Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Conditions in Iran, expressed in his recent report to the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee about the alarming situation concerning continuing human rights abuses in Iran.
Rehman stated that the current human rights situation in Iran ‘remains grim’ and the main thing preventing the improvement of the situation is the ‘persistent impunity for serious violations of human rights law’.
He said, “The situation is aggravated by the fact that individuals who face allegations of being involved in the commission of serious human rights violations remain in powerful positions, including at the highest level of public office.”
Human rights abusers are occupying the highest positions of power in Iran. The regime’s president is Ebrahim Raisi, a key figure in the 1988 massacre of more than 30,000 Iranian political prisoners.
Among the ministers of Raisi’s cabinet are criminals, thieves, and terrorists, all of whom have a history of human rights abuses. The Speaker of the Majlis (parliament), Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf was formerly a commander of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and is known for his involvement in the brutal suppression of dissidents. Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei, the head of the judiciary branch has long had a history of torture and executions, especially when it comes to protesters and members of the opposition.
In his remarks to the Third Committee, Rehman also raised concern about the alarming level of intimidation or persecution of those who call for accountability.
The concern was regarding a high number of reprisal actions taken by regime security officers and intelligence against the families of victims, along with human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, and other people calling for the regime to be held accountable for their actions.
The regime will go to any length to shut down the voices of activists and protesters, arresting and imprisoning people who are simply fighting for their basic rights. The families of political prisoners and dissidents who have been executed are often threatened by the regime’s security forces and forced to remain silent about the plight of their loved ones.
With many obstacles preventing the regime from being held accountable for their crimes against humanity, Rehman called for the international community to continue to find any other ways they can to seek accountability and finally get justice for the regime’s victims.
In his report, Rehman expressed alarm at the regime’s continued lack of transparency and accountability regarding the 1988 massacre, whose perpetrators continue to hold key posts in the regime, and the brutal crackdown on the November 2019 protests, in which the regime murdered more than 1,500 protesters across Iran.
Rehman brought attention to the enforced disappearances and executions of political prisoners in 1988, as well as the excessive force used to suppress protesters during the November 2019 uprising, and stated that there has long been ‘widespread and systemic impunity in the country for gross violations of human rights.
He called on human rights organizations and the international community to continue to pursue the issue of human rights in Iran and fight for the officials responsible to be once and for all held accountable to stop future abuses from taking place.