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The Free Iran World Summit 2019

Free Iran 2024 World Summit: Crimes Against Humanity and Accountability for Perpetrators – Day 3

Paris—July 1, 2024:On Monday, July 1, during the third day of the Free Iran 2024 Global Summit, a diverse group of leaders, lawmakers, judges, legal experts, and human rights activists from around the globe come together to address the human rights situation in Iran. Their discussions will particularly focus on extrajudicial executions and systematic disappearances.

The summit, which includes the participation of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), along with numerous international figures and human rights advocates, highlights the massacre of political prisoners in Iran and the ongoing systematic repression over the years.

This page will be updated with further developments of the summit.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-Elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-Elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

On this third day of the Free Iran World Summit, we extend our warmest greetings to those who have fought and sacrificed their lives to uphold human rights in Iran.

We honor those who fight and sacrifice their lives, as they face a grim reality under the rule of oppression and injustice, enduring torture, solitary confinement, and the noose. They have forsaken their own rights to help the Iranian people win theirs. We also honor those who, like yourselves, rise to defend them and all the oppressed despite all the pressures, stigmatization, and threats. The brilliant words of the great human rights martyr Kazem Rajavi will never be forgotten. He said, “We write the history of human rights with our blood.”

Iran holds a contemporary world record in many forms of repression, including the imprisonment and torture of at least 500,000 people for political reasons and the execution of more than 100,000 political prisoners. Iran also has one of the highest numbers of executions each year. Last year, three-quarters of the executions recorded globally took place in Iran.

The absence of any international accountability for these crimes has emboldened the mullahs to shed blood without hesitation throughout the past four decades. This includes the blood-drenched saga of the massacre of the people of Kurdistan, the executions of the 1980s, the 1988 massacre, the brutal crackdown on protesters in 2009, 2017-2018, 2019, and 2022, as well as a series of terrorist operations and hostage-taking of foreign nationals.

The violation of human rights in Iran under the rule of the mullahs has never been limited to isolated decisions, rulings, or laws of the regime. Its essence lies in the systematic repression of the entire society, perpetuated consistently by the regime in its entirety, from its inception until today.

Suppression and control are pervasive processes deeply entrenched in every facet of society—from schools, universities, and workplaces to administrative units, the Internet, and both urban and rural environments. According to official reports, half a million people are arrested every year, though the actual figure is believed to be at least twice more. In universities, several bodies such as Basij, disciplinary committees, Herasat, and representatives of the Vali-e Faqih closely monitor students, often resulting in suspensions, expulsions, or arrests.

In factories, workers are closely monitored from all angles. The notorious Ministry of Intelligence with its Department of Security (Herasat), the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) with its Basij paramilitary forces, the government with bodies like the “Islamic Labor Councils,” “selection nuclei,” and inspection offices, as well as the State Security Force with its special units, contribute to this pervasive environment of suppression.

Indeed, suppression has cast a wide shadow over places of work and business practices. The oppressed ethnic groups, particularly Baluch, Kurdish, and Arab communities, face even more severe oppression. Followers of other religions are imprisoned, and their places of worship are closed down. Meanwhile, impoverished individuals seeking refuge in slums around cities see their homes demolished one after another. The institutionalized suppression and brutal assault on women, along with the imposition of religious tyranny, epitomize the history and the real image of this regime. Twelve ministries and 20 security and political institutions are dedicated to suppressing women and enforcing the compulsory hijab.

The International Independent Fact-Finding Mission declared that the crackdown on the 2022 protests and the pervasive and institutionalized discrimination against women and girls, in many instances constitute crimes against humanity.

They aim to instill fear and deepen repression, countering the protests and resistance of Iranian women. But the mullahs have failed. Ultimately, the pioneering role of the PMOI and other courageous women fighters will bring down the Velayat-e Faqih regime. The Law of Criminal Punishments in this regime is a chilling testament to its disregard for human rights. Just listen to the titles of these punishments: stoning, crucifixion, throwing people off cliffs, amputation of limbs, and gouging out eyes. There are dozens of crimes punishable by death and dozens of others punishable by flogging. Similarly, laws governing the press, political parties, elections, cyberspace protection, so-called “chastity and hijab,” among others, serve as tools and instruments in the regime’s relentless suppression of a society yearning for freedom. These laws reflect the regime’s ongoing war against a determined people who seek to overthrow the criminal rule of the mullahs. And of course, the dawn of liberation is not far.

The Iranian regime boasts a staggering array of official institutions dedicated to repression. Beyond these, numerous governmental and non-governmental entities also contribute to the repression system. This includes state-run radio and television, mosques overseen by Basij or Khamenei’s purported charity organizations, and notably, the regime’s judiciary, which is completely steeped in suppression and murder.

Full speech

Former Norwegian Member of Parliament Lars Rise

Former Norwegian Member of Parliament Lars Rise

For more than 25 years, I have been working side by side and been part of the Iranian Resistance movement. During this time, I have observed substantial change which may have a global impact. The encouraging news is that we are in a much stronger state now than ever before while the regime is more vulnerable than ever before.

During these years, I have encountered a multitude of allegations against our movement since the day I first voiced my support as a Norwegian parliamentarian. These accusations have been relentless. However, my own examination of each claim has revealed them all to be baseless. These falsehoods have been propagated by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security, the MOIS. Its operatives, sometimes refugees, would come to my office in parliament wearing poor clothing and carrying some homemade leaflets claiming that they were survivors from the MEK.

