For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Elham Khatami

Phone: (202) 386-6325


Iranian Americans to Hold Press Conference and Vigil in Honor of Shayan Mazroei

WASHINGTON - The family of slain Iranian-American college student Shayan Mazroei will hold a press conference Monday, September 28, 12 p.m., at 2955 Main Street in Irvine to urge authorities to investigate Mazroei's death as a hate crime. Members of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) and the local Iranian-American community, will also join together that evening to honor Mazroei during a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. outside the Orange County District Attorney's Office (401 W Civic Center Dr., Santa Ana).

Mazroei, 22, was brutally murdered earlier this month at the hands of avowed white supremacist, Craig Tanber, who is currently in police custody. According to news reports, Tanber stabbed Mazroei outside of a bar in Laguna Niguel in the early hours of September 7. Eyewitness accounts suggest that the murder was motivated by hate, with Mazroei’s friends alleging that the altercation began with racist insults hurled at Mazroei.

“This tragic incident reflects the broader problem of bigotry and racism in our country, and highlights the rise of discrimination and hate crimes against people of Middle Eastern descent,” said Elham Khatami, NIAC’s National Outreach Director. “As we mourn Shayan’s passing, we urge prosecutors to take motive into consideration with the hope that Shayan is granted the justice he so deserves.”

A coalition of civil rights, faith, and advocacy groups, including NIAC, IAAB, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and the Council on American Islamic Relations, submitted a letter to the Department of Justice this week, urging the agency to undertake an open and rigorous federal hate crime investigation into the killing of Mazroei.

"It is a tragedy that such a senseless act of violence has resulted in the loss of life of a young Iranian-American man. Reports that such violence was committed as a direct result of Mr. Mazroei's Iranian heritage are a painful reminder that racism, bigotry, and extremism persist in our day and age," the letter reads. "We hope that the U.S. Department of Justice will join us ... by making a commitment to eradicate bias-motivated crimes and send a clear message to the American people that minority communities should not be left feeling vulnerable or isolated as a result of such acts of violence occurring in our communities."


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The National Iranian American Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the interests of the Iranian-American community. We accomplish our mission by supplying the resources, knowledge and tools to enable greater civic participation by Iranian Americans and informed decision making by lawmakers.

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