Ken Blackwell

MEK Iran: Iran Officials Must Face Justice for Crimes Against Humanity

Ken Blackwell

Ambassador Ken Blackwell, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission

In a  piece on the Town Hall by Ambassador Ken Blackwell, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission, the recent attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad and Iran protests have been discussed.

Mr. Blackwell writes:

“Iran unleashed its proxies in Iraq to attack the US Embassy in Baghdad on the last day of 2019.  That speaks volumes about the nature of Tehran rulers. President Trump correctly held them accountable. The ayatollahs’ conduct at home and abroad has been utterly malign. Period. They stand out as one of the most pressing challenges the international community faces as we enter 2020.”

“In November, major protests broke out in Iran. The regime’s response was unprecedentedly brutal. International rights group Amnesty International condemned “the frequency and persistence of lethal force” deployed against peaceful demonstrations. Astonishingly, the death toll has now surpassed 1,500. Over 4,000 have been injured, and more than 12,000 are in prisons and at risk of torture. Some reports have indicated that a number of detained protesters have already been tortured or killed. Yet, the world community is not holding the regime’s officials accountable for these crimes against humanity.”  the piece reads.

The piece sheds light on some of the harrowing events during the recent uprising in Iran. In the city of Mahshahr, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) arrived with tanks and armored vehicles. After unarmed protesters came under fire and fled into a nearby marsh, the IRGC surrounded them and used truck-mounted machine guns to massacre as many as 100 people.

“In the city of Mahshahr, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) arrived with tanks and armored vehicles. After unarmed protesters came under fire and fled into a nearby marsh, the IRGC surrounded them and used truck-mounted machine guns to massacre as many as 100 people.” The piece reads, adding  the role of Iran’s main opposition group the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI-MEK) in the protests:

“The leading opposition group, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK Iran), was the most active movement on the ground in Iran. In addition to sending out videos and credible news, its “Resistance Units” also led and guided the protests. On December 15, it said that 1,500 protesters had been killed. Since then, various news agencies and US State Department officials have cited the MEK’s reported figures as their sources.”

The piece is concluded by reminding the responsibility of the international community:

“The international community must offer a permanent response to the present situation. As Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi has urged, the world community should demand that the regime grant free access to the country for UN human rights experts and other monitors who are committed to safeguarding the rights of protesters throughout the world. The U.S. can play a leading role in this effect. Until the international community can effectively guarantee that Tehran’s repressive policies are a thing of the past, no free, democratic nation should willingly engage in trade or diplomatic exchanges with Iran. The regime cannot refuse this ultimatum without affirming its intent to continue murdering its own people. It is an affront to humanity and a serious shirking of moral responsibility for the international community to remain silent in the face of the crimes being committed against humanity in Iran. The U.N. must act now to send a fact-finding mission to Tehran to investigate the regime’s crimes. Tehran’s leaders must face justice, lest more crimes against humanity continue unabated.”

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