Posts Tagged ‘Mujahedin-e Khalq’

1988 Massacre,Ebrahim Raisi,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Ebrahim Raisi

Death Committee Member Sworn in as Deputy Chief of Mullahs’ Assembly of Experts

Ebrahim Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi a mass murderer appointed as head of Iranian regime’s Judiciary

On Tuesday, notorious Death Committee member Ebrahim Raisi was sworn in as the Deputy Chief of the Assembly of Experts. Raisi was elected to the position by the mullahs’ Assembly of Experts a week after being appointed by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as the head of the regime’s judiciary.

During the swearing-in ceremony, Raisi vowed to crack down on political dissent.

“We deem security as the most important issue in the country,” he said in remarks broadcast by the Tasnim News Agency.

“We will not tolerate any kind of disturbance in the security of the country and will not concede,” he added.

Crackdown on Dissent

Raisi’s comments point to a disturbing increase in the regime’s suppression of dissent among its people in the wake of the nationwide anti-government protests that began in late 2017. More than 7,000 people were arrested in January 2018 for their participation in the widespread uprisings in Iran, and a number of people died after being tortured while in custody.

Since then, anti-regime protests and strikes have continued in cities across the country on a daily basis, with demonstrators calling for the overthrow of the theocratic regime. The MEK and its Resistance Units have organized and led the growing Iranian Resistance Movement in its fight for a free and democratic Iran.

The regime, unable to suppress the protesters, who chant, “Death to Khamenei!” and “Death to Rouhani!” in the streets, have cracked down on all forms of dissent. Last year, the regime’s judiciary threatened striking truck drivers with execution. Security forces conducted a series of midnight raids on the homes of striking factory workers, forcing many terrified workers to sleep on the streets to avoid being beaten and arrested. Several protesters were shot in the street during protests last summer in Kazerun. Numerous activists have been imprisoned for speaking out against the regime.

The Iranian regime has expended a great deal of time and resources attempting to eliminate its primary opposition, the MEK, through terrorist activities and demonization campaigns. Last year, the regime hatched terrorist plots against the MEK in Albania, The Netherlands, France, and the United States. One of the regime’s diplomats is currently standing trial in Belgium for a foiled terrorist attack on the annual Free Iran gathering outside of Paris. Several regime diplomats and Ministry of Intelligence agents have been expelled from European countries for participating in terrorist plots against the MEK in 2018.

And yet still the protests continue. The cries for freedom have not ceased.

Now the Iranian regime has placed Ebrahim Raisi, a man who sentenced thousands of political prisoners to death in a single summer, at the head of the judiciary. The mullahs have further given Raisi, who is closely linked to the Revolutionary Guards, a role in choosing the regime’s next Supreme Leader.

1988 Massacre

In the summer of 1988, during the final days of the Iran-Iraq War, Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against the MEK and its members. He decreed that “as the treacherous Monafeqin [MEK] do not believe in Islam and what they say is out of deception and hypocrisy… it is decreed that those who are in prisons throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for the Monafeqin [MEK], are waging war on God and are condemned to execution.”

Ebrahim Raisi was a Prosecutor in Tehran in 1988 and was appointed to a Death Committee by Khomeini. He was tasked with conducting trials in a kangaroo court. MEK members were brought in and asked if they renounced their allegiance to the MEK. If they said no, Raisi sentenced them to death and they were marched to the gallows and hanged in groups. Trials lasted less than three minutes.

More than 30,000 people were executed during the summer of 1988, including pregnant women and teenagers. To this day, none of the perpetrators have been brought to justice.

Raisi’s appointment to the Ministry of Justice is an intolerable act, not only to the victims of the 1988 Massacre and their families but also to all of those in Iran who still hope to see justice and fairness in their government.

Many insiders have speculated that Raisi could be chosen as Khamenei’s successor for Supreme Leader. The Iranian Resistance fights every day to ensure that the regime will not last to see that day.

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1988 Massacre,Iran human rights,Kenneth BlackWell,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI

Ambassador Kenneth Blackwell

Former US Ambassador to the UN Commission on Human Rights Weighs in on Raisi Appointment

Ambassador Kenneth Blackwell

Ambassador Kenneth Blackwell (Second Left) speaking at NCRI’s news brief on the situation of human rights in Iran-Washington Press Club- December 1, 2017

Ken Blackwell, the former US ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, wrote an op-ed for conservative news site Townhall. The human rights expert weighed in on the Iranian regime’s appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as the head of the Iranian judiciary. He called Raisi,

“one of the most brutal figures of modern history of Iranian jurisprudence.”

https://twitter.com/townhallcom/status/1104970245515759616

Raisi was involved in the systematic execution of more than 30,000 members of the Iranian opposition in 1988. His ascent to the head of the judiciary illustrates the regime’s intent to further attack, maim, and kill members of the Iranian resistance and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the umbrella coalition which includes the MEK, denounced the appointment in a statement that read; Ali Khamenei “proves once again that as the head of the crisis-stricken theocratic regime, he finds no solution other than a hard turn towards further repression.”

