(VitalNews.org) – Activists are people who believe in something so strongly that they try to make changes in society or government to align with their views. As such, they can become targets for other groups that feel differently. For instance, activists can oppose war, support the environment, or fight for political change. All of these subjects can elicit strong responses and, unfortunately in some cases, put a person in danger.
On January 27, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against three individuals allegedly plotting to kill an Iranian-American author who spoke out against Iran’s government. According to the department, the author wrote about human rights abuses, the treatment of women in Iran, and anti-democratic antics, prompting the alleged plot.
The Justice Department has charged three men in a plot to kill an Iranian American author and activist who has spoken out against human rights abuses in Iran, officials said Friday. https://t.co/l4biPffx4q
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 27, 2023
The suspects include Khalid Mehdiyev of New York, Polad Omarov of the Czech Republic and Slovenia, and Rafat Amirov of Iran. The DOJ charged them with money laundering and hiring another person to kill the unnamed US citizen. Attorney General Merrick Garland stated his department wouldn’t allow any “foreign power” to “threaten, silence, or harm Americans.” FBI Director Christopher Wray also spoke about the arrests and charges, stating the case only highlights the great lengths extremists who support Iran might go to “silence critics.”
The trio is reportedly part of an organized crime group in New York City hired to murder the author. The DOJ did not reveal the intended target, but Masih Alinejad seems to have outed herself. The Iranian journalist and activist shared on Twitter that a dozen FBI agents told her the men were planning to kill her but were in custody. In her video, she said she wasn’t surprised in the least and would still use her voice. She also called on the US government to take action against Iran.
If convicted on all charges, the defendants could face up to 40 years in prison. One suspect could see an additional possible five years on weapons charges.
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