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South Bay Protestors rally in solidarity with Iranian demonstrators, Mahsa Amini

San Jose protest in solidarity with Iran after woman dies in custody of morality police
San Jose protest in solidarity with Iranians after woman dies in custody of morality police 02:03

SAN JOSE -- The death toll in Iran is growing as protests spread throughout the country after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for allegedly wearing her head scarf too loosely. 

Protests are happening around the world, including right here in the Bay Area. 

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of people chanted, carried signs and made their presence known on Winchester and Stevens Creek Boulevards near Santana Row.

Some protestors carried photos of Amini. Others carried signs that said 'Free Iran.' 

"I only lived in Iran until I was 7 years old, I've been back to visit,"  said protestor Mojdeh Croes.  "I can't know what it is to live the life of an Iranian woman. I can't imagine what that life would be like. Here I have the freedom to come here and protest today and not feel like anyone is going to come kill me or shoot me. This is freedom."

"Right now, it's all about women, women are finally speaking up, women are getting in the streets, women are actually - their words are being counted, and a lot of men are getting out there with the women and fighting for the women," said protestor Nahal Vahedi Curbelo. "This fight right now is for the women in Iran and for the women around the world to be free finally from any brutal government, just like the Islamic Republic."

In Iran, the death toll of demonstrators killed in protests is growing as unrest spreads. Amini was taken into custody two weeks ago by the morality police. 

"She was tortured in the van after her arrest, then tortured at the police station for half an hour," Amini's cousin Erfan Mortezaei told CBS News. 

He said the protestors want regime change in Iran in order to live freely. 

Bay Area protestors are speaking out in solidarity. 

"The message is we want the public to know what is going on in Iran, and the government of Iran is fully responsible and we are asking for justice," said Arzhang Kalbali with the local chapter of Amnesty International. "We want the people who are behind this to be arrested and put on trial." 

The Biden administration is imposing sanctions on Iran's morality police and is taking steps to support internet freedom as the Iranian government imposes online shutdowns. 

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