Nazanin Boniadi recalls a ‘Traumatic Encounter with the So-Called Morality Police’ in Iran at the age of 12

Boniadi Nazanin

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Nazanin Boniadi recalls a “traumatic” experience she had as a teenager that inspired her to “use [her] voice” to support women and girls in Iran.

On Wednesday, the Bomb the actress, 42, gave a rousing speech at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles, during the Women of the Academy Luncheon presented by Chanel, about one time the so-called “morality police” went to her country of birth.

“My parents understood the dangers of raising a daughter in an increasingly oppressive social, political and legal climate, especially towards women and girls,” she said. “Even though they were granted political asylum in London when I was just 3 weeks old, the challenges facing women in Iran were seared into my psyche.”

“And after traveling across Iran when I was 12 and having a terrible encounter with the so-called morality police who were tasked with enforcing the country’s Islamic code of dress and behavior, I knew I had to make my voice heard. use to promote their own,” said Boniadi, who was born in Tehran but raised in the UK

Boniadi’s speech came two months after the death of Iranian woman Mahsa Amini. According to the US Treasury Department, Amini, 22, was transferred to a hospital in a coma the same day she was detained for allegedly wearing her hijab too loosely, “and died two days later of internal injuries. “

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Women hold signs and chant slogans during a protest over the death of Iranian Mahsa Amini outside the Iranian Consulate on September 29, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey.  Mahsa Amini fell into a coma and died after being arrested in Tehran by the morality police, for allegedly violating the country's hijab rules.  Amini's death sparked weeks of violent protests across Iran.

Women hold signs and chant slogans during a protest over the death of Iranian Mahsa Amini outside the Iranian Consulate on September 29, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. Mahsa Amini fell into a coma and died after being arrested in Tehran by the morality police, for allegedly violating the country’s hijab rules. Amini’s death sparked weeks of violent protests across Iran.

Chris McGrath/Getty Protest over the death of Mahsa Amini in Istanbul, Turkey

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The IS The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power A star said in her speech that “Mahsa Amini’s murder forced us to be complacent in the defense of women’s rights around the world.”

“Perhaps it is the understanding of the fragility of our freedoms that has inspired the world around Mahsa and his cruelty to women in Iran,” continued Boniadi. “Not since the anti-apartheid movement of South Africa have we seen the level of global attention to the fight to end segregation of any kind anywhere. But how can we, the creative community, turn our outrage into action meaning and prevent the Iranian authorities from suppressing yet another uprising?”

Boniadi gave a shout out to other celebrities who she says have “successfully used their platforms to amplify and elevate the movement,” such as Alfre Woodard, Danny Glover and Blair Underwood.

“That’s exactly what we have to do for Iran right now,” she said. “We the world must send a strong message to the Iranian authorities. Their crimes will not remain uninvestigated or unpunished. We must demand that our representatives stand unequivocally with the Iranian people and maintain the regime of Islamic Republic account for their crimes under international. Law.”

Towards the end of her speech, Boniadi urged listeners to protest, network and “continue to amplify the voices of the Iranian people on social media by following and sharing information from credible activists and organizations,” asking her ” a larger art community” to be involved in. us in our fight for a free Iran.”

RELATED VIDEO: Continued Protests in Iran Spark Support Worldwide

Boniadi spoke about her early life in Iran with Katie Couric last month, explaining how her parents were “against the newly established regime of the Islamic Republic” after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

As a result, the family fled to London when the Hotel Mumbai the actress was only 20 days old – because her father was “on the execution list” in Iran.

Boniadi, who is an ambassador for Amnesty International UK and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, also recalled that “the freedom of dress was taken away from me” the first time she visited Iran after the transition, when she was 12 old, to be “forced to wear hijab.”

“A member of the so-called morality police came up to me and my uncle, and he really demanded that he prove that we were married, because we were walking down the street,” Boniadi told Couric. , 65 years old. It was such a moving, moving experience, it was stuck in my mind. I remember thinking at that moment that if I ever had a platform where I could tell people what the daily experience of young girls in Iran is, I would share that. “

“I have been fighting for the past 14 years to amplify the voices of the Iranian people against their oppressive regime,” she said. “And I will continue until they achieve the freedom they deserve.”

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