Calling Justice for Victims of 1988 Massacre in Iran

Parliamentary conference by a cross-party group of members of the House of Commons and House of Lords condemned human rights violations in Iran, including the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988
Parliamentary conference by a cross-party group of members of the House of Commons and House of Lords condemned human rights violations in Iran, including the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988

The Campaign Calling for Justice for the Victims of the 1988 Massacre has expanded over the past year both in Iran and abroad. In response, the clerical regime undertook enormous efforts to neutralize this movement. But it has failed miserably.

No one has faced justice for their crimes and, worse still, many still have influence in Iran today, like current Minister of Justice Ebrahim Raisi, the Minister of Justice until 2017 Mostafa Pour Mohammadi who is serving now as the Adviser to the Judiciary, the current Deputy Supreme Court and President of the Supreme Disciplinary Court of Judges Hossein Ali Nayyeri.

Today, 10 September, in a parliamentary conference, British MPs discussed and seeks justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre. This event was led by the British Committee for Iran Freedom of the UK Parliament. MP David Jones started this session with these sentences, “The 1988 massacre is often referred to as the worst crime since the Second World War. The alarming human rights situation in Iran is a serious matter for the international community. For too long, the regime has escaped accountability.”

British MP Steve McCabe said: “We have already failed the Iranian people by ignoring the 1988 massacre, by giving the regime billions of pounds as a result of the failed nuclear deal, by not recognizing the opposition and NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi.”

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi President-elect of the NCRI in a message to the online conference said: “Amnesty International published a shocking report last week, about Iran, entitled, “Trampling Humanity.” The report explained the inhuman treatment of those arrested during the November 2019 uprising.

It said at least 7,000 were arrested during the protests, also explaining the details of the tortures inflicted on the prisoners. The extent of savagery, before anything else, indicates that the regime has failed to put out the flames of resistance despite massive crackdown and killing of at least 1,500 protesters in November.

Recently in another inhuman measure, the clerical regime issued death sentences and long prison terms for three brothers for taking part in anti-regime protests.

Navid Afkari, a national sportsman, was sentenced to double executions after suffering cruel tortures.

These days also mark the 32nd anniversary of the 1988 massacre of more than 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. The vast majority of the victims were members and supporters of the PMOI.

As Baroness Boothroyd once said: This is the greatest unpunished crime against humanity since World War II.

The international community including Europe turned a blind eye on this great crime because they wanted to appease the mullahs’ tyranny for petty economic interests. So, they ignore the values and principles for which millions of Europeans and others sacrificed their lives.

Inaction vis-à-vis this regime, and worse, unity of action to lift the arms embargo undermines human values.”

MP Steve McCabe said: “We have already failed the Iranian people by ignoring the 1988 massacre, by giving the regime billions of pounds as a result of the failed nuclear deal, by not recognizing the opposition and NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi. The people we are dealing with, like Ebrahim Raisi, are responsible for the 1988 massacre. They continue to slaughter people, including 1,500 people in the November 2019 protests.”

MP Bob Blackman said: “Sadly, we are aligning ourself with the failed policy of appeasement pursued by the European Union, which for the last four decades, has provided the regime in Iran with impunity for its egregious human rights violations including the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, and on its terrorism to preserve diplomatic dialogue.”

MP Sir Roger Gale: “We are all aware there is overwhelming evidence of this crime. There is international law that can and must intervene. I want to reiterate the fact that there is a significant number of parliamentary colleagues who support this cause and the righting of wrongs and the right of people to freedom and democracy.”

Former Irish Senator Michelle Mulherin said: “When a government turns on its own people, it is the obligation of the international community to take action. There are families who very much want to achieve justice.”

Dowlat Nowrouzi, NCRI Representative in the UK said: “Unfortunately, the international community and proponents of the appeasement policy have taken up actions that are damaging to the Iranian people. After the nuclear deal, the lives of the Iranian people turned into terrible misery because of institutionalized corruption in the regime. More than $200 billion are at the disposition of [regime Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei and the IRGC.”

Jim Higgins, a former Irish member of the European Parliament, while attacking the negligence’s of the government said, “It is appalling that 32 years after this atrocity, nothing has happened. It is appalling that the perpetrators are still out there. It is appalling that there is substantial evidence that this was authorized by the highest authorities. It was decided that the victims were to be buried in mass graves and those graves still exist.

Why have we had no independent inquiry? The international community has idly stood by. I have raised the issue time and again. But our foreign policy chief has stood idly by and decided that diplomacy is the best strategy.”

Tahar Boumedra, legal expert, former head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Human Rights Office said: “The UN has been informed. The successive special rapporteurs on the situation of human rights in Iran have consistently called on Iran to investigate this crime. The special rapporteur has been banned from visiting Iran.

“It is clear Iran is unwilling to investigate. The UN has proven to be reluctant to impose such an investigation. What is next? The reality is the UN General Assembly resolution should focus on setting up an independent investigation into this crime instead of calling on Iran to investigate on its own. We have to be realistic and take action. And that action is setting up an independent commission and investigation.”

Lord Ken Maginnis of Dumbglass, “The UK must stand with the Iranian people and their resistance movement led by Madam Rajavi, who is the real driving force for change in Iran. The brutal leaders of Iran must be held to account. We must demand an international inquiry into the 1988 massacre, which is also demanded by the people of Iran.”

Professor Sara Chandler expressed her concern and said: “I express my grave concern at the international forum’s incapacity to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice. The justice system in Iran is part of the apparatus of suppression of human rights defenders. It is legalizing the regime’s crimes.

The international legal community upholds the rule of law and ensures it is upheld in every country. This means there should be an independent judicial system. There is no independent judicial system in Iran.”

Egidijus Vareikis MP expressed his support and said: “I totally support the call by the speakers regarding an independent investigation into the massacre of political prisoners in Iran. the international cannot ignore this anymore. Today we are seeing the results in the continued repression of the Iranian people by the regime.

The realities on the ground in Iran require the attention of the international community. Iran cannot investigate its own crimes. I support the re-imposition of UN sanctions on the regime.”

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