By Manel Msalmi, Paris

March 31st, a symposium was organized in Paris Business School hosted by Frédéric Encel, a professor of international relations and political science at the PSB Paris School of Business and lecturer at Sciences Po Paris in partnership with the European Association for The Defense of Minorities entitled «The Fate of women in Iran» to highlight the situation of women and minorities as well as non-Persian populations in Iran following the uprisings.

Professor Frédéric Encel opened the symposium by thanking the speakers and the organizers mainly the European Association for The Defense of Minorities and Manel Msalmi for this initiative.

Anne Sinclair famous French-American journalist and Founder of Huffington Post France mentioned the bravery of Iranian women and young people and the inspiration they give to Europeans and to the world. Other speakers included Philippe Val journalist and former Editor in Chief of Charlie Hebdo, Sophia Aram (journalist), Benjamin Haddad (French deputy), Rudy Reichstadt (director of the conspiracy watch), Raphaël Enthoven (French philosopher and journalist), Tristane Banon (writer), Céline Boulay-Esperonnier (Senator of Paris), Abnousse Shalmani (Journalist at «The Express»), Catherine Clément (Former diplomat), Pascal Bruckner (lawyer and deputy mayor), Jacqueline Costa-Lascoux (Sosiologist), Sophie Elizéon (director of DILCRAH) , Philippe Foussier (journalist and former Grand Master of the Grand Orient of France), Armin Arefi (journalist) and Memli Shoheila (president of the Kurdish Institute in Paris). Both round tables were moderated by Hamdan Mostafavi (Deputy Editorial Director at L’Express).

The second round table included guest speakers who shared their testimonials about the situation of women and minorities in Iran mainly Memli Shoheila who spoke about the situation of the Kurdish-Iranian population especially women after the death of Mahsa Amini and the specificities of the Kurdish culture which is deeply secular and feminist. Manel Msalmi, the president of the European Association for The Defense of Minorities and human rights defender as well as an expert in Minorities and Iran evoked the situation of women and non-Persian populations mainly the Arab-Ahwazis, Kurdish, Baluche, and Azerbaijani Turks who are doubly discriminated against by the regime. The death of Mahsa Amini was a tragic incident that reminded the world how the regime can be cruel and inhumane towards women and ethnic groups. Mr. Saied Hamidan, the president of Arab Struggle for Alhawaz and member of the coalition of non-Persian populations for a democratic Iran explained the plight of Arab Ahwazis and their fight for freedom and justice for decades as well as the brutality of the regime that kidnapped and threatens to execute political and cultural activists. Mr. Salah Kamrani, president of the Azerbaijani Central party, lawyer, and human rights activist highlighted the threat of Iran on peace and security to the whole region and the need that all non-Persian populations, as well as all the opposition movements in Iran, come together to counter the violence of the regime towards the population and aspire for a democratic Iran in which all the diverse populations live together and have equal rights.

Former Minister Michelle Lenoir concluded the conference by mentioning the EU position and the need to sanction the Iranian regime and support women and minorities in Iran.

Featured image / all images: private

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