- Published: Wednesday, 17 June 2020
The coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change has written an article about how the case of a recently arrested corrupt Iranian judge illustrates the deep fractures in the regime.
Struan Stevenson, a former Member of the European Parliament, wrote that Judge Gholamreza Mansouri visited the International Neuroscience Institute (INI) in Hanover, Germany, earlier this month, for treatment from Iranian-German neurosurgeon Professor Majid Samii.
When Iranian ex-pats heard the news, they gathered outside the clinic to call for his arrest, but the INI and German Foreign Ministry denied that Mansouri was there.
He was soon after tracked down in Bucharest and arrested by Romanian police on an Interpol warrant, which led many ex-pat Iranians in Romania to demand his indictment for crimes against humanity so that he could be put on trial in Europe, rather than flee to Iran as soon as flights reopen following the coronavirus pandemic.
The reason that he should be tried is that he was responsible for a brutal crackdown on the media in Iran, which included internet censorship, banning newspapers, and ordering the mass arrest of journalists on false charges. In 2013, he ordered that 20 journalists be arrested in one day, with many of them subjected to vicious torture in custody.
This is perfectly in line with the regime’s policies. According to Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), the mullahs arrested, imprisoned, or executed at least 860 journalists from 1979-2009 and god knows how many more in the 11 years since. Most often, they are charged with national security crimes with limits their access to a lawyer and carries harsh sentences.
Last year, Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of RSF said: “The very existence of this file [of press restrictions] and its millions of entries show not only the scale of the Iranian regime’s mendacity…but the relentless machinations it used for 40 years to persecute men and women for their opinions or their reporting.”
RSF referred their file to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and demanded that culprits be held to account. They also noted that 61,900 political prisoners have been held in Iranian prisons since the 1980s, with more than 500 of them under the age of 18, while at least 30,000 political prisoners were killed in 1988.
Stevenson wrote: “Gholamreza Mansouri’s role in these crimes has been well documented. But in a further twist of fate, it now seems as if Mansouri’s corruption as a judge has caught up with him.”
He said that Mansouri fled Iran following Ebrahim Raisi, a 1988 Death Committee Member, being appointed as the chief of Iran’s Judiciary last year, replacing Sadeq Amoli Larijani, who Mansouri had collaborated with closely. This is not surprising because Mansouri is accused of taking a €500,000 from another government official to sway judgment.
Stevenson said: “The Romanians should not allow Mansouri to be extradited to Iran. His show-trial there and probable execution might seem a fitting end for a gangster guilty of crimes against humanity, but it is of more importance than he should face trial in the European Court of Justice, where his evidence will help to expose the wider corruption and criminality of the Iranian regime.”
- No Province in Iran Has Evaded the Coronavirus
- Next:Iran: Coronavirus Situation in Torbat-e-Jam and Hamedan