Football Men’s World Cup in Qatar Iranian exiles demonstrate outside the Qatari Embassy in Bonn

Bonn · Bad Godesberg Demonstrators on Godesberger Allee are calling for a boycott of the World Cup in Qatar. To lend weight to their demands, they are showing a drastic art performance.

The demonstrators placed artificial corpses in front of the Qatari Embassy's branch office in Bad Godesberg. Photo: Maximilian Mühlens

The demonstrators placed artificial corpses in front of the Qatari Embassy's branch office in Bad Godesberg. Photo: Maximilian Mühlens

Foto: Maximilian Mühlens

On Monday afternoon some 30 Iranian exiles demonstrated against the World Cup in Qatar in front of the medical office of the Qatari embassy in Godesberger Allee. At the same time, the first match of the Iranian national football team against England was taking place. The demonstrators took to the streets mainly because of the blatant human rights violations in Qatar and Iran. Protesters also used a drastic art performance to this end.

Activists play football "over corpses”

Two activists dressed up as the Emir of Qatar, Tamil bin Hamid Al Thani, and as Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi. They symbolically played football over bloody corpses. The ball was given to them by a demonstrator dressed as Fifa boss Gianni Infantino. Other demonstrators were standing nearby, some of them had smeared their hands with fake blood. The placards read "Oil was thicker than blood", "Western morality tastes of blood" or even "Your silence killed me". Construction helmets lay next to some of the artificial corpses.

Demonstration was organised by frauenlebenfreiheit_bonn

The demonstration was organised by frauenlebenfreiheit_bonn (women's lives_freedom_bonn). For several weeks, the alliance has been campaigning with thousands of other people in Germany for the people of Iran - triggered by the death of Jina Mahsa Amini, who fell into a coma in police custody and died. The activists are accusing the authorities in Iran of mistreating Amini. The young woman had allegedly not worn her headscarf as prescribed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"The common ground between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Qatar goes much further, as both are close allies," said Amir-Homayoun Ranjbar, who registered the demonstration. As in Iran, Qatar's legislation is based on Sharia law.

Call for boycott of World Cup

The Emir in Qatar and Raisi in Iran dictate how people should behave in both countries, and both fight their critics with "all power and violence". There is no freedom of the press. The demonstrators wanted to know from the embassy staff why they had allowed the many deaths in the run-up to the World Cup. "In Qatar, not everything shines like in the opening ceremony on Sunday," Ranjbar said.

Chanting, they urged people passing by on Godesberger Allee to boycott all dictators and Fifa - they received a few approving hoots in return. They also hoped that the Iranian national team would set an example on the pitch. "Otherwise, they are the regime's national team and not the Iranians'," said the demonstrator. The sign was there: the players remained silent during and did not sing along with their country’s national anthem at the beginning of their match against England.

(Original text: Maximilian Mühlens; Translation: Jean Lennox)

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