Just days after the Iranian election, which saw Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi named as the new president, calls to hold him accountable for his role in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners and other human rights abuses have grown louder.
The most recent (and loudest) call came from United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran Javaid Rehman, who made the case for an international investigation into the massacre when he spoke to Reuters on Monday, June, 29.
He advised that his office has gathered evidence on the massacre and is ready to share them with the United Nations Human Rights Council or any other body that wishes to launch an impartial investigation.
Rehman said: “We will have very serious concerns about this president and the role, the reported role, he has played historically in those executions… We have made communications to the Islamic Republic of Iran because we have concerns that there is again a policy to actually destroy the graves or there may be some activity to destroy evidence of mass graves.”
He previously, alongside six other UN experts, wrote to the regime about the needed investigation into the massacre and, when the mullahs didn’t reply, published the letter. Of course, the regime was never going to investigate the massacre, which is why Raisi was made president and why they continue to destroy the mass graves of the victims.
Of course, it is not just the massacre that Raisi is responsible for. As Judiciary Chief, he was involved in the violent crackdown on the November 2019 protests, which involved the murder of 1,500 protesters and the arrests of thousands more. Also, since the election, he has defended the regime’s human rights violations and his role.
Amnesty International also called on the international community to investigate the massacre.
On June 19, AI Secretary General Agnès Callamard wrote: “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.”
So what should the international community do? Well, they should investigate human rights violations in Iran, as Resistance leader Maryam Rajavi has noted.
She tweeted on June 26: “The impunity of Khamenei and other regime officials must end. Khamenei and Raisi, and many other officials of this regime, have all been involved in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. They must face justice for committing crimes against humanity.”