Huge Paris rally calls for EU terror listing for Iran’s guards

Huge Paris rally calls for EU terror listing for Iran’s guards

Paris – Thousands of Europe-based Iranians – including relatives of victims of repression in the Islamic Republic, lawmakers and activists – called on Saturday at a rally in Paris for the European Union to list Iran’s Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist group.

Speakers at the demonstration in Place Vauban in the heart of the French capital insisted that such a listing for the Guard was the biggest contribution EU ministers could make to help the protest movement that erupted in September.

The demonstrators chanted the protest movement’s slogan ‘Woman’. Life. Freedom’ and one of its anthems the song ‘Bella Ciao’ as well as slogans against the Islamic Republic.

“The main goal is to get EU ministers to finally hear the voices of Iranians,” Swedish MP Alireza Akhondi, a prominent voice in the campaign, told AFP on the sidelines of the rally before giving an impassioned speech in Persian.

“We want the Revolutionary Guard to be labeled as a terrorist group. That is the key point,” he said, adding that he was disappointed with the progress so far.

“The Revolutionary Guard are terrorists”

The demonstrators also called on European countries to cut economic ties with Iran over the crackdown on the protest movement, waving the slogan “your economic interests are shedding the blood of our innocent youth” against a backdrop of EU, French and German flags.

Prominent French Green MP Yannick Jadot told the crowds that there should be “no European ambassadors in Tehran” and that “the Revolutionary Guards are terrorists and should be listed as such.”

The Guards are the branch of the Iranian armed forces entrusted with ensuring the security of the regime. They are accused by activists of rights violations against protesters and prisoners.

Many protesters wore eye patches or red make-up pouring from their eyes in reference to allegations of security forces shooting protesters in the face.

“We were killed a second time”

The protests, sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for violating the women’s dress code, have subsided in recent months, but the opposition insists they still pose an unprecedented challenge to the regime.

The rally was addressed by the daughter of France-based blogger Ruhollah Zam who was executed by Iran in 2020 after being lured from Paris to Iraq where he was abducted by Iranian security forces.

“Ruhollah Zam was the definition of the word freedom,” said Niaz Zam, who was 15 at the time of his father’s execution, which outraged activists.

When Iran executed a total of four prisoners for the protests, “we were murdered a second time, but we were not afraid,” she said, making her first ever public comments after her father’s hanging.

Among at least a dozen people who, according to the Iranian judiciary, still face the death penalty is the rapper Toomaj Salehi, who backed the protests and was arrested in October and charged with murder.





    Related Posts: