B’nai Brith Canada starts petition to rename Iranian embassy street after Mahsa Amini

The petition aims to rename the street across the former Iranian embassy after a woman who was killed by regime morality police.

 Embassy of Iran in Ottawa, Canada (2005). (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/SIMONP)
Embassy of Iran in Ottawa, Canada (2005).

B’nai Brith Canada launched a petition on Friday urging the Canadian government to rename the street adjacent to Iran’s former embassy after Mahsa Amini.

Metcalfe Street in the city of Ottawa was home to the former Iranian embassy, which was abandoned after new facilities were established.

Canada’s oldest Jewish organization now wants to rename the street after Amini, the Iranian woman whose death at the hands of Iran’s controversial morality police sparked protests that have been ongoing for more than two months and have led to hundreds of deaths including dozens of children.

Who was Mahsa Amini?

Amini, who hailed from the northwestern Kurdish city of Saqez and was 22 years old at the time of her death, was stopped on September 13 by Iran’s morality police – a force tasked with detaining people who violate Iran's conservative dress code in order to "promote virtue and prevent vice."

 mahsa amini (credit: REUTERS) mahsa amini (credit: REUTERS)

Amini was accused of wearing trousers that were “too tight” and was subsequently arrested. After two hours in police custody, Amini was transferred to a hospital, with police officials leaving Amini’s family in the dark regarding her status.

She was eventually pronounced dead at the hospital, with authorities saying in a statement that the cause of death was sudden heart failure, possibly from preexisting conditions. They have released a video of Amini collapsing in prison that her family claims is doctored. 

The family insists she had no prior conditions and said doctors kept them in the dark regarding her health, saying they had no access to her CT scan and that when they identified her at the coroner’s office, her body was covered in such a way that her father could not see anything except a small part of her leg that was bruised. 

The mysterious death and subsequent cover-up of Amini’s death was the catalyst that sparked Iran’s recent protests, which have been ongoing since September and have seen nearly 16,000 Iranians be arrested.

Iran's national soccer team chose not to sing their country's anthem before their opening World Cup match against England on Monday, in an apparent show of support for protesters back home.

“We must never forget the name of Mahsa Amini,” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said. “She has become a global symbol for the aspirations of free-minded individuals in the face of tyranny. The time is now for the City of Ottawa to show its solidarity with the Iranian people by signaling to the oppressive Iranian regime that our nation’s capital will not turn a blind eye to their human rights abuses.”