Iran protests: Man’s death in France has left Iranian diaspora shaken

When a 38-year-old man, distraught by protests in Iran, took his own life in the French city of Lyon, fellow members of the Iranian diaspora felt his pain.

– Advertisement –

Three months into the anti-government protests, Iranians abroad are moving through a spectrum of sentiment. Activists and counselors hope that Mohammad Moradi’s desperate act this week will inspire others to reach out for help and raise awareness of what is happening in Iran.

In a video recorded before his death in Farsi and French, Moradi criticized Iran’s leadership and called for solidarity from Western governments against it. The recording shows him saying, “When you watch this video, I’ll be dead.”


The Iranian Kurdish man had arrived in France in 2019 with his wife and was pursuing a PhD in history. His death reverberated near and far on Monday. Other Iranians, activists and friends in the Lyon area brought flowers and candles to the site where he died in what police were investigating as an apparent suicide.

Story continues below Advertisement

– Advertisement –

Many members of the Iranian diaspora have experienced distress since the unprecedented protests began following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in Iranian police custody in September. Police detained Amini for violating Iran’s strict dress code for women.

“Mohammed Moradi is the image we all live by today as the Iranian diaspora around the world,” Hengameh Yahyazadeh, the lead organizer of a solidarity protest against Iran’s clerics in the French city of Toulouse, told The Associated Press.

Moradi’s Instagram profile describes a man with interests in literature, poetry and politics. Like many Iranians abroad, he took to Instagram to relay messages criticizing the Islamic Republic’s clerical regime, chronicling his participation in demonstrations in Lyon and voicing his outrage at the treatment of protesters in Iran.

ALSO READ  Russia blames its soldiers’ phone use for Ukrainian missile strike it says killed 89

The feeling is widespread.

Story continues below Advertisement

Yahyazadeh said, “Some days I wake up and I’m scared.” “I have a dozen friends in Iranian prisons, I dread to know how I will face the possible news that one of my friends may be executed.”

Since the start of the protests, at least 507 protesters have been killed and more than 18,500 arrested, according to Human Rights Activists, a group in Iran that has closely monitored the unrest.

Iranian officials have not released figures on those killed or arrested. A dozen people are also facing the death penalty for their involvement in the protests.

Psychiatrist Hana El Bakkali, head of a France-based organization that works with expatriates, says the news back home has caused many Iranians in the diaspora to experience “dissociation”, a psychological state that occurs when stressful events are processed. result from being unable to do so.

El Bakkali told the AP, “When important events are happening back home, it reactivates past trauma, it puts pressure on buried parts, one thought they moved to the side but actually Has not done this.” “People experience being back home through flashbacks. They may have nightmares, dizzy thoughts, trouble sleeping, memory problems, symptoms of anxiety and depression, and may self-harm.”

Story continues below Advertisement

As a result, those who become extremists abroad “advocate with a worsened psychological state,” El Bakkali said.

Halleh Taheri, a prominent Iranian Kurdish activist in London, hopes Moradi’s death will encourage those experiencing crisis to come together and become politically involved.

“His name belongs to all those lost in the revolution,” said Taheri, who participated in the 1979 revolution against the Shah of Iran and then fought against a regime of Islamist clerics before going into exile. She is the founder of MEWS, a London-based charity that advocates for the rights of Middle Eastern women in the UK.

Taheri said, “I’m hoping that in the future, instead of shedding blood and sacrificing ourselves and our lives, we can just help each other, come together, show solidarity, work in groups, network.” I will fight against the Islamic Republic by raising awareness about Iran.” Said.

He said, ‘The country needs us too. “We all know there is a lot of pain in our country, and we want to be a part of this release. That’s why we are on the streets.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *