Iran’s main opposition group harshly criticised the detention of its leader Maryam Rajavi in Paris, accusing France of making a “shameful deal” with Tehran.
The National Council of Resistance in Iran, the political arm of People’s Mujahedeen, called for Rajavi’s immediate release from custody in a statement issued on Sunday.
|Rajavi placed in detention|
The statement said, “The Iranian Resistance demands the immediate release of Mrs. Rajavi”, who is also the wife of People’s Mujahedeen military leader Massoud Rajavi.
"The unfounded charges against her will be challenged by her lawyers through legal avenues”, it said.
Rajavi is a political refugee and has a valid residence permit in France, according to the group.
The statement came after she was placed in detention early on Sunday in Paris.
The order to detain her followed a two-hour hearing before a special judge on Saturday.
But her lawyer, Henri Leclerc, said she would appeal the decision.
The appeal should be filed within 48 hours.
Rajavi had been put earlier under judicial investigation on charges of conspiring with a terrorist organisation.
But the group’s statement said her arrest was on “baseless, fabricated charges”.
“Her unjustifiable detention is a smear on France’s record of defending human rights and is contrary to the French constitution’s emphasis on ‘the sacred right' to asylum”, the statement said.
Rajavi was first arrested on Tuesday along with about 160 members of the Iranian opposition group as part of a mass round-up by police.
Her arrest sparked fiery protests staged by Iranian supporters across Europe and a series of self-immolations.
French officials said the People's Mujahedeen wanted to turn its premises near Pairs into a "rear base" after losing its base in Iraq after the US invasion.
The People's Mujahedeen is designated a terrorist organisation by the United States, the European Union and Iran.