A Regime in Crisis

Putting their statement into context, Blackwell outlined the precarious position the regime currently finds itself in. “The crisis in question is twofold,” Blackwell writes. Widespread civil unrest and anger over the regime’s economic mismanagement and corruption weigh heavily on the mullahs. This domestic unrest coupled with the regime’s increased isolation on the international stage is causing an existential crisis. The regime’s solution to this crisis appears to be the promotion of a known human rights abuser in Raisi and an impending crackdown on the MEK and the opposition.

“In this sense, the appointment of Raisi as the new judiciary chief is just the latest in a series of efforts to reassert a national identity that is under threat of overthrow at the hands of a resentful and overwhelmingly pro-democratic opposition,” Blackwell rights.

Beyond the human rights abuses, Blackwell argues that Raisi’s appointment also exposes the folly in international policy towards the Iranian regime. Since his rise to power in 2013, many international governments have championed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a moderating influence on the clerical regime.

His indifference in the face of Raisi’s appointment serves to demonstrate the inaccuracy of this belief. Rouhani has expanded repressive gender separation policies, increased state-sponsored terror attacks abroad, and deployment of military personnel to quash public dissent in Iran. These are not the acts of a “moderate”.

Repression Will Not Prevail

Blackwell concluded his piece on a note of optimism. “Ultimately,” he writes, repression is “no solution”. “The Iranian people have continued to demonstrate in favor of dramatic reform and outright regime change even in the wake of thousands of protestors being arrested and dozens killed,” he said.

This commitment and resilience to democracy will ensure the MEK and the Iranian resistance will prevail. “They’re determined to succeed in overthrowing this evil and illegitimate regime,” Blackwell writes, adding, “they deserve moral and political support from the democratic nations of the world.”

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1988 Massacre,Human Rights,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI,Tahar Boumedra

Tahar Bumedra

Former UNAMI Human Rights Chief Denounces the Ebrahim Raisi’s Appointment

Tahar Bumedra

Tahar Bumedra, speaking at a conference on the situation of human rights in Iran- March 7, 2019

Tahar Boumedra, the former chief of the human rights office of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), penned an op-ed for the prominent news and analysis site, Eurasian Review. The legal expert and human rights champion criticized the Iranian regime over its recent appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as head of the judiciary.

Boumedra traced Raisi’s historic disregard for human rights, describing Raisi’s involvement in the 1988 massacre which led to the execution of more than 30,000 Iranian political dissidents. “Raisi was among the officials appointed to three-person “death commissions.”

Top clergies in charge of the criminal Iranian regime’s Judiciary. From left to right, Ebrahim Reisi, recently promoted as the chief of regime’s Judiciary, member of the 1988 Massacre’s Death Committee, Sadegh Larijani, previous chief of the regime’s Judiciary, Mohsen Ejehei, the deputy of regime’s Judiciary, Pour Mohammadi, regime’s previous Minister of “Justice”, also one of the 4 members of the Death Committee during the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran.

In his role in the death commission, Raisi rounded up and killed members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and other Iranian pro-democracy groups. Boumedra writes, “the precise scope of the killings remains unclear because many of the victims were buried in secret mass graves,” many of which were subsequently paved over in an attempt to hide the regime’s atrocities. The deliberate destruction of evidence in this manner prompted Amnesty International to call for a full UN-led investigation into the massacre.

Given the regime’s willingness to promote those involved in the massacre, such as Raisi, to senior positions within the regime, it cannot be trusted to carry out a full and impartial investigation into the matter. Prior to 2016, when audio recordings were discovered outlining the regime’s involvement in the killings, the regime refused to acknowledge the massacre took place at all. Since the recordings, made by Hossein Ali Montarezi, were made available to the public, the regime has instead focused its efforts on justifying the massacre.

No Shame

“When asked in 2016 about the killings of PMOI (MEK) members and other critics of the Iranian regime, Pourmohammadi (the former Justice Minister) openly stated that he was “proud” to have helped to carry out “God’s command” of death,” Bumedra pointed out. Pourmohammadi was then replaced in 2017 by another former death commission member, Alireza Avaie.

“These and other high-profile appointments have sent the clear message that the regime stands by its past acts of violent oppression and has no interest in rehabilitating its image,” Boumedra wrote. Raisi’s appointment only serves to further demonstrate this message.

The Implications for the Opposition

Raisi’s appointment will have a significant impact on the Iranian opposition movement and the MEK. It sends the message that Tehran is intending to crack down even harder on Iranian protestors and civil disobedience. As the Iranian opposition gears up for another year of protests in 2019, the Iranian opposition will no doubt hear this message.

However, they are unlikely to be deterred. Since 2017, the Iranian protest movement has expanded. It has untied Iranians from all walks of life and pensioners, teachers, students, factory workers, investors, farmers, and truck drivers have all marched against the violent and repressive clerical regime shoulder to shoulder.

For the MEK, who have played a leading role in the protest movement, Raisi’s appointment indicates that the regime is setting the scene for another massacre. Boumedra points out that only the international community can stop another massacre on the same scale as 1988. They must apply economic pressure to the mullahs and secure human rights reform. Without it, the lives of millions of Iranians hang in the balance.

