Lyon’s public prosecutor’s office in eastern France announced on Tuesday that it was investigating the death of an Iranian national, Mohammad Moradi “in order to verify the hypothesis of suicide”.
The 38-year-old had posted a video across social media platforms revealing that he intended to die to raise awareness of Tehran’s crackdown on protests in Iran before he threw himself into the Rhône River.
“Mohammad Moradi committed suicide to make the voice of the revolution heard in Iran, our voice is not propagated by the Western media”, lambasted Tuesday Timothée Amini, a spokesperson for some 3,000 members of the Iranian community in Lyon during a rally at the Gallieni Bridge.
A small crowd of mourners placed candles, bouquets of roses and photos of the deceased on the railings, before delivering speeches and songs.
“We are entitled to Ukraine every morning, but we hear very little about Iran. It’s difficult to live for us, Iranians in the diaspora”, insisted Mr Amini, a political refugee working in computer science.
“His heart beat for Iran, he no longer supported this regime,” he said.
According to several members of the Iranian community, Mohammad Moradi was a history undergraduate and worked in a restaurant. He’d been living in Lyon with his wife for three years.
“The police are attacking people, we have lost a lot of sons and daughters, we have to do something,” said Moradi in a calm voice in his video.
“I decided to commit suicide in the Rhone river, it is a challenge to show that we, Iranian people, are very tired of this situation”, he announced.
“When you watch this video, I will be dead,” he continued, before calling for support for the Iranian people in their fight against “extremely violent police and government”.
Iran has seen a wave of protests since the death of Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman who died in police custody more than three months ago, she was arrested for having worn the Islamic veil incorrectly.
In a report published on Tuesday, Iran Human Rights (IHR), an NGO based in Oslo, reported 476 protesters have been killed since mid-September.
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