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The West Must Turn Its Attention to the Plight of the Detainees From the Iranian Protests

While its been reported that the protests have ended, the truth is more complicated. The regime has attempted to restore order with suppressive measures. The opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), issued a statement saying that in the first two weeks of the nationwide uprisings, the regime’s Revolutionary Guards and other forces arrested at least 8,000 protesters, most of them under the age of 25. Many of them are said to have disappeared, and a number are believed to have been killed under torture. Indeed, dubious claims that the prisoners have committed suicide have been released.

In front of various prisons, families of the detained protesters gather to demand their loved one’s release. The regime has denied access to information about the fate of the detainees.

This brings to mind the massacre that occurred during the summer 1988, as Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, ordered the execution of all political dissidents in Iran’s prisons. More than 30,000 prisoners were said to have been executed in the span of a few months.

Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa voiced her concern, saying, “The shroud of secrecy and lack of transparency over what happened to these detainees is alarming.” Mughrabi also called on the Iranian regime to investigate the events that have happened in its prisons and to punish any authorities involved in human rights abuses.

NCRI President Maryam Rajavi said in her speech at a recent European Council meeting, “I urge the Council of Europe, the European Union and its member states, and the United Nations to stand beside the people of Iran and not the mullahs’ theocratic regime. The regime must understand that it has to pay a high price for opening fire on demonstrators and killing them under torture.” Mrs. Rajavi called for the formation of an international inquiry delegation to investigate the deaths, detention, and disappearances of Iranian protesters.

“All diplomatic and economic relations with the Iranian regime must be put to halt. Iran’s rulers must face comprehensive sanctions for decades of crimes against humanity,” Rajavi said. “Iran’s economy is concentrated at Khamenei’s headquarters and in the hands of the IRGC. Doing business with this regime will only fuel its killing machine and its export of war and terrorism.”

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