"If someone stopped a human being from breathing, he would be deprived of his most basic and essential right," Shariati said while referring to the murder of African-American George Floyd by the US police in late May.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
"It is the greatest injustice that can be done to a human being," Shariati added.
Shariati's remarks pointing to breathing is a reference to "I can't breathe" which is a slogan associated with the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States.
The phrase is derived from the words of Eric Garner in 2014. The phrase was also uttered by several other African-American men Anton Black, Javier Ambler, Derrick Scott Manuel Ellis, Elijah McClain, Byron Williams, and the latest one George Floyd, indicating that they had patent airways, shortly before they died during their arrests between 2018 and 2020, respectively.
The phrase is now used in worldwide protest against police brutality in the USt and against the lack of police accountability due.
On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis Police Department officer Derek Chauvin, was accused of killing George Floyd, by kneeling on the back of his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.
Spectator video of the incident showed Floyd saying "I can't breathe" multiple times. Despite his pleas, as well as a bystander exclaiming that the officer was preventing Floyd from breathing, Chauvin continued the restraint for 2 minutes and 53 seconds after Floyd became unresponsive, while three other officers watched.
"I can't breathe" became a rallying cry for the subsequent nationwide protests which spread across the world.