She wears a white hoodie, jeans, and her hair is braided in a long black pigtail. At 38, Farideh resembles many of these Iranian women who have been marching for several weeks in the streets of Tehran to demand more freedom, after four decades of deprivation. Two months ago, she was at their side to denounce the methods of the Islamic Republic, just like her brother who is now in detention, or her sister, who made a short stay there.
A country she decided to flee two months ago. After passing through Italy, before heading to London where her fiancé is waiting for her, she landed in Chambery. There, when she got off the plane, she was arrested.
“Rather die here than return”
Three days later, and after forty-eight hours spent in the Cornebarrieu detention center, it was at the bar of the Toulouse judicial court that she spoke to the judge of freedoms and detention. “I would rather die here than go back to Iran,” she said in her native language. “She is afraid,” also said the translator who came to assist her.
“She was married and had two children with her partner. He was beating her, one day he broke her nose, so she decided to run away and file a complaint. Except that in Iran, it’s not like here, the complaint was stifled by her husband, she lost custody of her children whom she has not seen for five years. She was invited to return to live with her father”, says her lawyer, Alexandre Mazeas, who criticizes the methods of the Savoy prefecture “which took less than forty-eight hours to seize the Iranian consulate in Paris to obtain a pass to put her on a plane and send her back”.
Before the judge of freedoms, he supported his remarks by raising points of law, in particular seven irregularities in the procedure between the moment when the young woman was arrested and the moment when she arrived at the Toulouse detention center. Points that the representative of the prefecture of Haute-Garonne did not contradict, indicating that the services of the State, however at the origin of his placement in detention, relied “at the discretion of the judge “.
Under an obligation to leave the territory
The arguments of the defense have in any case carried since Farideh regained freedom Wednesday at the end of the afternoon following the favorable decision of the judge. “The government is hypocritical. On the one hand we have Macron who receives Iranian women at the Elysée Palace by giving them their support and behind we have incarcerations. In Toulouse, she is the second Iranian woman placed in a detention center in recent weeks. The first was released, because if the government has no humanity, we have judges who have a little more and understand the gravity of the situation to send these women back to Iran,” reacted Alexandre Mazeas.
An opinion shared by the Circle of neighbors of the Cornebarrieu detention center. “These two women were fleeing for the same reason, they were both going to protests for more freedom. They experience the situation of Iranian women and, as soon as they arrive, they find themselves in a French prison, because the detention center is a place of deprivation of freedom. We are not screwed to listen to the news. When you have an Iranian wife, you have to protect her, you mustn’t put her back on a plane leaving for Tehran. We are a little ashamed when we see this kind of story, ”pleads Alain Cwiklinski, one of the volunteers of the association who will take care of Farideh this evening, for his first day in France in freedom.
But with a sword of Damocles also over her head since she is still subject to an obligation to leave the territory. An administrative measure against which his lawyers have filed an appeal before the administrative court which should be heard within 15 days. “And the court can take into account the risks in the event of return, it is competent and has already done so for a previous case”, indicates Me Mathilde Bachelet, one of Farideh’s lawyers, who is “good hope”.