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Human Rights,International Women's Day,Iran human rights,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,NCRI,PMOI

Angelo-Iranian communities demonstration in London on the occasion of IWD-2019

NCRI and Anglo-Iranian Communities Rally in London in Support of Iranian Women

Angelo-Iranian communities demonstration in London on the occasion of IWD-2019

The Angelo-Iranian communities demonstrate on the occasion of the International Women’s Day-March 9, 2019

On March 9th, hundreds of supporters of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), members of the Anglo-Iranian Communities took part in a rally outside of 10 Downing Street in London in honor of International Women’s Day. The demonstrators focused on the pivotal role of women in the ongoing anti-regime protests in Iran and called for the British government to recognize the right of the Iranian people to overthrow the theocratic regime.

A Democratic Alternative

Speakers at the demonstration condemned the deplorable treatment of women and girls under the religious dictatorship in Iran, saying that the regime’s policies have relegated women to the status of second-class citizens. They emphasized the NCRI and the MEK, under the leadership of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, offer a democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime that promotes gender equality and equal representation in government. They pointed out that women in the NCRI and MEK are leading the Iranian Resistance in the fight to overthrow the theocratic regime.

The speakers further noted that the NCRI’s focus on gender equality and the courage of the women of Iran are the greatest assets in the fight for a free Iran. Theresa Villiers, Conservative MP for Chipping Barnet and Former Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, condemned the Iranian regime’s human rights record in her speech, saying, “I support the cause of human rights and democracy in Iran. The appalling situation of women in Iran is why we need reforms and change. So I am here to support your just demands for justice, democracy, and freedom.”

Regime Oppression

In a December 2018 report, the NCRI Women’s Committee wrote that almost one thousand women were arrested in 2018 for participating in anti-regime protests. Many of these women were arrested for protesting against mandatory hijab.

More recently, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei appointed notorious Death Committee member Ebrahim Raisi as head of the regime’s Judiciary. Raisi sent thousands of MEK members to the gallows during the 1988 Massacre, during which 30,000 political prisoners were executed during a single summer. Victims of this crime against humanity included pregnant women and girls as young as 15 years old.

“I join you in condemning the appointment of Raisi and urging the UK Government to take the lead and to work with allies at the UN to ask relevant UN bodies to order an investigation and bring the regime’s officials like Raisi to justice for crimes against humanity,” said Malcolm Fowler, Senior Solicitor and former member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales, in reference to Raisi’s appointment.

IRGC, and MOIS Must be Designated as Terrorist Organizations

 

Speakers also called on the UK to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as terrorist organizations, citing their repression of the Iranian people and their involvement in terrorist plots against Iranian dissidents and MEK members in Europe, the UK, and the United States.

Dr. Jocelynne Scutt, former judge, jurist and professor at Buckingham University, spoke in solidarity with the women of Iran who face oppression at the hands of the Revolutionary Guards: “We stand here today on International Women’s Day to honour Iran’s strong, committed, courageous women. To the brave women of Iran, who have to endure Revolutionary Guards’ harassment, we support you and stand beside you in the struggle for human rights, equality and justice. We salute you, we are with you,” she said.

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Giulio Terzi,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),PMOI

Giulio Terzi

Giulio Terzi: Western Policymakers have Turned a ‘Blind Eye’ to Rouhani’s Human Rights Record

Giulio Terzi

Hon. Giulio Terzi, the former Foreign Minister of Italy

Former Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giulio Terzi, wrote another opinion piece calling for European governments to sever economic ties with the ruthless and violent Iranian regime. The piece, entitled ‘Six Years After Rouhani’s Election, Moderation is as Far Away as Ever for Iran’, appeared in Euractiv on Friday, March 8.

In the piece, Terzi criticized the appointment of Ebrahim Raisi as Head of the Iranian Judiciary which took place last week. Although Raisi’s predecessor was far from a moderate, his appointment represents a step back for Iranian human rights. “Raisi represents the worst features of the Iranian judiciary,” Terzi wrote, “at best his appointment by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei signals the regime’s public disregards for international human rights principles, and at worst it sets the stage for a dramatic upsurge in politically-motivated killings.”

A Dark Past

Raisi’s past is of particular concern. Like previous heads of the judiciary, he was part of the “death commissions” that took part in the 1988 massacre when regime agents rounded up and executed more than 30,000 members of the Iranian opposition. Many of those killed were members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest pro-democracy opposition group in Iran. Their only crime was their “failure to demonstrate loyalty to the theocratic dictatorship,” Terzi lamented.

The 30,000 executions took place in the span of a single summer. Many were buried in unmarked graves, the whereabouts of which the regime has continued to withhold, leaving many families in the dark on the fate of their loved ones.

The massacre was the regime’s response to growing calls for democracy. The MEK has established itself as a viable alternative to the regime’s ruthless branch of religious fascism, which it remains to this day.  “The massacre failed in its goal,” argues Terzi, “the PMOI (MEK) went on to gain in strength and popularity over the next three decades.” Today, the MEK is instrumental in coordinating protests against the regime’s economic mismanagement and rampant human rights abuses. It played a central role in the nationwide protests that rapidly spread across the country in 2018.

