A thousand people demonstrated on Sunday January 8 in Lyon in support of the protest movement in Iran and in tribute to Mohammad Moradi who committed suicide by jumping into the Rhône to draw attention to his country, noted journalists from the AFP.
The demonstrators marched behind a large banner proclaiming “
Woman, life, freedom
”, the slogan of the revolt movement in Iran which they shouted along the route.
Iran has been rocked by protests since the death of student Mahsa Amini on September 16 after her arrest for violating the dress code.
Since then, 14 people have been sentenced to death in connection with the protests, according to an AFP tally based on official information.
Among them, four were executed, including two on Saturday.
“I am here to ask for freedom”
The emotion was strong in Lyon among the demonstrators who waved Iranian flags or were swaddled in them.
I am here to ask for freedom in Iran (...) When I was little, they arrested my whole family
", explained to AFP Sholeh Golrokhi, 49, from Paris and who drew a red tear on the face.
We are against this regime (...) which is against humanity, against all the Iranian people
", explained Jiyan Bahramian, a 46-year-old political refugee living in Besançon.
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He held with other compatriots a fabric banner displaying, in red, the word freedom composed with the names of 630 political prisoners, "
a small part of a large figure
", he said.
According to the UN, around 14,000 people have been arrested since the beginning of the movement.
We are here to ask Western countries to be the voice of our people
" and "
to expel the Iranian ambassadors
", underlined Samane Ramezanpanah, a 35-year-old computer scientist.
Holding placards "
Let's prevent the killing
Long live the democratic revolution in Iran
" or "
Stop the massacres of the innocent
", the crowd chanted the names of Mohammad Moradi, who committed suicide in Lyon on December 28, or people performed recently.
Songs by rapper Toomaj Salehi, arrested for his support for the movement, were broadcast, while on a truck, a woman, the Iranian flag painted on her face, imitated a hanging.
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If the crowd was mainly made up of Iranians, Lyonnais also came to support them, like Maurice Magnan and his wife.
Iran is going through a dramatic time, the mullahs in power only aim to maintain them and in no case the happiness of their people.
Iran really deserves that we take care of their fate
, ”said this 65-year-old retiree.
We sensed the immense dissatisfaction of the Iranian people
” during a trip to Iran, he explained, referring to the disastrous situation of the economy and the lack of hope of the youth.