MEK: Systematic Impunity in Iran
Iran’s manipulated presidential election ended on June 19. Ali Khamenei, the regime’s supreme leader, placed Ebrahim Raisi, on the president’s chair. Raisi’s selection was promptly denounced by human rights organizations and defenders, who demand him to be prosecuted.
Systematic impunity in Iran
Amnesty International’s Secretary-General, Agnes Callamard, issued a statement describing Raisi’s presidency as part of a “systematic impunity in Iran” under the mullahs’ rule.
“That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance, and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.
In 2018, our organization documented how Ebrahim Raisi had been a member of the ‘death commission,’ which forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in secret thousands of political dissidents in Evin and Gohardasht prisons near Tehran in 1988.
The circumstances surrounding the fate of the victims and the whereabouts of their bodies are, to this day, systematically concealed by the Iranian authorities, amounting to ongoing crimes against humanity.” Callamard noted.
Raisi is the infamous henchman
Raisi is the infamous henchman behind the massacre of more than 30,000 political prisoners in 1988. From 2019 through 2021, he served as the regime’s Judiciary Chief.
Nearly 700 people were executed during Raisi’s tenure as Iran’s judiciary chief, including 22 political prisoners. Detainees from two nationwide uprisings in Iran in 2018 and 2019 were severely tortured and sentenced to long prison terms.
Raisi As Head of the Iranian Judiciary
“As Head of the Iranian Judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi has presided over a spiraling crackdown on human rights which has seen hundreds of peaceful dissidents, human rights defenders, and members of persecuted minority groups arbitrarily detained.
Under his watch, the judiciary has also granted blanket immunity to government officials and security forces responsible for unlawfully killing hundreds of men, women, and children and subjecting thousands of protesters to mass arrests and at least hundreds to enforced disappearance, and torture, and other ill-treatment during and in the aftermath of the nationwide protests of November 2019,” Ms. Callamard’s statement read.
Seven UN experts published a letter
Seven UN experts published a letter that was issued to Tehran earlier In September 2020, requesting for investigations to be carried out into the 1988 massacre.
They stated that the 1988 massacre “may amount to crimes against humanity” and that the international community should intervene if the regime refuses to investigate the genocide.
In the published statement, Callamard emphasized the importance of holding Raisi accountable for his crimes, “It is now more urgent than ever for member states of the UN Human Rights Council to take concrete steps to address the crisis of systematic impunity in Iran including by establishing an impartial mechanism to collect and analyze evidence of the most serious crimes under international law committed in Iran to facilitate fair and independent criminal proceedings.”
A variety of human rights advocates and organizations in addition to Amnesty International have called for Raisi to be made accountable for his crimes.
“It is concerning that the elected president has not clarified his own past or clearly distanced himself from human rights violations until now. Human rights are non-negotiable, and Iran has committed itself to uphold them internationally,” wrote Bärbel Kofler, the German government’s human rights commissioner, on Twitter.
The regime’s rigged election was boycotted by the Iranian people. The international community must choose between continuing to engage in conversation with an illegitimate regime led by a criminal like Raisi or holding the dictatorship accountable for four decades of terrorism and human rights crimes.