Like in 1988, the regime’s response has been to suppress protests through a violent crackdown on the Iranian opposition. In January alone, more than 8,000 Iranian protestors were detained and 50 were killed.

A Sustained Crackdown

When viewed in the context of recent events, Raisi’s appointment can be seen as a continued part of the regime’s backlash against the MEK and the Iranian opposition. Terzi called it

“a deliberate message to Iran’s activist community that the regime is ready to carry out further massacres.”

There have already been signs of impending violence. The clerical regime has made overt threats of executions against those engaging in protests and strikes against the regime.

 

Iranian regime’s President Hassan Rouhani, often championed among European governments as a “moderate” influence within the Iranian regime, has shown indifference towards the appointment of murderers and criminals to senior positions in the Iranian judiciary. He has also filled his own cabinet with those that took part in the 1988 massacre. These appointments show that at best, Rouhani is a loyal servant to the Supreme Leader and at worst, he is another hardliner, happy to promote murderers and brutes.

“Western policymakers have turned a blind eye to his record,” Terzi asserts, “because of their expectations about opening up Iranian markets and gaining access to Iranian oil.” “Such a short-sighted attitude cannot be a guiding principle for Western policies toward the Islamic Republic anymore,” Terzi concludes.

Terzi calls for the immediate severance of ties with Iranian businesses and diplomats. “The international community should push for an independent inquiry about all the crimes committed by the Iranian regime,” he asserts. If Tehran refuses, then international governments must embrace the only viable alternative to regime rule: the MEK.

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OIAC Free Iran March in Washington D.C.

Maryam Rajavi Speaks at Demonstration in Washington, D.C.

OIAC Free Iran March in Washington D.C.

The Iranian-American communities in the U.S. OIAC, March in Washington D.C. in solidarity with Iran Protests, calling for regime change in Iran. The protesters also lend their support to the main democratic opposition led by Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

On Friday, March 8th, thousands of Iranian-Americans held a demonstration in Washington, D.C. in honor of International Women’s Day. The demonstration was organized by the Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) in order to call attention to the Iranian regime’s treatment of women and to ask the United States to recognize the right of the Iranian people to overthrow the oppressive theocratic regime.

Demonstrators at the rally carried banners reading, “Recognize the Right of the Iranian People to Overthrow the Iranian Dictatorship” and “Victory is Certain, Iran Will Be Free.” Others carried signs saying, “Iranian People Want Regime Change,” held large posters featuring images of Iranian Resistance leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, and waved Persian flags.

Speakers included Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman (D.), and former Reagan Cabinet member Linda Chavez.

Maryam Rajavi’s Speech

Mrs. Rajavi’s speech at the event was focused on inspiring the women of the world to support Iranian women in their fight to overthrow the mullahs’ misogynistic regime.

She lauded the young women of Iran who have stepped up to take leadership roles in the MEK’s ever-expanding Resistance Units. She went on to quote MEK leader Massoud Rajavi, saying, “As the Iranian Resistance’s leader Massoud Rajavi has said, the Resistance Units are ‘the tip of the spear and guiding light for the uprisings. They are the critical component in continuing and guaranteeing advancement and victory. The historic destiny of the Iranian people in their battle for liberation will be decided with the resistance units and rebel cities.’”

Mrs. Rajavi added, “Yes, change in Iran without being organized is impossible. Change in Iran without sacrifice is impossible.”

Rajavi noted that social and economic issues have “grown to catastrophic proportions” under the mullahs’ rule. She described the rampant poverty, water shortages, inflation, unemployment, environmental destruction, and lack of access to health care.

“So long as the clerical regime is in power, none of these ills will be resolved,” she said. “The ruling mullahs will become ever more dependent on their devastating policies, namely the suppression of Iranian society, warmongering and destructive meddling in the region, money laundering, terrorism in Europe and the United States, and plundering the assets of the people of Iran.”

She added, “The velayat-e faqih regime will continue all these policies until the day of its overthrow.”

Mrs. Rajavi emphasizes that Iran is at a turning point in its history. She said, “The regime now faces one of the most difficult periods of its rule. The continued uprisings have destabilized the ruling structure. And there is no going back. Change in Iran is within reach more than any other time.”

Rajavi went on to speak about the democratic alternative for the future of Iran offered by the NCRI and the MEK. She stressed, “There is a democratic and competent alternative, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. A Resistance deeply rooted in Iran which is capable of overthrowing the regime and managing affairs during the transition so that the Iranian people can choose their true representatives through free and fair elections.”

Finally, Mrs. Rajavi emphasizes the obligation of the United States and the rest of the world to recognize the will of the Iranian people to overthrow their oppressors. “The international community is duty-bound to respect the struggle of the Iranian people to overthrow the clerical regime. This is essential for global peace and security,” she said.

Rajavi added, “It is time for the State Department to designate the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and the infamous Ministry of Intelligence as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). Doing so would be a positive message to the Iranian people, and a decisive message against the clerical regime.”

Reaction of Demonstrators to Mrs. Rajavi’s Plan

According to the Washington Times’ coverage of the event, many of the demonstrators who were interviewed were hopeful that Mrs. Rajavi’s ten-point plan for Iran’s future will prove to be successful.

 

“The fact that this whole event is led by a woman is just really exciting to see,” said a student at the event who was interviewed by the Times. “Gender equality I think is something that every country strives for these days.”

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Geneva Conference on situation of human rights in Iran,Human Rights,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,Struan Stevenson

Struan Stevenson speaking at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Former Scottish MEP, Struan Stevenson, Speaks at Human Rights Conference in Geneva

Struan Stevenson speaking at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Struan Stevenson, the former MEP, and coordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CiC), speaking at the Geneva Conference on the situation of human rights in Iran-March 7, 2019

Former Scottish Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Struan Stevenson, spoke at a conference in Geneva on the human rights situation in Iran calling on the International Community and particularly the European governments to hold the mullahs accountable for their crimes in Iran. He began by describing how, “after 40 years of a brutal clerical dictatorship, today, 80 million Iranians have had enough.”

Iranians are making their voices heard at an unprecedented level. In recent months, hundreds of thousands of Iranian citizens have taken to the streets to demonstrate the regime’s brutality and violence. “Men, women, students, teachers, truck drivers, sugar-cane workers, business owners, and pensioners,” have come together under the call for regime change and in opposition to the regime’s greed, repression, and warmongering.

The mullahs’ mismanagement of Iran’s finances has left vast swathes of the population living below the poverty line and struggling to put food on the table.

“Instead of trying to mend Iran’s broken economy, the mullahs have used their equivalent of the Gestapo, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), to crack down on the demonstrators, murdering dozens and arresting over ten thousand,” Stevenson told those gathered in Geneva. Despite the very real threat to their freedom and lives, Iran’s brave protestors have not been deterred, but continue to oppose regime oppression and violence wherever it occurs. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest pro-democracy opposition group, work tirelessly to organize protests and raise international awareness to the Iranian cause.

Their effort is necessary. Stevenson said, “Iran is the most repressive country in the Middle East. It executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. Here we have a regime that tortures, rapes, sodomizes, and executes political prisoners.” It uses flogging, amputations, and hanging as methods of punishment and has executed more than 4,000 people under the Rouhani administration.

One of the Worst Atrocities of the Twentieth Century

In 1988, the Iranian regime committed one of the worst human rights abuses of the twentieth century. In one summer, the regime executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, many of whom were members of the MEK.

Although Amnesty International recently released a landmark report on the atrocity and have petitioned the UN to investigate, the crimes went largely unrecognized by the international community and no formal international investigation took place.

“The perpetrators of that massacre are still in positions of power within the regime today,” Stevenson exclaimed. “Many have even boasted about their roles.” One of these has been Ebrahim Raisi, President Hassan Rouhani’s head of the Iranian judiciary.

Death Committee Member Appointed as Regime Judiciary Chief

The leader of Iran opposition, President-elect Maryam Rajavi, has frequently criticized the move. In a recent Tweet, she wrote, “the Iranian regime has appointed Ebrahim Raisi, one of the most brutal agents of the 1988 massacre.” She continued, “in doing so, it has made a mockery of justice and trampled upon all legal and judicial standards.”

In Geneva, Stevenson continued, “despite this appalling record of human rights abuse and crimes against humanity, we still have EU governments that prefer to overlook these issues and seek to continue to sign trade deals as an act of craven appeasement of the vile Iranian regime.”

Many European heads of state have expressed a reluctance to follow the US’s lead in adopting strict economic sanctions against the regime. In what amounts to a gesture of placing profits ahead of human rights, France, Germany, and the UK are actively exploring ways to bypass US sanctions and continue trading with Iran.

Stevenson concluded his address by saying, “appeasing and kowtowing to this brutal dictatorship is a historic mistake and a betrayal of the Iranian people. The mullahs must be held to account for their crimes. They cannot benefit from impunity.” He finished with a call to the UN. “The focus of the civilized world today is on the United Nations. Please heed the cries of the oppressed millions in Iran.”

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Alfred de Zayas,Human rights situation in Iran,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,Parviz Khazai,PMOI,Remy Pagani,Struan Stevenson,UN Geneva

Speakers at Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

Families of Victims and International Experts Speak About Iranian Human Rights in Geneva

Speakers at Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran

The panel of speakers at the Geneva conference on the situation of human rights in Iran-March 7, 2019

On Thursday, March 7, the Iranian opposition gathered in Geneva for a conference on the Iranian regime’s human rights record throughout 2018. The Iranian people have endured four decades of regime rule. They have suffered barbaric and violent human rights abuses. But now they are making their voices heard and taking to the streets to say, ‘enough is enough’.

Ongoing Abuses

A recent Amnesty International report confirmed that the regime has arrested more than 7,000 members of the Iranian opposition over the past year, many being charged for their affiliation to the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), the largest of the Iranian opposition groups.

Remy Pagani, a Swiss politician, opened the conference by decrying these arrests. He told those gathered that “it is time that democracy moves forward, and human rights are respected in Iran.”

An Outraged Population

The Iranian people are doing all they can to move democracy forward. Protests break out across the country daily. Most recently, Iran’s teachers demonstrated over unpaid wages and the unlawful arrests of their peers. “After 40 years of clerical dictatorship, 80 million Iranians have had enough,” former Member of the European Parliament for Scotland, Struan Stevenson said, “men and women, students, truck drivers… have taken to the streets in protest against [the] fascist mullahs’ regime.”

Aside from rampant human rights abuses, the economic decline caused by the mullahs’ mismanagement of Iran’s finances is galvanizing the population. Iran’s middle-class is shrinking. Inflation has skyrocketed. Iranian purchasing power has dropped dramatically, and many workers now struggle to make ends meet.

When Parviz Khazai addressed the conference, he criticized the mullahs’ wasteful spending that brought about the economic collapse of Iran. “The regime is at war with its own people but also at war against [the] Lebanese… it supports dictators, spending Iranian assets in the war against [the] people of the region and elsewhere,” he said.

At War With Its Own People

Khazai’s words couldn’t be more accurate. The regime has conducted a war against its own population. It is one of the most repressive states on earth and routinely tortures, hangs, and gouges out the eyes of its own population.

In 1988, the regime executed 30,000 members of the MEK and the Iranian opposition. Death squads rounded up dissidents and marched them to the gallows. Amnesty International recently released a report on the massacre, but it has been overlooked by the international community and the UN in recent years. This has been an ongoing issue, one that the Iranian opposition and their allies are calling to amend.

Taher Bumedra of the MEK said on the subject, “we hope the new rapporteur will continue to work on this issue and his next report will include this crime against humanity perpetrated by the mullahs’ regime in 1988.”

Inaction Only Emboldens the Regime

All the speakers were in agreement that inaction over the regime’s human rights abuses, including the 1988 massacre, only serves to embolden the regime and continue their crimes. Bumedra added,

“if the UN does not take action on the massacres that took place in Iran, that will encourage the regime to continue its behavior.”

Waiting for the regime to investigate itself is not an option. Many of those involved in the 1988 massacre now hold senior positions in Rouhani’s government, including the head of the judiciary, which only serves to compound the trauma the families of the 1988 victims carry with them.

Alfred de Zayas, a former UN independent expert on democracy and equitable international order, called for an investigation into the crimes. He said the “mullahs should not have impunity.”

Women Bear the Brunt of the Regime’s Crimes

Today, women are among those that suffer most under the regime. In Geneva, Simin Nouri, the President of the Association of Iranian Women in France, shed light on the plight of Iranian women. She said 30 million women across the country now live in poverty, many of which are forced to turn to prostitution to make money to survive.

Because of this, women are at the forefront of the protests against the regime. They are an integral part of the Iranian resistance. Nouri said, “regime authorities have confessed that the main triggers to protests have been women rejecting all powers in the regime and its corruption and expansionism.”

Despite routine harassment, arbitrary arrest, and torture, the brave men and women of Iran continue to take to the streets to protest this vile and abhorrent regime. Nouri called on the international community to “support morally and physically the protestors in Iran.”

Abandoning the Most Vulnerable

Among all the regime’s deplorable acts, few are as violent and merciless as its treatment of Iran’s children. Victims are executed for crimes they committed as children, under the age of 18 and public executions leave young Iranians traumatized. Sahar Sanaie drew attention to their situation. She said, “children experience daily humiliation of their mothers and other women of their family.” Schools teach young girls they are inferior.

Later in the conference, the families of those executed at the hands of the regime were given the floor. They told heart-wrenching details about how 16-year-old and 18-year-old family members were executed for nothing more than holding political beliefs that differed from those of the mullahs.

One family member, Sima Mirzaie, said, “it is 40 years that my and other families have [had] no rest. We ask the UN to bring the perpetrators to be tried. It is our legal right to know what transpired with our loved ones.”

This brutal regime cannot be permitted to carry out these crimes without consequence and punishment. It is up to all of us to be the voice of those who have been killed by the regime and add our calls to those calling on the UN to launch a full investigation into the crimes of 1988, and those more recently. Without it, Iranian families will continue to struggle, not knowing what happened to their loved ones.

Staff Writer

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Ill Political prisoners in Iran

February Report from Iran Human Rights Monitor Provides New Data on Regime’s Treatment of Prisoners and Oppressed Groups

 

Ill Political prisoners in Iran

Credit to IranHRM- Political prisoners in Iran are denied medical services, as a mean to exert more pressure on them.

Human rights situation in Iran deteriorates in February 2019. Iran Human Rights Monitor released its February report on human rights in Iran on Wednesday, March 6, 2019. The report includes data on executions, torture, denial of medical treatment, imprisonment and suppression of lawyers and human rights activists, violations of women’s’ rights, and persecution of religious and ethnic minorities. The report is summarized below:

Death penalty

  • Total executions in the months of February: at least 12;
  • Public executions: one.

The actual numbers are most likely much higher, but it is difficult to obtain accurate data because the regime carries out most of its executions in secret.

Three young men who were sentenced to death for crimes committed while they were minors face imminent execution.

Mohammad Kalhori

Mohammad Kalhori was arrested in December 2014 for the murder of one of his teachers. He was 15 years old. Kalhori has been diagnosed with several mental and emotional disorders.

