Online crimes of harassment, threats and incitement to violence
- Posted by Maryam Namazie
- On February 13, 2023
- 0 Comments
21 November 2022
Commander Richard Smith
Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command
Victoria Embankment, London SW1A 2JL
RE: Reporting online crimes of harassment, threats and incitement to violence
I, Maryam Namazie, an Iranian-born writer and campaigner have been facing a barrage of threats and incitement to violence for over two months.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of social media posts inciting violence against me. Some of them – from social media have been collected here as sample threats only but there are many, many more (see Appendix 1 for the background to these threats). This includes phone calls from withheld numbers at all hours of the night.
A large number of the threats are most likely from agents of the Islamic regime of Iran. As you well know, the Islamic regime of Iran has stepped up its incitement to violence against dissidents abroad during a time when it faces an existential threat from a women-led revolution in Iran. Unfortunately, much of the online threats cannot be pinpointed to specific individuals. However, there are some made, which are traceable to specific phone numbers. In particular, incitement to violence from those in a Whatsapp group ‘Kheezesh e Abad, Azadi e Iran’ which seems to be a far-Right monarchist group. These include:
Amir, 07869 690928, who forwards a photo of me and text that say (see Appendix 2): ‘Find this bastard who tore the lion and sun flag so she can be punished. If she is in London, on my honour, I will not leave her alive.’
In another message in the same Whatsapp group, he says: ‘Friends in London wherever you see this bastard Maryam Namazie, make sure you take care of her well and good.’
Another, Siavash, 07491 167155, forwards this message (Appendix 3): ‘Find this bastard who tore the lion and sun flag so she can be punished. If she is in London, on my honour, I will not leave her alive.’
There is a screenshot of a Behzad, also forwarding the threat. His number cannot be seen.
The admin of this Whatsapp group (Appendix 4 & 5) help organise the monarchist stage at Trafalgar Square and include the following persons (one of whom Siavash has forwarded the threatening message to the group):
Siavash (mentioned above): 07491 167155
Morteza: 07815 540458
Given the fact that some of the many threats can be pinpointed to certain individuals, I would like to, therefore, formally report a crime of threat to life and incitement of violence. Please record this and I appreciate if you could send me a CAD number.
If you need more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 07719166731 or via email email@example.com.
APPENDIX 1: BACKGROUND TO THREATS
This new round of threats began after a couple of actions:
* My topless action in Trafalgar Square on 24 September in London in support of the women’s revolution in Iran and one in Cologne with other Iranian women in October.
* A video I did a month ago in support of a topless action in Amsterdam by Niloofar Fouladi, one of the women of Revolution Street, because she was under immense pressure. The threats were stepped up after the Islamic regime broadcast a TV programme against those of us who had done topless protests.
* A message to a monarchist who incited violence against actor Golshifteh Farahani for criticising their sun and sword flag. See the video in English.
* Following further threats, I did two other videos where I cut the sun and sword as well as the Islamic regime of Iran’s flags to show that a flag is not sacred but human beings are. See both videos in Persian here and here. In the second video, I further explained that people have a right to choose any flag they want. But that they must also respect the right of others to disagree. It’s part of one’s freedom of conscience and expression. I explained that opposing a flag isn’t a crime. Incitement to violence and threats, however, are crimes.
Complaints against me have resulted in my Twitter account being suspended for a while, my Facebook page restricted and I have permanently been removed from TikTok. In the sample threats, the handles of those making the threats can be seen. I have reported those that are clear incitement though there are many others.
It is important to add a physical attack that took place on 29 October to co-organisers.
On 29 October at Trafalgar Square, whilst Parisa Partow, a woman organiser was speaking about the situation in Iran, the monarchists kept shouting Javid Shah or Long live the king and drowning out her voice. You can see the video here. She calls on everyone there to call for the overthrow of the Islamic regime of Iran together. She repeats it. But they are still shouting Javid Shah, Javid Shah. In response, another organiser Ali Reza Rashidi shouts: Death to Oppressor, whether Shah or Leader (referring to Khamenei). This is repeated by Parisa. Soon after the ‘Women, Life, Freedom’ stage is attacked. The mike is pulled out of Parisa’s hand. The PA system trashed. You can see video here. Parisa has filed a police report on this attack: Reference 6565553/22.
One of the men who attacked the stage, had approached me earlier in Trafalgar Square but I decided against having a discussion with him and politely asked him to move on.
Suffice it to say that it is completely natural to have differences of opinion. In fact, such differences are part and parcel of individual rights and freedoms in a democratic society. However, incitement to violence, threats and physically attacking opponents have no place in civil society.
Below you will find a photo of one of those who attacked the stage with the stage’s microphone and also a photo of the PA system that has been cut. There is more information available on those who attacked the stage and more video footage.