French court okays Iranian opposition rally after French police banned it

July 2, 2023
Robert Ayers

A French Court, on Friday, issued a ruling in which it unbanned an upcoming Iranian opposition rally, Reuters reports

The ban had previously been placed on the rally by Paris police. It was a preemptive measure due to security concerns.


The Iranian opposition rally is going to be held by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). This is the Paris-based political arm of the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI).

The PMOI has held rallies in Paris for several years. The rallies tend to draw large crowds, and they are even attended by high-profile figures from the United States, among other countries.

The target of these rallies is the Islamic Republic.

The ban

About two weeks ago, Paris police sent a letter to organizers of the rally telling them that the rally cannot take place due to security concerns.

In the letter, Paris police chief Laurent Nunez referenced the "tense context," referring to the widespread anti-government protests that have taken place in Iran, following the death of a 22-year-old woman who was in custody.

But, there are at least two other important pieces of context. One is the release of an Iranian diplomat who was convicted, in 2018, of masterminding a plot to bomb the NCRI. And, second, there are the mass riots that have been taking place in France, the worst riots of their kind since 2006.

Nunez said that this "tense context" has led to "very significant security risks" to NCRI gatherings.

As a result, Nunez, referring to the planned rally, said, "This meeting, organized every year since 2008, cannot be held."

NCRI responds

Following Nunez's letter, the NCRI released a statement of its own condemning the Paris police's decision to ban their rally.

NCRI's Foreign Affairs Committee member Shahin Gobadi said:

If French authorities take such a stance, it will represent a brazen disregard for democratic principles, caving in to the ruling religious tyranny’s blackmail and hostage-taking.

The lifting of the ban

Now, the administrative tribunal of Paris has found that the security concerns are not a sufficient reason to justify placing a ban on the NCRI rally. The court ruled that such a ban "excessively violated the fundamental freedom to demonstrate."

What this means is that the planned rally will now take place. Some limitations, though, have been placed on it in order to make it as safe as possible. The rally, for example, will be confined to one area and it will be for a limited time.

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