It’s reported that exiles who have protested against the current regime have been targeted
By Jonathan Whitelaw
Source: The Scottish Sun
A GLASGOW-based Iranian claims a spy from his birthplace “pulled a gun on him” while he was in a takeaway.
It’s reported that the dissident had two men sit down beside him before issuing a threat.
The Times reports that Ervin then spotted a “handgun with a silencer” poking him in the back.
He is one of a number of exiles living in Scotland who claim they’ve been intimidated by forces from their homeland for protesting the current regime.
It’s reported that threats have been made to individuals amid claims that Iran has been trying to silence critics on a global scale.
Authorities in the middle-eastern country arrested more than 7,000 dissidents last year in a crackdown that led to hundreds being jailed or flogged.
And at least 26 protesters were killed, according to Amnesty International.
Erwin described his ordeal in the takeaway.
He said: “I felt a hand around the back of my neck.
“Then two men came and sat down beside me.
“The man who was standing behind me started to threaten me.
“He told me they knew all about my political activities and said the consequences would be very serious if I didn’t stop.
“When I tried to pull his arm off me I felt something poking me in the base of my spine. I looked around and saw he had a handgun with a silencer. He told me if I did anything drastic he would shoot me there and then.”
Now The Times reports that some exiles in Scotland have had threats made against their families in Iran if they didn’t stop their political opposition.
Firooz Behseresht, chairman and cofounder of the Iranian-Scottish Association, said that the campaign of intimidation was instilling fear in the 6,000-strong community.
He said: “Agents of the regime are actively living and working in this country.
“They are gathering information about individuals, especially refugees and asylum seekers, and they can use threats.”
The exiled Iranian community believes that alleged widespread intimidation is coming from orders in Tehran.
Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty International’s Scotland programme director, has called on Scottish authorities to look in to the claims.
She said: “The Iranian authorities have a track record of keeping Iranians and Iranian joint-nationals living abroad under close surveillance, so while these reports are alarming they do not come as a surprise.
“This reported wave of intimidation in Scotland appears to be yet another aspect of a wider pattern of repression against Iranians at home and those living outside the country.
“The authorities in Scotland need to ensure these disturbing reports are fully investigated.”
The Times reports that the claims have been strongly denied by the Iranian embassy in London.