BOISE, Idaho — One year ago, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in the custody of Iran's Morality Police, sparking the "Women Life Freedom" movement across the globe.
For the past year, that movement has had the goal of spreading awareness of the persecution of women in Iran.
Boise was one of 70 cities across the world, and one of about 20 cities in the United States where demonstrations were held on Saturday. Members of WomenLifeFreedom.Boise took to the steps of Boise City Hall on the anniversary of Mahsa Amini's death.
"Last year, September 16, she was killed by morality police just because she did not have her headscarf on properly," event organizer Mohad Baboli said. "And that embarked a nationwide protest, which led to the Women Life Freedom revolution."
Similar demonstrations have been taking place around the world, and Boise's group has held several other events for Women Life Freedom.
"Women invented the slogan," event organizer Fari Parthor said. "And they want to say, women bring life - and they can also bring freedom."
Organizers said the rally is to help be the voice of protesters against the Islamic Republic of Iran's government, and raise awareness of what is going on in the country.
"We want Americans to know and hear the voice of innocent Iranians in Iran, who are being raped, gang raped, tortured, murdered by Islamic repulsive murderers. They're a gang of criminals, they're a mafia who have sized Iran," Parthor said. "The revolution was started by women. It was led by women, and women were the bravest of Iranians, who stood in front of bullets and went to political prisons."
Mahsa Amini wasn't the only name being remembered. During the event, people lined up with the names and stories of 15 children that organizers said were killed by Iran's regime.
"You can see the scope of the violence that has happened through the last 12 months," Baboli said.
At least 551 people, including 68 children, have been killed in the ongoing nationwide protests in Iran, according to Norway-based nonprofit Iran Human Rights.
The rally also expressed concerns over the U.S. transferring $6 billion in frozen Iranian funds as part of a U.S./Iran prisoner swap.
"We are really worried that this is the money to fund the Iran regime to kill more people in Iran, and in the in the region," Baboli said.
The group penned a letter to U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) expressing concerns over lack of transparency on how the U.S. Government is claiming the funds can only be used for humanitarian purposes - and how the spending of the $6 billion could be monitored.
"With the release of $6 billion in funds, we are asking Senator Risch as the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate to lead a public hearing about how the government of the U.S. is going to monitor the spending of these funds," Baboli said.
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