News : Human rights
- Published: Monday, 28 October 2019
Former Foreign Minister of Italy (2011 to 2013) Giulio Terzi has called on the European Union to ensure that the Iranian regime is held accountable for the 1988 massacre – a horrific crime against humanity in which more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK Iran)'s members and supporters, were killed.
In an op-ed for “Real Clear Defense”, the former foreign minister said that it is incomprehensible to many that no one has been held responsible for such a significant crime against MEK members that happened just over 30 years ago.
The Iranian Resistance has been working hard to bring justice for the people that were killed just because of their political beliefs. President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) Mrs. Maryam Rajavi has slammed the silence from the international community, in particular from Western governments.
Mr. Terzi agrees that the silence the families of the victims have been met with is unacceptable. He said that the international community “should have grown more and more receptive to that message as it witnessed the public conduct of the Iranian regime”. However, policies of appeasement and hopes that political reform was on the way did not allow for any justice for the tens of thousands of families of the victims.
European countries place such a huge value on human rights, freedom, equality, and democracy, yet over the past few years, and even decades, they have been able to put these fundamental rights to the side when it comes to Iran. Instead of insisting that the Iranian regime improves its human rights record and puts a complete halt to the execution of political prisoners, European governments have instead put business first. Mr. Terzi highlights that this has undermined “the image of Europe as being committed to human rights”.
Before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, was signed, the world powers could have addressed the 1988 massacre – one of the most brutal crimes against humanity in recent history.
Mr. Terzi highlighted that the families and loved ones of the 1988 massacre victims that are mostly (PMOI/MEK)'s members, and the survivors that are still haunted by the events of that year, have not been able to get closure and this international silence has denied them any hint of justice.
@GiulioTerzi: We have a commitment to focus on the #1988Massacre. This is a continuing massacre because Iran’s regime continues to hide the evidence. Individuals responsible are in key positions in the regime.#NoImpunity4Mullahs @MBachelet @UNHumanRights pic.twitter.com/oUpwJmouFp— Giulio Terzi (@GiulioTerzi) September 20, 2019
Turning a blind eye to this crime since the very year it happened has done nothing more than embolden the regime. It has sent a message that foreign governments will not challenge Iran’s behavior, no matter how despicable it is.
For the policymakers in Europe, it is essential that this silence ends immediately. These governments in Europe must make it clear that respect for human rights is not a value that can be compromised upon – instead, it is a value that is non-negotiable.
Some of the officials that played a role in the 1988 massacre of MEK Iran members have gone on to hold high-level governmental positions. They have been promoted rather than punished.
Iran is on the brink of great change and the people are going to be the force behind eventual regime change. But as Mr. Terzi points out, “it would be a shameful start to relations with a new, democratic Iran if none of its prospective international had heeded the call for justice for all those who died at the hands of a system that denied democracy to the Iranian people for so long”.