DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Protests against the Iranian government continue and were only amplified as protesters celebrated the soccer team’s loss to the United States, cheering on the U.S. win as a blow to Iran’s government.
Duke University Junior Rosa Golchin is the Vice President of Duke’s Persian Students Association. She’s the daughter of Iranian immigrants and has lots of family in Iran.
She said she was disappointed when the team lost, but regardless of the outcome of the game, she said the “greatest victory” is attention being brought to issues protesters are fighting for.
“When the news came out that the players were threatened, not just themselves but their families, with torture and imprisonment for not singing the national anthem, I mean my heart really dropped; it’s hard to not sympathize with that,” Golchin said.
She’s making her voice heard here at home by spray-painting messages such as “Justice 4 Mahsa Amini” and “Women, Life, Freedom” in Farsi on a graffiti wall on Duke’s campus.
“Definitely feel compelled to use whatever freedoms or platforms we have to amplify the voices of people in Iran,” Golchin said.
Video from the World Cup shows two Iranian protesters being tackled by security. One of the protesters is shouting “Women, Life, Freedom.”
Iran’s government said more than 300 people have been killed since protests broke out more than two months ago, sparked by the police custody death of Mahsa Amini.
Additionally, all of Samin Pouya’s family and friends live in Iran. She said it’s been difficult to get in touch with them, and that there was a period of at least 10 days where she couldn’t reach them.
Pouya moved to Raleigh 10 years ago. She hopes there will be change for her family back in Iran.
“It is so hard,” Pouya said. “You can understand that, how hard it is when every day in the morning you are waking up and hearing new things about Iran, and how many people they get killed.”