Tuesday, September 26th | 11 Tishri 5784

September 13, 2023 8:37 am

Los Angeles Names Intersection in Memory of Mahsa Amini, Whose Death Sparked Iranian Anti-Regime Protests


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Demonstrators display images of Mahsa Amini at a Freedom Rally for Iran outside City Hall in Los Angeles, California, US, October 1, 2022. Photo: REUTERS/Bing Guan

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to name a street intersection in honor of Jina “Mahsa” Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish woman whose death and alleged abuse while in the custody of Iran’s morality police almost a year ago led to ongoing, nationwide protests across the Islamic Republic.

The intersection of Westwood Boulevard and Rochester Avenue will be renamed Women Life Freedom Square, a reference to the unofficial slogan of the women-led, anti-government protests in Iran.

Nearly 138,000 Iranians live in Los Angeles of the 400,000-620,000 people of Iranian heritage residing in the United States, according to statistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Hundreds of Iranian Americans rallied at an intersection in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, in late September 2022 following Amini’s death.

In October of last year, a massive “Freedom Rally for Iran” took place outside City Hall in Los Angeles. Protesters held signs with images of Amini, rallying against her death and in support of Iranian women.

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mural of Amini is also located on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. It was created by Iranian-Jewish muralist and Los Angeles native Cloe Hakakian alongside LA-based muralist Todd Goodman.

Amini died on Sept. 16, 2022, after being arrested and allegedly tortured by the Iranian regime’s morality police for wearing her hijab, also known as a head covering, too loosely in violation of the country’s strict dress code for women. Attempts by Iranian authorities to attribute Amini’s death to a brain surgery she had as a child were debunked by her family, and Amini became the symbol of the “Women, Life, Freedom” protests that ensued following her death.

Earlier this month, human rights groups reported that Amini’s uncle was arrested in his home town of Saqqez by Iranian security forces who did not present a judicial order upon arrest. He was taken into custody one week after Amini’s lawyer appeared in court and was charged with “propaganda against the system.”

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