Tens of thousands of Iranians again took to the streets in the German capital Berlin to support their fellow-countrymen struggling against government brutality.
The massive Freedom Rally for Iran started in Berlin, Germany, in what is being described as the biggest gathering of Iranian protesters across the world. People from all corners of the continent traveled to Berlin with buses, trains and planes.
The police said on Wednesday they had registered 80,000 participants for the demonstration near the main government buildings in the center of the city, and a German TV channel called the numbers “surprising”.
Police say the demonstration was organized by “Woman Life Freedom Kollektiv”, with the stated goal of standing up against oppression and discrimination in Iran.
The famous Iranian-Canadian activist Hamed Esmaeilion, who lost his daughter and wife in the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January 2020 by the Revolutionary Guard, has also supported the demonstration.
Protesters carried the pictures of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman who was killed in the custody of Iran’s ‘morality police’, as well as those who lost their lives in the nationwide protest movement since mid-September. They also unfurled a large Iranian pre-revolution national flag, which has become a symbol of rejecting the Islamic Republic.
They were also Ukrainian flags in the demonstration, apparently as a sign of mutual support. Reports said some Ukrainians also took part.
A scene from the Berlin protest on October 22, 2022
The families of the victims of the Ukrainian plane held each other’s hands as a sign of unity calling for justice.
Protesters emphasized unity among Iranians both inside the country and in the diaspora while chanting the slogan “Today Only Unity, Unity!”
Demonstrators also chanted slogans like “Clerics Must Get Lost!”, “Death to Khamenei”, and “Death to the Islamic Republic!”.
Up to 100,000 postal cards are expected to be signed by those attending the Berlin rally and sent to the office of European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, urging the EU to reconsider its ties with Islamic Republic.
Addressing the rally Berlin, Esmaeilion said, “We have a dream which will be realized with the fall of Khamenei's empire of fear and crime. In this dream, wind will blow through women's hair, and no one will attack schoolgirls.”
He also urged Western governments “to stop negotiating with a criminal government called the Islamic Republic and expel their ambassadors.”
“Confiscate the wealth they looted from the people of Iran,” he asked the West.
Addressing the Western countries, the Iranian activist went on to say, “No one is asking you to go to war or sanction people. Stop negotiations with the regime and sanction and expel those lobbying for the Islamic Republic.”
Calling on the West to recognize the revolution staged by Iranian youth, he said the Islamic Republic is not the same as Iran.
“Respect the most progressive revolution in the Middle East and stand on the right side of history,” noted Esmaeilion.