September 16, 2015

NIAC Urges Investigation of Hate Crime Against Shayan Mazroei

Contact: Elham Khatami
Phone: (202) 386-6325
Email: [email protected]
Washington, D.C. – The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Shayan Mazroei, a 22-year-old Iranian-American who was fatally stabbed outside a Laguna Niguel, California pub last week. NIAC condemns this despicable act of violence that was allegedly perpetrated by an individual who belongs to an Orange County white supremacist gang.
The alleged perpetrator, who has openly admitted to being a white supremacist, was arrested late last week and is currently being held on a $1 million bail. He was also arrested in 2004 on suspicion of murdering a 26-year-old man. Despite his record, the murder of Shayan Mazroei is not being investigated as a hate crime. We urge California prosecutors to take motive into consideration in this sensitive and tragic case.

For many of us, the circumstances of Shayan’s tragic death are a painful reminder that, although we have come far throughout history in ending racism, bigotry and extremism still exist. We see it in such cruel and heinous attacks. We see it harm our children, our friends, and our neighbors. And we see it fuel an atmosphere in which innocent, peace-loving individuals fear for their safety simply because of who they are. As we grieve Shayan’s passing, we realize that we have a long road ahead of us in eliminating hatred and radicalism and building a more peaceful future.

Our organization’s sincere thoughts are with the family and friends of Shayan, who was a promising student at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. We mourn this heartbreaking loss and stand with members of the Orange County community to honor and remember Shayan’s life. This crime was a brutal act of violence against a member of our shared Iranian-American community. If it was indeed motivated by Shayan’s ethnic background or skin color, it was an attack against the universal values and principles we all hold dear – tolerance, respect, and dignity for all of humanity – and it should be prosecuted as a hate crime.

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