As Iran’s 12th presidential election was held on May 19, 2017, throughout the country, Iranian – Canadians held simultaneous protests in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver to denounce the sham election and violations of human rights in Iran. Demonstrations were held in Ottawa outside parliament, in Toronto in Mel Lastman Square, in Montreal at the city center, and in Vancouver in front of the Art Gallery at the city center. Demonstrators held banners reading “Stop Executions in Iran.” “No to Sham Election,” “No to Rouhani Imposter,” “No to Raisi mass killer of 1988,” “our vote is regime change,” “free all political prisoners,” “this is a selection, not an election.”
One graduate student who helped organize the demonstration said: “The Iranian political system Is not democratic and today’s election was neither free nor fair. In Iran, the supreme leader Khamenei, stands at the apex of Iran’s complex political dictatorship. He is the most powerful of Iran’s four major governing bodies, the Supreme Leader and the Council of Guardians, are not elected by the general population and power of the president is secondary to the supreme leader, who is an unelected head of state.”
The speakers constantly led chants, denouncing the fraudulent election. The protestors said they have various reasons why this protest is important. A fourth-year student at the York University of Toronto said there are a lot of issues in Iran, deteriorated economy, State sponsored terrorism, human rights violation, women’s rights … He said “but what we are primarily concerned about in the election is that the presidential race is between incumbent President Hassan Rouhani seeking a second term in office, with 3000 executions during his tenure, and Ebrahim Raisi, candidate closest to Supreme Leader who was part of a tribunal that oversaw the execution of 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988. He was also the preferred candidate of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).”
In Toronto Canada The demonstration held in Mel Lastman Square, protestors were holding placards condemning the sham election, the demonstration received wide media and social attentions, During the demonstrations CTV channel interviewed with one of the organizer of the demonstration: “Today our Simultaneous protests in Canada over Iran elections is in solidarity with Iranian people with the same vote ‘The Regime change’ the people of Iran deserve a democratic change, they reject 38 years of this tyrannical rule,” she said. National CBC Television had a live interview with Mrs. Shahnaz Fallah from the International coalition of women against fundamentalism (ICWAF) regarding Iran’s election.