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Live Report: Iranians Protest in Paris for a Free Iran - Feb 8

Live Report: Iranians Protest in Paris for a Free Iran - Feb 8

15:35: The MEK supporters are now beginning to march from Paris’s Place Denfert-Rochereau towards Les Invalides, while chanting “Down with the dictatorship in Iran” and “Free Iran with Maryam Rajavi”.

15:30: Azadeh Alamian, representative of the Franco-Iranian community, told the rally: "The policy of appeasing the mullahs' regime is coming to an end. We see a ruined economy as a result of massive corruption in Iran. We see the end of the dictatorship coming. We Iranian of all kinds with all our diversity have a common future very soon. We will overthrow this bloodthirsty dictatorship. Down with Khamenei, Long live Maryam Rajavi."

15:25: Pierre Bercis, founder and President of Nouveaux Droits de l'Homme (France's New Human Rights), told the rally: "Iran's regime has killed so many people over the past year. It is like a wounded beast. It is coming to its end. But a wounded beast is still dangerous. We have seen over the past year how many times they tried terrorist plots against you, against us, against the MEK and the Iranian Resistance. So long as that wounded beast is not dead, we have to be vigilant and continue our battle."

15:20: Michèle de Vaucouleurs, a member of France's National Assembly told the Free Iran protest in Paris: "I know you have suffered for 40 years. I am with you to show that we stand by you. As a Member of Parliament, I cannot tolerate what you suffer. I know you, especially you the women, have suffered more but have a great hope. And I share that hope that this year will see the end of the dictatorship in Iran."

15:15: Ali Bahrami, the representative of the Iranian Kurdish Khebat organization, tells the protest: "The rights of Iranian people have been violated by the regime, especially the rights of minorities and the Kurdish people."

"Khomeini ordered 'Jihad' against the Kurdish people, and those killings continue to this date. The 1988 massacre is another example."

"The regime doesn't limit itself to the borders of Iran. Several Kurdish activists have been assassinated in European countries."

"EU countries should adopt tough policies against this regime to stop their crimes around the world."

15:10: Jean-Pierre Brard, former French lawmaker and Mayor, tells the Free Iran demonstration in Paris: "We should recall our ambassador from Iran to show that we don’t want to be complicit with this regime, but be in solidarity with the Iranian people."

15:05: Mehdi Same, Spokesperson of the Fedayian Organisation (Fedayeen), member of the NCRI, tells the rally: "Iran's people have gone through difficult times and the time has come for change."

"The crisis in Iran is a result of the people’s uprisings against the regime. Today I want to recall the 'Siahkal' heroism. I want to also recall the MEK freedom fighters who were martyred on this day in history."

"We are continuing the path of the constitutional revolution which led to the end of the monarchy in Iran," he added.

15:03: George Sabra, former president of the opposition Syrian National Council, told the protesters: "We are soon coming to the day of victory, the revenge of those who have been martyred by this regime. We are here to support the Iranian Resistance."

"This is a day of rage against the Iranian regime that has changed the face of the region with its terrorism into a battlefield. We now see their terrorism even in Europe, here in Paris."

Right now, this is the biggest danger to the world. We need to put an end to the dictatorship in Iran to free the world from this menace. We need to rid the world of this regime that is the source of support for keeping the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria in power that has killed so many in our country."

15:00: Gerard Lauton, the representative of France's National Union of Higher Education, told the protesters: "I thank the organizers. We have the support of all educational sectors for a free and peaceful Iran. We have five major French unions in France that condemned the repression of the workers in Iran."

"This regime is complicit with Syria’s dictator Bashar Assad and represses its people at home. This is a religious dictatorship. We support a democratic Iran. With the Iranian Resistance, we will achieve our shared dream: A Free and Democratic Iran."

14:56: Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former Vice President of the European Parliament and current President of the international committee In Search of Justice (ISJ), tells the Paris rally for a free Iran: “I call on the EU to take a hard line with this theocratic and terrorist regime which has no future.”

“The EU must stop its appeasement policies and support the Iranian opposition MEK instead of the mullahs. Appeasement only encourages the mullahs for more crimes in Iran and more terrorism in Europe,” Dr. Vidal-Quadras said.

“The EU has to put the entire Iranian Intelligence Ministry and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on its terrorism blacklist,” the former European Parliament VP told the protesters, adding, “I am realistically very hopeful and confident that 2019 could be the year the mullahs will be overthrown!”

14:53: Jean-Pierre Michel, former French Judge and Senator, told the Free Iran demonstration in Paris: "It has been said, the regime is about to fall - It will fall when it stops receiving aid. This is my call to our leaders in Europe. I call on Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian and Mrs Federica Moghereini, open your eyes, support the MEK and the Resistance against this regime. End your trade and economic interests with this regime.”

“Yes, there is an alternative. It is not dangerous, it is the democratic alternative. It is the alternative that Europe should support,” added Senator Michel.

