LOS ANGELES (Sept. 28, 2015) — On Sept. 7, 2015, 22-year-old Iranian-American engineering student Shayan Mazroei was fatally stabbed in Laguna Niguel, California. Eyewitness accounts allege that the assailant made racially charged comments toward Mr. Mazroei before the killing.
As a civil rights organization, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA) is deeply concerned at the possibility that Mr. Mazroei was the victim of another such act of bigotry and hatred. Since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA) communities have been unjustly targeted as the victims of hate crimes.
“Advancing Justice – LA extends our deepest condolences to Mr. Mazroei’s family and the communities impacted by this tragedy,” stated Karin Wang, Vice President of Programs and Communications of Advancing Justice – LA. “Advancing Justice – LA supports a full and thorough investigation by law enforcement into whether this tragic killing was also a racially-motivated hate crime.”
A candlelight vigil was held Monday outside the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in Santa Ana, Calif. Southern Californians participated to show support for Mr. Mazroei’s family and the Iranian American community.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles is the nation’s largest Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) legal and civil rights organization and serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Founded in 1983 as the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Advancing Justice – LA’s mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. Through direct legal services, impact litigation, policy analysis and advocacy, leadership development and capacity building, Advancing Justice – LA seeks to serve the most vulnerable members of the AANHPI community while also building a strong AANHPI voice for civil rights and social justice.