Iranian dissident partly paralysed after being beaten by regime thugs in London

Iranian men in Wembley beat Navid Bavi so savagely he might not walk again


Attack victims Navid Bavi (in hospital bed) and Bahar Mahroo (Photo: Navid Bavi)

An Iranian dissident granted asylum in Britain was attacked in London by pro-regime thugs so savagely that he may never walk again in a case that has received little attention from the police, the JC can reveal.

Video footage shows Navid Bavi, 32, lying unconscious after being hurled to the ground and kicked outside the Dewan Al-Kafeel community centre in Wembley, where he was protesting at a memorial service for Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian president nicknamed the “butcher of Tehran” who was killed in a helicopter crash last month. Bavi remains partially paralysed in hospital.

Also attacked was Bahar Mahroo, 24. Mahroo said that minutes after she and Bavi arrived, black-clad regime supporters ran from the building and launched the attack. “I cried out, telling them to stop. But then they sexually assaulted me, trying to grab my breasts,” she said.

The video footage shows the men pushing her to the ground, ignoring her screams, and kicking her in the face and torso. The blows to her face resulted in the loss of two of her teeth, she said.

Further recordings appear to show that among the approximately 600 people attending the memorial for Raisi — the Islamist hardliner known as the “butcher of Tehran” because of his role in the torture and murder of thousands of regime opponents — was Seyed Hashem Moosavi, the personal UK representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The JC joined Mahroo, a student at Middlesex University, and her friend Niak Ghorbani, 38, as they visited Bavi in the hospital where he has been confined to bed, unable to move, since the attack on 24 May.

All three dissidents have attended pro-Israel rallies in London since the October 7 massacre, and Bavi has been wearing a yellow ribbon badge to show solidarity with the Israeli hostages still being held by Hamas.

As the videos confirm, the regime supporters streamed from the building soon after the dissidents arrived. One man spat at the group and told them he would “f*** them”, after which the attack began.

“We were very happy Raisi was dead, because he was a murderer,” Bavi said. “We were planning to set up a sound system to play Iranian hip-hop outside the service.”

Photos provided by the trio show that the apparent ringleader of group of male attackers also appeared to be waving the banner of an extremist, Iran-backed Iraqi organisation at the Quds Day anti-Israel protest in central London on April 5, where Ghorbani was arrested for carrying a placard stating that Hamas is a terrorist organisation.

Bavi, who works as a window fitter, said: “I can’t really remember much about the attack because they hit me so hard around my head. They even kicked my eyes. At first the doctors said I might lose my sight.

“I don’t know how many times they kicked me in the back, but now I can’t stand or walk. I have no sensation in my left leg. It is totally numb. I have had MRI scans, but I don’t know if I will ever walk again. But I will not give up the fight against the regime. We grew up in Iran. We witnessed the atrocities committed by the Basij [paramilitary militia] and the Revolutionary Guards. We want peace and tranquillity for the Middle East, not terrorism, and that’s why we support Israel.”

Yet although the police were called immediately the attack began, just one man was arrested, and then released without charge.

“Since that day, the police have ignored us,” Bavi said. “They have not come to take statements from any of us. They say no one has life-changing injuries, but look at my leg. More than a week later, here I still am in hospital.

“This is what the regime does to protesters in Iran, yet we are in London. Britain must wake up: the regime is operating on UK soil.”

He added: “I want to thank the Jewish communities around the world for offering the people of Iran their support. We have a common enemy — Islamism — and we all want peace.

For Mahroo, talking about the incident is very difficult, bringing on a panic attack. Her hands started visibly shaking as she described her ordeal: “I know I need to see a psychiatrist. I am traumatised. I get flashbacks and panic attacks,” she said.

However, the incident in Wembley was not the first time she was attacked by regime supporters, according to Mahroo. She said she was also injured when dissidents were mobbed by thugs emerging from Moosavi’s base in central London, the Islamic Centre of England, in September 2022, at the height of the protests triggered by the death in Iranian police custody of the student Mahsa Amini, who was arrested for not wearing a hijab. Moosavi gave a sermon saying Mahroo and the other dissidents present that day were “soldiers of Satan”.

Asked why no one had been arrested for assault and statements were not taken from the victims for more than ten days, a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman referred the JC to a statement it had issued shortly after the attacks.

This said: “At 18.21 on Friday May 24, officers were called to Alperton Lane, Wembley, following reports of disorder. An event was taking place to mark the death of the president of Iran, attended by supporters of the Iranian government. Anti-government protesters had gathered outside the venue and clashes had broken out between the groups.

“Local officers attended, supported by resources from elsewhere in the Met. Paramedics from the London Ambulance Service were also deployed. Four people were injured and were treated by paramedics. Their injuries are not believed to be either life threatening or life changing.

“One man was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder. He has since been released with no further action. Further enquiries are ongoing, including analysis of CCTV and other available footage.”​

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