Hundreds of Iranian migrants rallied in Paris and other European cities on Saturday to denounce Iran’s crackdown on protests following the death of Mahsa Amini after she was arrested by morality police.
The protesters gathered in the central Place du Chatelet in the French capital and chanted slogans against supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and also urged French President Emmanuel Macron to stop negotiations with Iran.
“Khamenei get out of Iran!”, “Macron enough silence!” and “Death to the Islamic Republic” were among the slogans shouted by the demonstrators in French and Persian, an AFP reporter said.
The protesters also sang in Persian the Italian protest song “Bella Ciao (Goodbye Beautiful)” popular with supporters of the movement.
They also repeated the viral Persian slogans used by protesters inside Iran such as “zan, zendegi, azadi!” (woman, life, freedom!) and also its Kurdish equivalent “jin, jiyan, azadi!” as Amini, also known as Jhina Amini, was Kurdish.
In other protests, Iranian women in Athens cut their hair in solidarity with Amini, brandishing placards reading “say her name!”.
Demonstrators on Sergels torg in the center of the Swedish capital Stockholm also cut their hair and held another group outside the Swedish parliament up pictures of the killers.
Iran says 35 people have died in the protests that followed Amini’s death, but activists say the number is now over 50 and likely to be higher.
Demonstrators in Paris expressed anger at Macron meeting and shaking hands with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week as Paris calls for a 2015 deal on Tehran’s nuclear program to keep alive.
“How can you shake the hands of someone who has committed a crime against humanity?” read a placard brandished by protesters referring to Raisi’s alleged involvement in the 1988 mass execution of political prisoners in Iran.
“The anger has caught fire and the flames cannot be extinguished,” said Mahtab Ghorbani, an exiled poet and writer living in France.
“Those who do not speak up will be responsible and we demand that France stops the negotiations (on the nuclear issue) and closes the Iranian Embassy in Paris,” she said.
The protesters plan to hold a second demonstration on Sunday where they plan to march on the Iranian embassy in Paris.