The Hazara community in Launceston gathered in Civic Square at the weekend to support their friends and family suffering in the Middle East.
Speaker Fatemeh Ebrahimi said the vigil was inspired by the global wave of protests against police brutality, that started after the death of George Floyd in America.
The Hazara community saw parallels with the way their people are treated in Iran.
“We are here to be the voice of the refugees … who have been subject to injustice and abuse for more than four decades,” Ms Ebrahimi said.
“We have gathered here to voice our protest against the racist and discriminatory actions that are being perpetrated against Afghan refugees in Iran.”
Hazaras are a cultural and ethnic minority from Afghanistan, who have long been persecuted in their homeland. They are believed to be descendants of Genghis Khan and the Mongol army, who conquered the region in the 13th century.
Hazaras follow a different religion to the majority in Afghanistan and were historically murdered, denied access to services and trafficked as slaves.
Ms Ebrahimi said Hazaras had been targets for brutality from police and security forces in Iran as well as in Afghanistan.