Participants urged the UN Security Council to investigate the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran, which they view as one of the largest atrocities since World War II, calling for the prosecution of regime officials involved in the crime.
Mostafa Pourmohammadi, Rouhani’s justice minister, recently proclaimed that he is “proud” to have been involved in the killings.
Inspirational musical performances and a reenactment of the 1988 mass executions made the rally stand out, especially with its display of photographs of the massacre’s victims.
According to the article, “Rouhani’s three-year record is seen as a troubling continuation of the regime’s repressive policies, marked by a staggering 2,500 executions, the arrest of thousands of disaffected Iranians, execution of political prisoners, and a massive crackdown on women and youth. Iran is now the leading executioner of prisoners in the world on a per capita basis.”
Participants of the rally in New York cited Rouhani’s policies, and denounced “the international community’s silence” as they described it, “about the human rights atrocities committed by the ruling regime, saying western political and economic relations with Tehran should be predicated on a halt in executions by the theocratic regime.”
Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, British Barrister and President of the UN Court for War Crimes in Sierra Leone, Sir Geoffrey Robertson, QC, who reported on the 1988 massacre, and Pastor Saeed Abedini, who was recently imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith, were all speakers at the rally.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)’s President-elect Maryam Rajavi in her remarks, said, “As long as the United States allows the leaders of a regime that Washington itself describes as the leading state sponsor of terrorism to set foot on American soil, and so long as the United Nations hosts them at the General Assembly instead of arranging for the ruling mullahs to face international tribunals for crimes against humanity, it means that they are standing against the Iranian people’s desire for freedom and democracy.”
She added that without the eviction of the Iranian regime “from Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon, there is no conceivable end in sight for the crises in the region. Appeasing this regime and standing on its side is a policy that has harmed the entire world.”
Former Senator Lieberman said, “We say to the United Nations don’t be fooled by Rouhani’s smile. The Iran nuclear agreement has not changed the behavior, civilized or moderated the behavior of the regime in Iran. The only way to change the regime in Iran is for the people in Iran to rise up and oust the regime that suppresses them and threatens most of the rest of the world.”
Robertson told the crowd, “By mid-August 1988 thousands of prisoners had been killed in this manner by the state, without trial, without appeal, and utterly without mercy. What happened in 1988 was a crime against humanity. Crimes against humanity are of a special hideousness. This dreadful act has never been punished, has never even been investigated… They cannot be forgotten and they cannot be forgiven. There is a duty on the world community represented by the United Nations to take action.”
Pastor Abedini said, “Still we stand with the victims. Still we stand with people in prison. Still we are going to be a voice for them. You are alive in our heart. You are alive in our voice, and still we are standing with you.”