His lawyers have asked for a pardon from the victim’s family, citing his lack of mental maturity at the time of the crime, due to his age. This is allowed under the rules of the presiding court in

Borujerd, Lorestan Province.

Barzan Nasrollahzadeh

Barzan Nasrollahzadeh was arrested in May 2010 in Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province by Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agents. He was 17 years old at the time of his arrest. Nasrollahzadeh was severely tortured in an MOIS detention facility for months and denied access to his family or an attorney.

Nasrollahzadeh was convicted of “enmity against God” in August 2013 and sentenced to death. His request for judicial review of his case was denied, placing him at risk of imminent execution.

Shayan Saeedpour

Shayan Saeedpour turned himself in at a police station for killing another person in a fight in August 2015. He was 17 years old at the time of his arrest. He was sentenced to death in October 2018 for first-degree murder and received 80 lashes for consuming alcohol.

Amnesty International issued a statement calling on the Iranian regime to halt the executions of all three of these young men. The statement, written by Saleh Hijazi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, read, in part, “The Iranian authorities must act quickly to save these young men’s lives. Failing to stop their execution would be another abhorrent assault on children’s rights by Iran.”

Torture,  Inhumane, or Degrading Punishment

  • Flogging sentences issued: 20
  • Flogging sentences carried out: 5

On February 8th, twenty prisoners at Gharchak Women’s Prison, including five Sufi political prisoners were sent to solitary confinement or transferred to Evin Prison after being violently attacked by prison security. The attack occurred after women in two of the wards asked that prison officials provide medical care to a fellow inmate and were denied. The women protested this neglect and were subsequently attacked.
The women were then placed in unheated cells and denied food and fresh air breaks for two days. Several of the inmates were beaten severely.

Human Rights Activists

On February 4th, regime Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani announced that there were no longer any political prisoners in Iran. This claim came after he pardoned 50,000 prisoners in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic regime’s rise to power.

Iranians on social media were quick to react to Amol Larijani’s pronouncement, noting that the Judiciary uses the term “security prisoner” in place of “political prisoner.” International human rights groups have also observed that political prisoners in Iran are generally charged with “acting against security,” most likely in order to avoid being accused of having political prisoners.

Denial of Medical Treatment To Prisoners

Mohammad Banazadeh Amirkhizi

72-year-old political prisoner Mohammad Banazadeh has been denied medical attention for a meniscus tear in his leg. The elderly man also suffers from untreated prostate issues, sleep disturbances, and memory problems.

Hassan Sadeghi

Political prisoner Hassan Sadeghi is being denied medical care that could save his eyesight. Sadeghi was tortured by intelligence agents when he was arrested, which led to a variety of injuries and illnesses. He also has glaucoma and is now in danger of losing his sight altogether.

Sadeghi also has infections in his stomach and small intestine and a gastric ulcer.

Sadeghi was arrested and tortured in 1981 for his membership in the MEK. He served six years in prison and was released. He is once again a political prisoner and still suffers from the torture that was inflicted upon him in the 1980s.

Saeed Shirzad

Saeed Shirzad has been banned from receiving urgently needed hospital care for severe damage to his kidneys. The political prisoner’s condition has deteriorated due to the lack of treatment for his condition, which requires sophisticated care in a hospital setting. Both of his kidneys are damaged, and his right kidney has shrunk by 25%. His family has paid for his hospital treatment, but regime officials have denied his request for a transfer.

Arash Sadeghi

Imprisoned human rights activist Arash Sadeghi has been denied chemotherapy or hospital treatment for a rare form of bone cancer.

Prison officials allowed him to have a tumor removed from his hand after a long delay, but they refuse to allow him to complete the cancer treatment. He also developed an infection in his hand after the surgery, which destroyed the nerves in his right hand.

Shahram Pourmansouri

Political prisoner Shahram Pourmansouri has been denied hospital treatment for spinal disk inflammation and problems with the muscles in his back. He is in urgent need of surgery to treat these problems and the resulting pain.

Hamzeh Savari

Hamzeh Savari has been denied hospital treatment for a tumor behind his right knee that is causing severe pain and is impairing his ability to walk. Doctors have said that the tumor needs to be removed to prevent further damage.

Christians

Six Christian converts were arrested during the month of February. All of the arrests occurred in the city of Rasht.

Persecution of Ethnic Minorities

Arrests of Ethnic Minorities in February:

  • Ahvazi Arabs: 70
  • Baluchis: 20
  • Kurds: 20
  • Turks: 2

Women’s Rights

The Provision of Security for Women against Violence, otherwise known as the PSW bill, was rejected by the regime’s judiciary and sent back to the regime’s parliament to be “fundamentally revised.”

The bill, which has been blocked from the passage for 13 years, would criminalize domestic violence, penalizing some violent abusers with prison sentences.

When questioned about the regime’s refusal to pass the current bill, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje’ii, First Deputy Minister and spokesman for the Judiciary Branch, replied, “The PSW bill contained numerous problems so much that it could not be reformed. The solution is to draft a totally different bill or to reform the existing bill only in collaboration with the government,” according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

Eje’ii went on to say, “One of the problems is that our general policy is de-imprisonment. In the PSW bill, however, imprisonment has been predicted as a punishment for every minor violation in this regard. And in doing so, it jeopardizes the foundations of families.”

