Iranian expatriates in the United States and Canada held gatherings in Washington DC and Toronto on Sunday to express support for popular anti-regime protests in Iran.
The Washington protest was held at the former building of the Iranian embassy and called by dissident singer-songwriter Arash Sobhani, a blues musician who has been an active advocate of human rights and democracy in Iran and has delivered speeches about Iranian social issues in various universities, including Harvard, Stanford, and University of California Irvine.
During the event, Sobhani performed some of his original works, which are usually themed around the cultural and political issues in the Islamic Republic, as well as some cover songs about Iran, which were accompanied by the participating crowd.
The gathering in Toronto was organized by Hamed Esmailioun, who is the flagbearer for the victims of the downing of Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS752 in January 2020 by the Revolutionary Guard, where he himself lost his wife and daughter.
"Iran is ruled by the turban-wearing criminals and bloodthirsty revolutionary guards," Esmailioun said during his speech at the demonstration.
Hamed Esmailioun, who is the spokesman for the victims of IRGC’s downing of Ukrainian Airlines Flight PS752, delivers a speech during a gathering of Iranian expatriates in Toronto on June 5, 2022, in solidarity with the popular protests in the southwestern Iranian city of Abadan.
In both gatherings, people expressed solidarity with the people of Abadan, whose mourning ceremonies for the victims of the collapsed ten-story Metropol twin towers in May have turned into anti-government protests and spread to other cities of the southwestern Khuzestan province as well as other cities across the country.
“Although we tremble from sorrow but abound with anger; our heart is with you Abadan and we will not let them trample on the truth,” Esmailioun added.