Paris (AFP) – The commander-in-chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Hossein Salami, is one of three senior officials targeted in a rare criminal complaint filed Thursday with the Paris prosecutor’s office.
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Alongside Intelligence Minister Esmail Khatib and Al-Quds Force chief Esmail Qaani, Salami is accused of “death threats and glorifying terrorism”, said the lawyer for the six Iranian and Franco-Iranian plaintiffs.
Their case refers to public threats made by the three men between December 2022 and January 2023 against people supporting nationwide protests in Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for violating Iran’s women’s dress code.
Khatib declared on December 13 that “anyone who plays a role in the riots will be punished, wherever they are in the world.”
The statement was widely distributed in the press and on social networks, according to the text of the criminal complaint consulted by AFP.
Salami himself, for his part, declared on January 10 that “the French and the leaders of the (anticlerical satirical magazine) Charlie Hebdo“We should not be “concerned about the fate of Salman Rushdie”.
The British author has long been the subject of a fatwa calling for his assassination issued by the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and was seriously injured in a stabbing attack in August 2022. Charlie Hebdo The staff were massacred by armed jihadists in 2015 after publishing caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
“These threats are in fact just disguised fatwas” – an Islamic legal decree – against Iranian opposition activists around the world, said Chirinne Ardakani, a French-Iranian lawyer for the Iranian Justice Collective.
“The regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its agents perpetuate a long tradition of threatening Iranian opponents in exile with death, tracking them down and assassinating them on French and European soil,” the complaint reads. 22-page judicial report.
Some living in France since the 1980s and others recently exiled, the six plaintiffs include a filmmaker, a journalist, a writer and an LGBT rights activist, all of whom have taken a public stand against Tehran.
Anniversary of the uprising
Their complaint, largely symbolic, marks the first anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini, on September 16, 2022, which triggered the “Woman. Life. Freedom” across Iran.
“This is about showing the Iranian regime, which wants to stifle the opposition, that wherever Iranians are in the world, they will continue to make themselves heard,” Ardakani said.
“We send balloons, we use all the avenues offered by French law, but the ultimate goal is that the perpetrators of atrocities are prosecuted and brought to justice in France,” she added.
The France-based Iran Justice Collective has documented abuses and repression against protesters over the past year, which the group says has led to hundreds of deaths and thousands of arrests.