A large demonstration was held against executions in Iran and the crimes of the Iranian government. It was organized by 15 French human rights groups, 4 French-Iranian human rights groups, and the Arc Association of Human Rights for Azerbaijan. The report below outlines the proceedings and the roles of the Arc Association.
The demonstration was held at d'Iéna Square in Paris on 23 May 2023 starting at 17:00. In advance of the demonstrations, Police cars closed the traffic in Avenue d'Iéna, where the Iranian embassy is located 200 meters away from the Square. The demonstration ended at 19:00, but the police kept the street leading to the Iranian Embassy closed until 20:00.
Jean-Claude Semoullier, from Amnesty International, called the current situation in Iran "unacceptable" and condemned the ongoing "arbitrary arrests", "use of war bullets", "repulsive disappearances" and the despicable situations in the prisons in Iran.
The demonstration saw a 2-hours rallying by 10 members of the French Parliament, the mayor of the region, members of the Paris Association, and a large number of French judges and lawyers. The speakers delivered their speeches on a truck that was turned into a stage and condemned the execution of political opponents and government crimes of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The organizers and speakers strongly criticized the French government officials who prevented them from holding the demonstration under the pretext of the possibility of insecurity in front of the embassy and said that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that creates insecurity and not the protesters against the crimes of the Iranian government.
Included among the participants were many journalists and news agencies preparing reports, photos, films and news, which were also broadcast directly on some French televisions.
Dr. Karim Lahiji, a well-known lawyer and the first speaker of the demonstration at the invitation of the French Bar Association (Conseil national des barreaux), explained and condemned the crimes of the Islamic Republic of Iran in detail during the past 44 years of its reign. Also, a detailed speech was made about the violated rights of LGBT people in the Islamic Republic of Iran, referring to specific cases of harassment and insulting their identity.
AFP (Agence France-Presse) conducted a detailed video interview with an Arc Associate. He used the opportunity to express his strong position against the death sentences and in particular the political executions in Iran carried out to create a state of terror and a means of deterrence. AFP also asked more questions about the current situation from the Arc Associate. During his speech, the Associate pointed out that today Iran is in its worst condition in terms of human rights in the last four decades. The government is terrified of the real risk of a popular overthrow and therefore resorts to extreme repression, The number of executions is at the rate of more than three people every day!
The pictures and videos of this demonstration prepared by the representatives of the Arc Association will be published by the Arc Association.
The Arc Association for Azerbaijani Human Rights
23 May 2023 – Paris