Patrick Gower speaks to Kiwi-Iranian sisters once jailed by Iranian regime

After Patrick Gower posted on Instagram about his cyber crime documentary, he was hit with tens of thousands of comments.

Not about the doco but about what's happening in Iran, urging him to help. So, on Monday Gower met with two Kiwi-Iranian sisters who have been watching the horrific scenes unfold on the very streets they grew up.

Maryam Doborjeh said every time they look at their news feeds, they see people dying.

"How can the world stay silent?" Maryam told Gower on The Project.

"Innocent people are being killed every night. Every day this genocide is being expanded."

The death of Mahsa Amini has sparked a month of unrest in Iran. The 22-year-old was arrested for not wearing her hijab correctly. She died in police custody.

What happened to Mahsa resonates strongly with these sisters, who now live in New Zealand.

"Every molecule of my body could understand what she has gone through," said Maryam.

As teenagers, they lived in Iran. They know the fear women of that country face every day. 

"We were walking in the street and were stopped by the morality police," Zohreh recalled.

The young sisters, just out for a shop at the time, then began crying when they were told to get into a vehicle.

"They started forcing me, pushing me, dragging me to get inside the car."

They spent the night in jail for not wearing their hijab properly.

"Too much hair," Maryam told The Project. "In their opinion."

Across Iran, thousands have marched and, last week, protesters hacked into Iran's state TV to broadcast a message: Join us and rise up.

The government's brutal pushback has killed hundreds of people. In the past day, a jail full of protesters and political prisoners was set on fire. At least four died, and dozens more were injured. It's feared the blaze was lit by the regime.

This is more than a protest now. It's an uprising. A revolution posing the biggest threat to the Islamic republic in their over 40 years of oppressive rule.

And the sisters know that this isn't just about the hijab. The protesters want freedom for everyone to express themselves in the way they want.

Zohreh and Maryam have experienced that freedom, here in New Zealand, for almost a decade. Both are PhD graduates and lecturing at AUT and Waikato University.

But their loved ones are still back in Iran.

They said the Iranian people need help from the rest of the world, and that the power of the regime only grows when we are silent.

"It's not a time to look away. Each time we look away, another life is taken away," Zohreh told Gower. "Enough is enough."