As reported by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on September 8, the United Nations Security-General Antonio Gutteres presented a report, earlier this week, to the UN General Assembly in regards to the human rights situation in Iran.
One of the main issues discussed in the report was the 1988 massacre and how the Iranian regime authorities have attempted for 33 years to conceal all evidence of the horrific crime against humanity which saw 30,000 political prisoners executed over a period of 3 months.
Family members of the massacre victims have faced harassment over the years for protesting or trying to increase public awareness of the atrocities. To this day, many families do not know the fate of their loved ones as the regime refuses to divulge the locations of the mass graves where the victims were buried.
The NCRI said, “The larger harassment campaign was also highlighted in December 2020 with the publication of a letter signed by seven UN human rights experts and sent to Iranian authorities in an effort to convince them to adopt a policy of transparency regarding past abuses.”
Many Iranian citizens boycotted the presidential election in June, which saw Ebrahim Raisi becoming the Iranian regime’s new president. By openly protesting Raisi’s involvement in the 1988 massacre, many citizens risked facing backlash from the regime for their demonstrations.
After having served as the deputy prosecutor for Tehran, Raisi became one of four officials in Tehran’s ‘death commission’. Following a fatwa issued from then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, Raisi and the other ‘death commission’ officials were tasked with executing all political prisoners who were affiliated with or pledged their loyalty to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
Following Raisi’s appointment to the presidential role, Amnesty International’s Secretary-General, Agnès Callamard said that his appointment is ‘a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran’ when he should instead be ‘investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture’.
The NCRI said, “Soon after his inauguration, the new Iranian president seemed to reassert Tehran’s impunity by appointing a number of cabinet ministers who are subject to US and EU sanctions over human rights abuses, terrorist activity, illicit nuclear research, and missile development. Several of those individuals have been directly implicated in terrorist attacks around the world.”
One such individual is Raisi’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi. He has an outstanding Interpol arrest warrant for his involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The bombing, which took place when Vahidi was in charge of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), killed 85 people and injured hundreds more.
For the past 3 decades, no one has ever been held accountable for the 1988 massacre of faced legal consequences until now. Last month, Swedish authorities chose to apply the principle of universal jurisdiction on former Iranian prison official Hamid Noury when he arrived in Sweden for a visit.
The NCRI said, “In a recent virtual conference hosted by the NCRI, legal scholars Eric David and Geoffrey Robertson signaled the clear opportunity that exists for any country to apply the same principle to the case of Ebrahim Raisi, whose acts of mass murder on religious grounds potentially fit the legal criteria for genocide.”