As the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) reported on September 2, Iran now has Ebrahim Raisi, an ‘international criminal’ as their new president which has sparked many calls for the United Nations to end the Iranian regime’s impunity and hold their criminals to account for their crimes against humanity.
The NCRI said, “According to detailed reports by leading human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Raisi is guilty of crimes against humanity committed in 1988, including the slaughter of thousands of political prisoners.”
33 years ago, a fatwa was issued by then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini stating that those in prison who opposed the regime’s theocracy would face a death sentence. The murder of 30,000 political prisoners, many of whom were affiliated with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), was carried out by a ‘Death Committee’, which featured Ebrahim Raisi as a central figure.
The NCRI said, “Prisons in Iran, crammed with opponents of the regime at the time, suddenly went into lockdown. All family visits were cancelled. The only permitted visitation was from a delegation, turbaned and bearded, which came in black government BMWs to outlying jails.”
A religious judge, a public prosecutor, and an intelligence chief made up the delegation of the ‘Death Commissions’ visited prisons across Iran to question the young men and women serving time about their affiliations. Those who admitted to being members of the MEK were blindfolded and line up, headed for the gallows to be hanged, while others lost their lives at the hands of firing squads.
The NCRI said, “They were hung from cranes 12 at a time from ropes at the prison assembly hall stage, called Hosseiniyeh. Their bodies were packed in refrigerated trucks and buried by night in mass graves.”
Months after the atrocities, desperate for information about their relatives, families of the victims were given plastic bags of a few possessions and told to never mourn their loved ones in public. Their request for information about the fates of their relatives was refused, and to this day, no information has ever been given about the location of the mass graves.
Despite being informed of the executions by UN rapporteur, Reynaldo Galindo Pol, who visited Iran in 1989, the United Nations turned a blind eye to the situation and never followed up with any investigations.
The NCRI said, “Sadly, the UN has failed in its duty to hold these criminals against humanity accountable. Raisi has since acted with impunity, ordering the executions of more protesters, particularly during the November 2019 uprisings.”
With Raisi’s ascent to the presidential role, the time has come for the UN and the international community to act and hold Raisi and other guilty regime officials accountable for their roles during the summer of 1988, along with other crimes against humanity.
The NCRI said, “Name them, shame them, and blame them, because, in that way, we can go on the offensive against the perpetrators of one of the worst crimes since the Second World War, one of the worst crimes against humanity, the 1988 Massacre.”