The resolution also calls upon the U.N. to expel Iran from the United Nations Women’s Rights Commission and implores other governmental entities to adopt similar resolutions.
“It’s hard to imagine that there can be a regime so evil and so cruel and so devoid of humanity that they can actually perpetrate this with what appears to be no guilt,” said Vice Mayor Julian A. Gold. “Each of these women is somebody’s sister and somebody’s mother. I cannot come to an understanding of how any rational human being allows that to happen.”
At the Oct. 11 Study Session, Beverly Hills resident Nooshin Meshkaty expressed her gratitude to the Council. “I couldn’t be any prouder to be living in this city where we have leaders such as you,” said Meshkaty. “This is not a protest anymore, this is a revolution and I’m glad cities such as Beverly Hills, that have worldwide representation, are standing with these values.”
Beverly Hills City Hall has been illuminated with the message “Justice for Mahsa Amini” since Sept. 29.
“It’s a proud day for our city as we stand united with these daughters, sisters and mothers, standing up for freedom and equality in hopes of a better tomorrow,” said Nazarian. “I stand for equality. I stand for justice. I stand for the women of Iran. Zan, Zendegi, Azadi. Woman, Life, Liberty.”