The idea that the regime has a policy of de-imprisonment is false on its face. Iran Human Rights Monitor and MEK-Iran.com have written dozens of reports on arbitrary arrests and overcrowding in Iranian prisons. Iran is responsible for half of the world’s executions.

Eje’ii also made earlier comments claiming that the anti-domestic violence bill would not protect women, saying, “The objective of adopting this bill is to fortify the family environment so that women, spouses, and others, would feel secure in every respect. Now, the question is whether the articles contained in the PSW bill provide such security or not.”

The Judiciary’s Cultural Deputy, Hadi Sadeqi, went even further, saying, “The PSW bill against violence is apparently drafted to support women, but in essence, it strikes the greatest blow to women and families. When a woman sends her husband to jail, then that man can never be a husband for her again, and the woman must accept the risk of getting divorced in advance.”

Staff Writer

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Ebrahim Raisi

Death Committee Member Appointed as Regime Judiciary Chief

Ebrahim Raisi

Ebrahim Raisi, a mass murderer of MEK activists and political prisoners appointed as head of the Iranian regime’s Judiciary.

Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently appointed Ebrahim Raisi, a senior member of the “death committee” that sent thousands of political prisoners to their executions in the 1988 Massacre, as the new Judiciary Chief.

On Sunday Mohseni Ejei, a spokesperson for the regime’s judiciary confirmed Raisi’s appointment, and Yahya Kamalipour, a member of the Parliament’s judiciary committee said that Raisi would be officially introduced on Thursday, March 7th. Raisi will replace Sadeq Amoli Larijani as head of the judiciary. He will serve a five-year term, which may be renewed.

Raisi has received support from regime President Hassan Rouhani and his faction, which is unusual considering Rasi’s connections to Khamenei and his supporters. It is rare for the two groups to find common cause on any issue lately, but Mostafa Tajzadeh and Mahmoud Sadeghi both tweeted their support of the appointment. The same behavior was recently seen when Foreign Minister Javad Zarif resigned and then rescinded his resignation over a 24 hour period. He received support from Qassem Suleimani, the head of the Quds Force and member of a rival faction. The regime appears to have chosen to show an outward display of solidarity in the face of domestic and international crises.

Raisi’s Role in the 1988 Massacre

In the summer of 1988, Ebrahim Raisi sat on the Tehran Death Committee, along with former Minister of Justice Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi. The death committees were formed after then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the deaths of all MEK political prisoners. Raisi and the other members of the committee sentenced thousands of political prisoners, most of whom were members or supporters of the MEK, to death solely because of their political beliefs. Trials in the kangaroo court lasted only a few minutes, and anyone who refused to renounce their support for the MEK was sent to the gallows. People were hanged in groups in order to keep up with a large number of executions being carried out and then buried in mass graves. Teenagers and pregnant women were among those who were murdered by the regime.

 

More than 30,000 people were executed during a single summer in the 1988 Massacre. The perpetrators of this crime against humanity have never been brought to justice. A number of human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have called for an independent investigation to be launched and for the perpetrators to be held accountable, but this has still not occurred, and many of the criminals responsible for the murder of 30,000 innocent people have held powerful positions within the regime. Ebrahim Raisi is the only the latest war criminal to take a position of authority within the regime.

Raisi was the Deputy Prosecutor in Tehran in 1988 and has been identified by name by a number of survivors of the massacre as one of the primary people responsible for ordering the executions of MEK members. Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s former deputy, wrote about Raisi in his memoir.

Montazeri was Khomeini’s intended successor, but he was recorded objecting to the massacre in 1988 while it was going on. In the audio recording, Montazeri can he heard saying that history would condemn the mullahs for these crimes. In 2016, the audio tape was leaked by his son, and Montazeri was removed from power and placed under house arrest, where he remained for the rest of his life

Two Death Committee Members Become Chiefs of Judiciary

Pour-Mohammadi, the other death committee member who went on to become Chief of the regime Judiciary, gave an interview after the release of the Montazeri tape. He bragged about being part of the death committee, saying that he was “proud to carry out God’s will” and never lost sleep over sending thousands of people to their deaths. He also said that Montazeri’s son Ahmad committed an “act of treason” by leaking the tape and that in doing so he betrayed Khomeini, his father, and the Islamic Revolution.

Unraveling Iranian Regime’s Deeds During 1988 Massacre of MEK Activists

In the televised interview, he also said, “Well, I defended [Khomeini’s] move. We had a mission in regards to the [MEK], back when I was the Revolutionary Court prosecutor. I issued many indictments against the [MEK] and sent it to the court. Many of them were condemned, many were executed and many other verdicts.”

 

Ebrahim Raisi is the latest war criminal to attain a high-ranking position within the regime, but he is not the first. He is not even the first perpetrator of the 1988 Massacre to become Chief of the Judiciary. The families of those killed in the summer of 1988 are still waiting for an investigation into their loved ones’ murders, while those who ordered their executions are named as arbiters of justice.

Staff Writer

 

 

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