Behrouz Hosseinpour, an Imam at Resalat Islamic Center in Helsinki
Behrouz Hosseinpour attacked Parvin Shokri, an Iranian protest organizer based in Helsinki, was returning from an anti-regime demonstration on April 24, when her cellphone was seized by a Behrouz Hosseinpour in the street.
Resalat Islamic Community in Helsinki is a Iran-linked mosque, funded by Iran’s regime to track and bully Iranian dissidents.
Resalat founder Madjid Bahmanpour has “said in several interviews that the mosque received funding from ayatollahs in Iran and Iraq.”
Bahmanpour, whose son, Abbas, is an imam at the Islamic center, is a former member of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the United States. Majid and Abbas Bahmanpour, who are quite well known among the Iranian diaspora in Finland, have been at the helm of the center since 2001 and managed to recruit some 1,500 members, who are mostly first-generation immigrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.
Ever since Mahsa Amini’s death in custody of hijab police in Iran on September 16, 2022, Finnish Iranians have held several protests, some in front of the Resalat mosque, calling on the Finnish government to support the movement and shut down the Islamic center. Protests against Iran’s regime in Finland have taken place not only in the capital, but also in much smaller cities, where the number of resident Finno-Iranians is not necessarily large.
Parvin Shokri, an Iranian protest organizer based in Helsinki, was returning from an anti-regime demonstration on April 24, when her cellphone was seized by a stranger in the street. She was streaming live on Instagram, something the snatcher was not aware of. As the footage shows, he grabbed the phone, ran away for nearly a minute and while panting took a peek at the phone screen, making his face seen by Shokri’s followers.
Upon seeing his face on the phone screen, the snatcher decided to bury the phone in a nearby lawn in eastern Helsinki, where Shokri would ultimately find it via geolocation, she told Iran International.
Upon these revelations, Resalat Islamic Community released a statement on its Telegram channel on September 1, admitting that it was indeed Hosseinpour, a “guest speaker,” who grabbed Shokri’s phone. The regime-linked Islamic Community citied her “threats” against members of the mosque as well as attempts to record video of religious events “without permission” as reasons that prompted the imam to act.
After reviewing the recorded video, Shokri noticed that Hosseinpour and another man had been following her prior to the attack and she believes they must have tracked her by following her 11-year-old daughter, who was supposed to meet her at a flea market in eastern Helsinki following the protest.
The Iranian diaspora in Finland has been calling for a shutdown of the center, arguing that similar to many other so-called Islamic centers such as the ones in Frankfurt or London, it is funded by Iran’s regime to track and bully Iranian dissidents.
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