Cross-party Members of Parliament from both the UK and European countries took part in a virtual conference on Thursday, 10 September 2020, to support the global campaign to seek justice for victims of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran.
Prominent human rights lawyers, a former UN official, the UK Representative of the Iranian Resistance Movement (NCRI), European parliamentarians and dignitaries also participated in the conference, which heard testimonies from the family members of the victims of the 1988 massacre.
Speakers agreed that the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran in 1988 is an ongoing crime against humanity ordered by the highest authority in the country at the time. They also argued that the appalling human rights situation in Iran is a direct result of the failure of the international community to hold the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre to account.
Professor Sara Chandler joined the Online Parliamentary Conference by Cross-Party UK, European MPs and Prominent Jurists on 1988 Massacre in Iran. In her remarks, Ms. Chandler said, “Given there is no prospect for justice for the victims of these crimes in Iran, the international community must set up an independent investigation and make sure the families of the victims receive reparations.”
Professor Sara Chandler, Honorary QC, member of the Law Society Council and Vice President of the Federation of European Bar Associations:
I express my grave concern at the international forum’s incapacity to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice. The justice system in Iran is part of the apparatus of suppression of human rights defenders. It is legalizing the regime’s crimes.
The international legal community upholds the rule of law and ensures it is upheld in every country. This means there should be an independent judicial system. There is no independent judicial system in Iran.
There is no doubt the agonizing suffering imposed on the families of the victims violates international law. The regime is incapable of conducting an independent investigation of its own crimes. Amnesty International described this as extrajudicial killings, unlawful deliberate killing of persons by the government and with no legality.
Given there is no prospect for justice for the victims of these crimes in Iran, the international community must set up an independent investigation and make sure the families of the victims receive reparations. Those suspected of responsibility must be prosecuted. Western democracies, especially the UK, must demand this investigation at this year’s resolution on Iran in the UN. Iran must account for these crimes.