14:50: Ms Mahnaz Salimian, Secretary-General of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), addresses the Free Iran demonstration in Paris:

“The Shah's regime thought they could intimidate the people by torture and executions, but the sacrifices of the brave opponents watered the tree of the revolution and led to the downfall of the Shah.”

“A generation led by Mr Massoud Rajavi stood up against the regime and has once again brought the dictators to the brink of downfall. We saw the slogans of ‘death to Khamenei and Rouhani’ in the uprisings last year.”

“Today we hear the revolution; the teachers, workers, artists, and students who chant on every street in Iran ‘The end has come for the rule of the supreme leader’.”

“The MEK's Resistance Units are ready to respond to the repression of the regime. We will soon celebrate freedom and democracy in Iran.”

14:46: François Colcombet, former French judge and lawmaker and current President of the Foundation for Middle Eastern Studies (FEMO), addresses the Free Iran protesters in Paris: "I have known your movement since the year of the revolution against the Shah. That revolution was stolen. We witnessed some countries being indifferent to the repression in Iran. Now we see the result. Now we hear a singer in Iran being banned from working because he gave the microphone to a female guitarist. Is this the model the European Union should support?"

“This rally will show that the choice of the people of Iran is you, it is not the mullahs," Judge Colcombet added.

14:42: Former Prime Minister, Sid Ahmed Ghozali, addresses the MEK supporters at the Free Iran rally in Paris: "I am here to express my best wishes. I look forward to the day when Tehran will welcome the Resistance at its heart."

"The people of Iran ousted the Shah but were repressed by an even worse dictatorship of the mullahs," Prime Minister Ghozali said. "Now is a moment of hope but also a moment of danger. The mullahs act like a wounded beast. I warn our European friends that this dictatorship can even resort to more violence and terrorism."

"So I call on EU leaders to not lose their attention from the terrorism of the mullahs", Mr Ghozali added.

14:36: Gilbert Mitterrand, President of France Libertés and son of France's former President, is now addressing the Free Iran protest: "40 years of torture, execution and massacre against a people that is struggling to live better in democracy" must come to an end. "We want a change of power from the mullahs to democracy. This alternative is possible, it exists, it’s there. Long live a democratic Iran," Mitterrand said.

14:30: Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi's video message to the Free Iran rally in now being broadcast.

14:25: Jean-François Legaret, Mayor of Paris' 1st District, addressing supporters of the MEK and NCRI at the Free Iran demonstration in the French capital: “40 years after the dictatorship of the Shah, there is another regime in power which is illegitimate.”

“One of their diplomats was arrested in 2018 for plotting terrorism in Europe,” Mayor Legaret said, referring to Assadollah Assadi who personally gave powerful explosives to two terrorists to bomb the MEK during the annual ‘Free Iran’ rally in Paris last summer.

The European Union decided on January 8, 2019 to include a branch of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence on its list of terrorist groups. The decision stemmed from the regime’s role in the foiled attack on the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) during the ‘Free Iran’ gathering on June 30, 2018.

“This regime has to be replaced with a democratic government led by the Iranian Resistance. Long live the Iranian Resistance,” Mayor Jean-François Legaret added.

14:22: Sylvie Fassier, former Mayor of Le Pin, welcomes participants to the Free Iran protest in Paris. She invites Jean-François Legaret, Mayor of Paris' 1st District, to address the rally.

14:20: The Iranian national anthem is being played in Paris as Iranians sing along. Huge blue balloons fly above with the text "Free Iran with Maryam Rajavi".

14:15: Supporters of the MEK and NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi wave Iran's tri-color flag in central Paris as they decry human rights abuses in Iran. Iranians of all ages hold banners reading "Free Iran".

14:00: Iranians, who support the MEK and opposition leader Maryam Rajavi's democratic platform, are gathering now in Paris's Place Denfert-Rochereau to begin the demonstration in solidarity with ongoing anti-regime protests in Iran.

13:30 - Later today, Iranians in Paris will hold a major demonstration against ongoing serious human rights violations in Iran and terrorist acts by the Iranian regime on European soil against its opponents.

Protesters will include supporters of the largest democratic Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI), also known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).

The rally takes place days before the 40th anniversary of the revolution that ousted the Shah. Today, the mullahs’ regime is facing incurable crises, protests and uprisings. The Iranian public demands fundamental freedoms.

The protesters in Paris represent the people of Iran who are opposed both to the Shah and to the current religious dictatorship. They stand in solidarity with the ongoing uprising in Iran, and they support opposition leader Maryam Rajavi’s vision for a future free and democratic Iran.

The demonstration in Paris’s Place Denfert-Rochereau has been organized by the French Committee in Support of Human Rights in Iran (CSDHI).

Several district mayors of Paris and human rights personalities are scheduled to address the rally.

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