The visit by the Iranian regime’s president, Hassan Rouhani, to France ended with many industrial contracts but also by a deafening silence on the issue of human rights. In response, there were many protests and speeches that condemned the Iranian regime.
French political figures, human rights organizations and activists, and French citizens met at a rally on Thursday at noon in Paris to chastise Rouhani for the dire situation of human rights in Iran, the policy of export of terrorism and fundamentalism, and the destructive conflicts in the region, especially for buttressing the criminal President of Syria Bashar al-Assad.
The participants included Sid Ahmad Ghozali, former Algerian Prime Minister; Gilbert Mitterrand, President of France Libertés Foundation and son of the late French President Francois Mitterrand; Senator Jean-Pierre Michel; Giulio Maria Terzi, former Italian Foreign Minister; Alejo Vidal-Quadras, President of the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) and former Vice-President of the European Parliament; José Bové, Member of the European Parliament from France; Rama Yade, former French Secretary of State for Human Rights; Henri Leclerc, prominent French lawyer and jurist; Dominique Lefevbre, member of French National Assembly; Jean- François Legaret and Jacques Boutault, Mayors of 1st and 2nd districts of Paris; Struan Stevenson, President of European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA); Michel Kilo, member of Syrian opposition; and Marzieh Babakhani, member of PMOI/MEK Central Council.
José Bové, a prominent French Member of the European Parliament, told thousands of supporters of the Iranian opposition at the ‘No To Rouhani’ rally in Paris on Thursday that the appalling human rights situation in Iran must not be overlooked.
Jean-François Legaret, mayor of the 1st district of Paris, also addressed the demonstration. He said: “France damages its Republican values by welcoming today a man who isn’t the representative of the Iranian people. In fact, he is committing crimes and torture against the Iranian people.
Today, France is making a mistake, that’s why we are gathered here, to support the Iranian people and their resistance, led by Maryam Rajavi.”
The former French Human Rights Minister, Rama Yade said, “Hassan Rouhani isn’t a moderate leader and secular people, democratic people and women are brutally repressed.” She continued to say that the “death penalty must be abolished; political prisoners must be freed; freedom of speech must prevail; censorship must stop; freedom of conscience for everyone must prevail; there must be equality between men and women.”
The Former Italian Foreign Minister, Guilio Maria Terzi, described the regime that Hassan Rouhani represents as a “regime that is linked to murderous militia, killing thousands of people in Syria, in Iraq, in the Middle East; that supports and funds a global terrorism network, and a regime that is still on the terrorist list in some countries in Europe.”
“We will not be deceived by Hassan Rouhani’s smiles. If he was a true moderate, on his very first day of presidency he would have protested against the executions that are happening in Iran; he would have released the political prisoners; he would have stopped acid attacks on women and many other brutal punishments,” Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, President of International Committee In Search of Justice declared in his speech at Thursday’s rally.
Struan Stevenson, former president of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, told the supporters of the Iranian opposition: “We Europeans should be on the side of the people of Iran. We should be on the side of freedom, not oppression. We should not deal with tyrants.”
The protesters urged France and other EU governments to make their relations with the Iranian regime contingent upon an improvement of human rights in Iran and an end to the support of the mullahs for the massacre of the Syrian people.
Speakers emphasized that Rouhani has always been among the highest officials and staunchest defenders of the velayat-e faqih system all along and in the past 37 years has been involved in the suppression of the Iranian people.
In the final statement of the demonstration, protestors voiced their support for the Iranian Resistance and in particular the 10-point platform of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, for the establishment of a republic based on respect for human rights, separation of religion and state, gender equality, and peaceful co-existence.