March 29, 2023

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France: March, Eiffel Tower display to back Iran’s activists

PARIS (AP) — Activists gathered Monday near the EU parliament in the French city of Strasbourg in support of Iran’s anti-government protesters as Paris prepared an Eiffel Tower tribute to Mahsa Amini, whose death in September prompted the demonstrations.

The Strasbourg march comes after over 100 MEPs signed a letter last week calling on the European Union to take a firmer stance against Iran.

The European parliament’s plenary session is to debate the EU’s response this week to the protests and executions in the Islamic Republic. A non-binding resolution is to be voted on Thursday.

The MEPs’ letter to Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, called on the bloc to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps “in its entirety as a terrorist organization.” The IRGC was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. in 2019.

Paris City Hall said in a statement that the words “Woman. Life. Freedom.” and “#StopExecutionsInIran” will be displayed on the Eiffel Tower on Monday and Tuesday evening to mark four months from the death of Mahsa Amini, in a “homage to those who are bravely fighting for their freedom as the (Iranian) regime is continuing executions of protesters.”

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo and some deputy mayors are expected to go to the Eiffel Tower Monday in a show of support. Paris posthumously declared Amani an honorary citizen in October.

Iran has been rocked by protests since the Sept. 16 death of the 22-year-old, who died after being detained by the morality police. The protests have since become one of the most serious challenges to the theocracy installed by the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

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