LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to support women and girls in Iran.

On September 16th, Mahsa Amini died after she was detained by Iran’s morality police while visiting her family in Tehran, allegedly because she was wearing a hijab improperly. There are well-founded suspicions that she had been tortured, as well as reports that her head had been slammed repeatedly against a hard surface. Her death sparked a wave of protests throughout the capital of Iran, all of the 31 provinces of Iran, and at least 150 other cities globally, including Los Angeles. Iranians, led by women and girls, have taken to the streets demanding justice for Mahsa and calling for an end to the morality police and the hijab mandate.

“Los Angeles is home to the largest Iranian population outside of Iran—a significant and enriching part of the diverse tapestry that is Los Angeles County. To that end, this Board must show solidarity with the protestors in Iran. With women’s rights under attack in our own country, these courageous women and girls are inspiring us to continue fighting for equal rights in every corner of the globe. With this motion, Los Angeles County is taking a stand in support of a better future for the people of Iran— one that ensures Iranian women and girls have access to all the opportunities they deserve,” said Supervisor Solis.

These protests have become one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s clerical leadership since 1979. Chanting “women, life, and freedom,” the protestors are demanding that the original promises of the 1979 Iranian Revolution—freedom, independence, and justice—be fulfilled. The Iranian government has instituted a brutal crackdown against the protestors including internet disruptions to limit the free flow of information. This has resulted in the detention of hundreds of protestors and the death of at least 215 people, including 27 children – though the true figure is believed to be much higher.

“I am encouraged that an egregious death that started out as one woman’s story has resonated with women in many countries who are fighting their own versions of ‘the moral police.’ This global reform movement is being led by women and young people and LA County is proud to stand in strong support with the protestors in Iran, who are literally putting their lives on the line to bring about much-needed political and cultural reforms in their country, as well as all those around the world standing up and fighting, as well,” said Supervisor Kuehl.

The motion directs the County’s Chief Executive Office – Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations Branch to send a 5-signature letter to President Joseph R. Biden and the United States Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, to:

  1. Proclaim Los Angeles County’s support of women’s rights in Iran and for Iranians protesting for women’s rights and freedom abroad and here in the United States.
  2. Commend the Biden administration’s actions, including sanctions on Iran’s morality police and senior security and government officials who have engaged in human rights violations responding to the protests.
  3. Express the County’s opposition to the state-imposed internet restrictions and call for lifting the restrictions to restore and expand internet access in Iran.

Read today’s full motion here.