Iran calls on France to ‘to end violent treatment’ of protesters

Foreign Ministry spokesman warns Iranian citizens to not make unnecessary trips to France due to ‘unpredictable situation’

Police officers face protesters on Concorde square during a protest in Paris, France, June 30, 2023. (Lewis Joly/AP)
Police officers face protesters on Concorde square during a protest in Paris, France, June 30, 2023. (Lewis Joly/AP)

Iran called on the French government Sunday to “end the violent treatment of its people” following a wave of rioting triggered by the police killing of a teenager.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani on Twitter also urged Iranian citizens to “refrain from making unnecessary trips to France” and told those already there to avoid “conflict areas,” warning of the “insecure and unpredictable situation.”

France has been rocked by a major wave of violent street protests sparked by the fatal police shooting of a 17-year-old of Algerian origin, identified only as Nahel M., in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday.

The government has deployed tens of thousands of security forces and made hundreds of arrests as rioters have ransacked shops and torched buildings and vehicles in multiple cities.

Kanaani said “the French government is expected to put an end to the violent treatment of its people by respecting principles based on human dignity, freedom of speech and the right of citizens to peaceful protests.”

The unrest in France has made headlines in newspapers in the Islamic Republic, which was hit last year by nationwide protests and launched a major crackdown on what authorities labeled “riots.”

Iran’s wave of unrest was sparked by the death in custody of 22-year-old Iranian Kurd Mahsa Amini after her arrest for breaching the country’s strict dress code for women.

Iran has blamed Western powers for stoking those protests in which hundreds were killed including dozens of of security personnel. Several people have been hanged for participating in the protests.

Last month, Iranian senior intelligence officer Mohammad Kazemi claimed that some 20 countries including the United States and France were involved in fomenting the unrest.

Kanaani in October slammed France’s support for Iran’s protests and its condemnation of Iranian security forces’ actions against them as “clear hypocrisy” and “interference in the affairs of other countries.”

The United States, Britain, and the European Union have imposed several rounds of sanctions on Iran over its response to the protest movement.

According to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR), Iran has executed over 300 people this year.

Campaigners accuse Iran of stepping up executions to strike fear into the population as the leadership moves to quell the protest movement that erupted in September.

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