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1988 Massacre,HRC40,Human Rights,Iran human rights,Javad Zarif,MEK,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI,UN Human Rights Council

MEK's supporters protest outside HRC40 in Geneva

Zarif Resigns as Protesters Protest His Planned Speech in Geneva

MEK's supporters protest outside HRC40 in Geneva

MEK supporters rally opposite UN Geneva amid the Fortieth Session of the Human Rights Council, to protest Javad Zarif’s planned speech at the council. Protesters called for regime’s accountability for the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners and for the ongoing violations of human rights in Iran, urging the UN to expel regime’s representatives from the Council.

Members of the Iranian diaspora across Europe and their international allies gathered in Geneva to protest the arrival of the regime’s foreign minister Javad Zarif at the UN. As the UN’s fortieth Human Rights Council convened, the Iranian resistance used Zarif’s arrival as an opportunity to draw attention to the glaring human rights violations perpetuated by the Iranian regime.

A Violent and Bloody Regime

Under current President Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian regime has carried out at least 3,590 executions, including 30 executions on those that were juveniles when the crime was allegedly committed. This figure makes Iran the country with the highest rate of executions per capita in the world.

As members of the Iranian resistance protested the regime’s atrocities in Geneva, they carried images of those executed by the mullahs over the forty years of their tyrannical rule. They also carried banners condemning the regime’s 1988 massacre of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

Over the space of a single summer in 1988, the clerical regime executed around 30,000 members of the political opposition group, the MEK. In Geneva, a small exhibit dedicated to the 30,000 victims of the massacre was erected. The protestors echoed Amnesty International’s recent calls for the UN to open an investigation into the massacre and hold those accountable to justice.

Ending the Mullahs Export of Terror

The protestors also expressed their anger and dismay at the regime’s state-sponsored terror activities that played out across Europe and the West in 2018. The regime was involved in the planning of terror attacks in France, Albania, and the US.

The protestors in Geneva called on the European governments to expel Iranian diplomats and prevent the regime using diplomatic buildings and figures as cover for underground terror activities. The protestors held banners with messages stating that there is no place in the UN for executioners and terrorist-agents.

Infighting in Within the Regime Leadership

As protestors gathered, Javad Zarif issued his resignation in a surprise twist of events. His resignations underscored protestors messages that the Iranian regime is in turmoil. Infighting has caused deep rifts in the leadership, which most likely prompted Zarif’s sudden resignation.

Explaining the decision, the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI’s) Mohammad Mohaddessin tweeted, “Zarif’s resignation for whatever reason and regardless of the outcome, indicates [an] escalation of the crisis and internal power struggle in the regime, also its international failures.”

Mohaddessin said, “in the past 5.5 years, Zarif tried to create a façade of a “moderate image” for Iran’s religious fascism and pave the way for trade with the regime,” he added, “Zarif’s time has come to an end. Whether his resignation is finalized or overturned… [the] world will no longer be duped by Rouhani & Zarif.”

Staff Writer

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1988 Massacre,Amnesty International Report on 1988 massacre,HRC40,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

HRC40

Amnesty International Issues Written Statement to the UN Urging an Investigation into Iranian Human Rights Abuses

HRC40

40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council will discuss Iranian regime’s violations of Human Rights in Iran

The fortieth session of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will convene on February 25th and run until March 22nd, 2019. Of particular note will be the fourth item on the agenda, a written statement by Amnesty International, the human rights advocacy group that enjoys special consultative status within the UNHRC.

Amnesty International’s written statement explicitly calls on the UNHRC to investigate and report on the Iranian regime’s sustained crimes against humanity. It said that the impact UNHRC Special Rapporteurs could have on the situation could save lives, reduce suffering and demand accountability.

Forced Disappearances

In particular, Amnesty International is calling on the Human Rights Council to investigate “the forced disappearance of thousands of political dissidents over the past 30 years, including many who were under the age of 18 at the time of the arrest.”

The recommendation comes just months after Amnesty International released a damning report following its own investigations into the regime’s 1988 massacre. The group found that the regime had executed thousands of members of the political opposition group, the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

“While it may appear that these crimes belong to a distant past, the pain and anguish inflicted on the family members of the victims is both severe and current,” the statement read. The Iranian regime continues to withhold information regarding the whereabouts of the victims, preventing their families from disposing of the remains according to their religious or cultural rituals.

Most of the bodies were disposed of in unmarked graves at undisclosed locations that remain concealed to this day. Amnesty International puts the death toll at around 5,000, however, some estimates suggest up to 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK members and other political dissidents were killed in the summer of 1988.

The Iranian regime has not taken any action to bring those accountable for these forced disappearances to justice. Quite the opposite, current Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has filled his cabinet with a number of prominent regime figures who played an active role in the 1988 massacre. “They have also subjected survivors, families of victims and human rights defenders to reprisals for seeking truth and justice.”

Amnesty International’s statement read, “for years, Iranian officials at all levels have sought to disguise, distort, and “justify” the mass extrajudicial executions.” They have denied the scale of the massacre and attempted to pass the deaths off as “battlefield deaths”.

A Crumbling Wall of Secrecy

In recent years, events have chipped away at the regime’s wall of secrecy surrounding the 1988 massacre. Leaked official records have revealed the planning of the executions. In response, the regime has intensified efforts to vilify and demonize the victims, labeling them “murders,” “terrorists,” and drug addicts.

Beyond the 1988 massacre, even today, the Iranian regime arbitrarily detains journalists, protestors, dissidents, lawyers, activists, religious and ethnic minorities, trade unionists, and members of the MEK. While in regime custody, prisoners are also routinely subjected to torture and inhumane living conditions.

“This succession of grave human rights violations committed in Iran is inextricably linked to the impunity the Iranian authorities have enjoyed,” Amnesty International wrote.

The statement concluded with the human rights group urging “states to break this link, to speak openly and firmly about Iran’s ongoing crimes against humanity.” Amnesty International calls on the UNHRC to find the location of the remains of the victims killed in 1988. It also asks that the UN protects the victims’ family members from harassment and intimidation and puts an end to arbitrary detention in Iran.

Finally, the group asked for the UN to “identify effective pathways to justice, truth and reparation with a view to ensuring those suspected of responsibility are prosecuted in fair trials, without imposing the death penalty.”

 

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