Calls continue to rain in from Iranian activists for the arrest of the Iranian regime’s president, Ebrahim Raisi for his involvement in the regime’s 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were supporters or members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Many of the survivors and families of the victims of the massacre have been leading the calls for Raisi to be held accountable.
In recent months, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has hosted many conferences and rallies, highlighting Raisi’s criminal background, his involvement in the 1988 massacre, and what they mean for the future in regards to his presidential administration.
The NCRI said, “As one of four members on a panel during the 1988 massacre that came to be known as the “death commission,” Raisi was one of the leading perpetrators of that massacre. He has also remained as one of its chief defenders in recent years, even characterizing the underlying fatwa from then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini as an unquestionable conveyance of the will of God.”
The fatwa declared that anyone who was in support of the MEK was branded an ‘enmity of God’ and should be sentenced to death. In one of the NCRI’s conferences, legal experts from Europe stated that the message of the fatwa conveyed the regime’s intentions to execute those Muslims whose ideology of Islam was in opposition to that of the mullahs. Therefore, the experts argued that in this respect, the 1988 massacre can be classed as an act of genocide.
This is the reason why the calls for Raisi’s arrest are growing louder, and under the principle of universal jurisdiction, any country in the world can prosecute crimes of this level, regardless of where the crimes took place.
The NCRI said, “The specific charge of genocide is not necessary for the application of universal jurisdiction, however. This is clear from the fact that one participant in the massacre has already been arrested outside of his home country, and his case does not mention genocide.”
In recent months, Hamid Noury, a former Iranian prison official, was arrested in Sweden and is facing charges of war crimes for his involvement in the 1988 massacre in a Swedish court, with many survivors of the massacre giving their testimonies and evidence against him.
Raisi’s supposed attendance at the COP26 climate change conference in Scotland in early November sparked calls for his arrest if he stepped foot on Scottish soil. In the event that he did attend the event, and in the absence of such an arrest, his appearance would only highlight the apathy of Western powers to hold him accountable for his crimes against humanity.
The NCRI said, “Tragically, Western nations have already sent that message on at least two occasions: once when the European Union sent a delegation to attend Raisi’s inauguration in August, and once when the United Nations General Assembly permitted Raisi to address the international gathering with pre-recorded remarks.”
In a worldwide virtual summit in July, the NCRI’s President-elect, Maryam Rajavi said, “As far as the international community is concerned, this is the litmus test of whether it will engage and deal with this genocidal regime or stand with the Iranian people.”
The NCRI said, “At the same event, Rajavi predicted that the coming months would be marked by a growth of conflict between Iranian authorities and civil society. If that prediction proves accurate but Raisi’s legitimacy remains unchallenged internationally, the outcome will most likely be dire for Iran’s activist community.”