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'We need a voice, we are helpless': Hundreds of Iranian-Americans demonstrate in Carmichael

About 21,000 Iranians call the Sacramento area home and hundreds of them stood in solidarity with anti-government protesters in Iran, Saturday.

CARMICHAEL, Calif. — Hundreds of members of the local Iranian community gathered in Carmichael Saturday to protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in the custody of Iran’s morality police after allegedly not wearing a headscarf properly.

About 21,000 Iranian-Americans call the Sacramento area home, including 30-year-old Samareh Noori, who left her home country of Iran in search of a life with more freedom.

“I am Christian and they don’t accept any other religion. You have to be Muslim there," said Noori. "You have to cover your hair there, so I’m not going to accept that."

Noori said what happened to Amini could have happened to her or her daughters.

“I’m shaking right now because I’m a mom and to think of losing your kids,” Noori said, fighting back tears. “It’s really painful.”

It’s why she and others are standing in solidarity with anti-government protesters in Iran to amplify the voices of Iranian women.

“We support the United States of America,” said Ashkran Azarkeyvan, who also fled Iran and is now a U.S. citizen. “This is our new home but we still have family members and friends over there and we feel for them and our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

Like many other Iranian-born demonstrators, Azarkeyvan supports the push for progress in Iran.

Together, the group is calling on the U.S. government to support Iranians fighting for basic human rights and help restore internet access overseas. Human rights activists say at least 76 anti-government protesters in Iran have been killed so far in Iran.

“My family is still over there and we are voiceless,” said Noori. “We need a voice. We are helpless. We need help.”

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