NewsSpecial Wire100,000 French citizens call for an end to pressure...

100,000 French citizens call for an end to pressure on Iran dissidents

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Iran Focus: Paris, Jun. 16 – An array of prominent jurists and human rights advocates in France joined 100,000 French citizens to call on their government to cease pressures on an Iranian opposition coalition, two years after a spectacular police raid on the offices of the National Council of Resistance of Iran north of Paris. Iran Focus

Paris, Jun. 16 – An array of prominent jurists and human rights advocates in France joined 100,000 French citizens to call on their government to cease pressures on an Iranian opposition coalition, two years after a spectacular police raid on the offices of the National Council of Resistance of Iran north of Paris.

Jean-Pierre Dubois, chairman of France’s prestigious Human Rights League, said in opening remarks at a press conference in the offices of his organisation, that the signatories of the petition were primarily from France’s Val d’Oise province, north of Paris, where the NCRI offices are located. He said the petitioners condemned the “unjustified crackdown of June 17, 2003”.

On that day, more than 1,300 French anti-terrorist policemen raided NCRI offices and homes of Iranian exiles in the Parisian suburbs, and arrested 165 political refugees, including NCRI President-designate Maryam Rajavi. French judges set a legal precedent by releasing all the detainees.

“The events of June 17 were completely political in nature for the purposes of trade deals”, French Senator Jean-Pierre Michel told the press conference.

“The French Foreign Ministry continuously warns Members of Parliament to keep away from the People’s Mojahedin, yet whenever we question them to give a reason, they have nothing to say”, Michel added, calling this part of the “appeasement” policy towards Iran’s theocratic regime.

“The time has come for the French government to embarrass us no more in terms of human rights”, the Senator added.

Patrick Baudouin, honorary president of International Human Rights Federation, Côme Jacqemini, chairman of France’s Union of Magistrates, William Bourdon, a prominent human rights lawyer, Mouloud Aounit, president of the anti-racist MRAP movement, and Georges Flécheux, former chairman of Bar Human Right Committee, took turns to express grave concern at the seemingly arbitrary manner in which the case against the exile dissidents is being dragged on, even though vigorous investigations in the past two years have not come up with any incriminating evidence against them.

The petition denounced the French government’s “continuing pressure on the Iranian Resistance, in order to fulfil Paris’s side of the bargain with Tehran”. They mentioned, as an example, the French government’s ban on a peaceful demonstration in Paris in February by exiles who wanted to highlight human rights violations in Iran.

The petitioners supported Maryam Rajavi’s proposed “third option” for Iran. In December, the opposition leader told the European Parliament that the best Iran policy option would be neither appeasement of the ruling clerics, nor foreign military intervention, but support for “democratic change brought about by the Iranian people and the resistance movement”.

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