The Justice Department has charged three men with plotting to kill an Iranian-American writer and activist who spoke out against human rights abuses in Iran, officials said Friday.
Rafat Amirov, 43, from Iran, Polad Omarov, 38, from the Czech Republic and Slovenia, and Khalid Mehdiyev, 24, from Yonkers, New York, were charged with money laundering and murder for hire. in federal court in New York.
All men are detained in New York or abroad. They were part of an Eastern European gang operating on behalf of the Iranian government, officials said, and targeted her because she was so outspoken about Iran. They are contacting each other to target her, spying on her home, talking to her family, and sending reports back to Iran.
The Justice Department has not disclosed the author’s name, but Masi Alinejad It was posted on Twitter to confirm that she was a target.
In a video she posted to Twitter, she said, “I just learned that the FBI have arrested three men in New York who are trying to kill me.” This is the face of the person targeted in the assassination plot. I am not afraid for my life because I knew murder, assassination, hanging, torture and rape were in the DNA of the Islamic Republic. To practice my rights, my freedom of expression, and give a voice to the brave people of Iran who say no to the Islamic Republic. take action.”
The same government trying to assassinate her killed and arrested the protesters, she continued.
“You cannot negotiate with a terrorist regime,” she said.