TEHRAN- The French police’s harsh response to peaceful rallies around the city of Paris after an earlier armed incident has drawn criticism from the Iranian Foreign Ministry.
In comments on Saturday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani also denounced the brutal and racist assault in Paris that left three people dead.
A French prosecutor told reporters in Paris at the scene of the event on Friday, “There are three dead, one in urgent care, two persons with significant injuries, and the suspect, who was caught, has also been hurt, particularly to the face.”
The gun attack on a Kurdish cultural center in the French capital was carried out by a 69-year-old perpetrator, who has acknowledged to being a bigot and has attacked migrants in France before.
He started firing randomly at both the nearby hair salon and a restaurant that faced the Kurdish center.
He had recently been released from custody while awaiting prosecution for a saber assault on a migrant camp in Paris one year prior, according to the authorities.
“The Islamic Republic is greatly concerned about the risk to lives of people, especially Muslims, minorities, and migrants,” Kanaani stressed.
The Iranian diplomat then advised the French law enforcement officers to use caution while interacting with demonstrators who were protesting peacefully. He also expressed sympathy to the victims’ families.
Kanaani stressed that the French government has a history of implementing policies that are discriminatory toward minorities and immigrants, and that its record is tainted by numerous instances of violent suppression of demonstrators.
At least 12 individuals died between November 2018 and January 2019 as a result of the French security forces’ repression of Yellow Vest demonstrations over the country’s living and economic conditions.
An impartial probe of the Paris event, Kanaani said, “might shed light on its different facets.”
On Saturday, fighting broke out between Kurdish protestors and French police for a second day in response to the gunman’s killing of three members of their community.
Laurent Nunez, the head of the Paris police, said the demonstration had abruptly turned violent, but it was unclear why.
Hundreds of Kurdish protestors waved flags and listened to memorials for the deceased as they were joined by officials, including the mayor of Paris’ 10th district.