MEK Iran: Amess, Prosecute Raisi
David Amess: Human rights activists have joined forces with victims of the Iranian regime’s human rights violations to file formal demands for the arrest of Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi.
The massacre of 30,000 political prisoners
The public’s desire for Raisi’s arrest grew after it was revealed that he would be attending the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow, which will take place from October 31 to November 12. Iranian dissidents have long chastised Western governments for maintaining normal diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime despite the regime’s continued support for terrorism, dissent suppression, nuclear proliferation, and other nefarious acts.
Even as the regime’s behavior deteriorated in other areas, the European Union and certain member states have remained publicly committed to preserving and restoring a nuclear accord that gave Iran wide-ranging respite from economic sanctions. As time has passed, discussions around the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, have obscured more and more examples of that behavior, with the Iranian people bearing the brunt of the repercussions.
A grim reminder of the impunity that reigns supreme in Iran
Raisi’s election to the presidency is both a “grim reminder of the impunity that reigns supreme in Iran” and a “vivid affirmation of those consequences.” In a statement in response to the appointment, Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamard used this terminology. Raisi should have been probed at the international level for “crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance, and torture” instead of climbing to the presidency, according to the report.
Raisi’s invitation to COP26 is part of a bigger pattern, despite the fact that he has only been in government for a little over two months. International guests, notably the deputy political director of the European External Action Service, attended his inauguration on August 5, while the United Nations General Assembly broadcast a pre-recorded speech by the new Iranian president in September. NCRI supporters conducted protest marches across Europe and the Americas in response to Raisi’s address, calling for Raisi and other Iranian human rights violators to be held accountable rather than legitimized by the international community.
The European delegation’s attendance at Raisi’s inauguration
Fortunately, the European delegation’s attendance at Raisi’s inauguration appears to have instilled only a smattering of trust in the new administration. That is to say, Raisi’s choice not to attend the UNGA in person could be motivated by his fear of being arrested under universal jurisdiction, which the NCRI and its allies have worked hard to promote.
The protests against Raisi’s speech were joined by a symposium in Stockholm, which underlined the fact that at least one Western country has committed to uphold its reputation for human rights protection. After arriving in Sweden on a visit in 2019, Swedish authorities detained Hamid Noury, a former Iranian jail officer. Noury is accused of assisting in the death of many of the massacre’s victims, and he is currently on trial in Sweden for war crimes and mass murder.
Violations of human rights to be punished
The principle that permits egregious violations of human rights to be punished by any legal authority, even if the offenses took occurred in another jurisdiction, allows for such prosecution. If this theory applies to Noury’s case, it certainly applies to Ebrahim Raisi, who played a considerably larger role in the 1988 massacre and whose subsequent human rights violations were far more terrible and escalating.
At an international summit in the West, such a figure has no business standing among other heads of state. If he is allowed to visit the United Kingdom next month, it should only be to serve an arrest warrant and begin an inquiry into possible crimes like attempted genocide against moderate Muslims who defied the regime’s fundamentalist theocracy more than 33 years ago.
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