He fears for his life.
Erfan Mortezai, the cousin of Mahsa Amini - this 22-year-old young woman whose death, after being detained by the morality police, led to a protest movement in Iran - arrived in France this Saturday after obtaining a visa, report several media including RFI and Radio France.
This 34-year-old activist, originally from the province of Kurdistan like his cousin, had been living in Iraq for a year already.
“One day I was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months.
Once released, I fled here to Iraq and joined the ranks of the Iranian Communist Party,” he explained at the microphone of RFI radio.
“This trip saved my life”
But his situation would have become even more complex after the death of Mahsa Amini in September and the outbreak of demonstrations against the oppression of the mullahs.
He claims to have suffered death threats from the regime, which promised to kidnap him in order to bring him back to Iran or to assassinate him "directly" in the place of his exile.
Read alsoMahsa, Nika, Sarina, Hadis: the faces of Iranian protest
After asking to be welcomed in Europe, it was on the side of France that he found an escape, the cabinet of Catherine Colonna, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, granting him a pass.
“Not only did this trip save my life, but in addition, I will be able to fight against the Islamic regime in Tehran,” he commented on RFI.
He now intends to apply for asylum in order to stay in France.