All these claims have been further promoted by regime-friendly media and advocates of appeasement towards the mullahs. When lies are being repeated over and over again, in the end, they will pollute the minds of people in a way that they start to accept at least parts of these lies as documented facts in a situation with growing instability. Tehran has intensified its efforts to undermine the resistance movement, creating an illusion that regime change is impossible.

An example of the regime’s fear of the resistance is a sham trial they have set up in absentia for the leadership of the resistance and more than 100 of its members. They publicly acknowledge that they want to prevent the growing trend of young people joining the movement and also to lay the groundwork for terrorism abroad. Within Iran, the clerical regime maintains its grip through severe repression to silence any organized opposition. Nevertheless, as we have seen on the walls here, the MEK counters these tactics with resistance units. We see 20,000 of them in small, effective teams operating in neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces.

These units are crucial in sparking and sustaining protests, defying regime crackdowns, and mobilizing widespread dissidents against oppression. The regime itself acknowledges the organizational strengths of these units and their potential to influence a broader uprising. Recognizing and supporting these Resistance Units is crucial for the global community in challenging the Revolutionary Guard and advancing a free and democratic Iran.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan presents a transformative vision for Iran, addressing the oppressive, violent, and warmongering history of the mullahs’ regime over the past 45 years. The plan aims to eradicate the Shah and Mullahs’ dark legacy and pave the way for a free, prosperous, and peaceful Iran. The Ten-Point Plan is equal to the main principles of the European Convention on Human Rights. Adopting Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan is crucial for realizing the aspirations of the Iranian people.

Former French Minister of State for European Affairs Alain Vivien

Former French Minister of State for European Affairs Alain Vivien

Iran could play an important role not only within its own borders but also around the world. I am proud that this summit is taking place here. We will not bear the regime’s intervention in world affairs.

We despise the regime’s methods of using hostages as trading currency. It is regrettable that some politicians negotiate over hostages. I would like to honor the martyrs of the resistance and express respect for the jurists who are working at the international level with the resistance. The resistance should be recognized just as Britain recognized the French Resistance in the 1940s.

Former Deputy Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament Marit Nybakk

Former Deputy Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament Marit Nybakk

When I attended the Free Iran conference two years ago, I started by underlining that many people care and stand up for the Iranian people and work for a free and democratic Iran under the leadership of Madam Rajavi. And I can really, really repeat that now. I must add that the death of Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian regime’s president, in the helicopter crash on the 19th of May has escalated the international critical attitude towards Iran. The emptiness left after the helicopter crash will, I’m afraid, be replaced by a politically like-minded person.

Meanwhile, the regime continues its suppression of the people, particularly, of course, women. Iran is today ruled with strong control, even worse than ever before since the establishment of the Republic in 1979. It is difficult to see any change of regime under a strategy that involves absolute suppression, including mass torture and executions, as we’ve heard to get rid of the opposition.

The Iranian regime holds some world records. They hold the world record for public executions and death penalties. So far in 2024, Iran has executed 257 people. This follows 1864 executions in 2023 and 582 in 2022.

Furthermore, we are talking about a regime still legalizing what I call gender apartheid. It’s in the law. Over the last year, we have witnessed manifestations involving thousands of women demonstrating against the compulsory use of the hijab. In Oslo, my city in Norway, thousands of people, including a lot of women of Iranian descent, demonstrated outside the Norwegian parliament by showing their hair.

And of course, Norway gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Ms. Narges Mohammadi for her fight for women’s human rights and democracy in Iran. She could not come to Norway because she’s in prison, but her children came to Oslo from Paris to receive the prize on her behalf.

Additionally, a lot of journalists and activists have been arrested. The protests against capital punishment and the death penalty are increasing. I could add that we know that Iran probably has everything they need to produce a nuclear weapon.

But, dear friends, there is actually an alternative. The National Council of Resistance of Iran, under the leadership of Madam Rajavi, is today the most viable alternative to the current regime. The NCRI has consistently demonstrated its organizational capability, leadership, and commitment to democratic values.
The Ten-Point Plan for the future of Iran is a roadmap to a democratic society.

Gilles Paruelle, Jurist

Gilles Paruelle, Jurist

I’m really proud to be here and stand before you. We have guests who have played an incredible role. I am convinced that Iran will have no democracy unless justice is restored.

There is a policy that has been ongoing for many years. I’ve known you for 40 years. We supported you, even in times when there were very few of us. I’m delighted that today there are many of us. Be assured that different speakers justify your movement and your resistance.

As a legal expert, I want to say that justice brings democracy. In Iran, there will be no true justice until it steps away from the horrible use of foreign citizens as hostages to be traded for criminals of the regime who perpetrate terrorist attacks.

Even in 2018, after the terrorist attempt on Villepinte, the Iranian diplomat and intelligence agent that was arrested was traded for a hostage. In 2023, seven American hostages were traded with the regime. This year, Hamid Noury was traded with the regime. He was involved in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.

A French man was released a few days ago, and we have yet to learn what he was traded for. And there are more hostages held in Iran.
If we have a true justice system, we will stop this hostage-taking policy.

In 2019, it was revealed that Iran was behind two assassinations in the Netherlands. But the only response was a few financial restrictions.
And last November, there was an assassination attempt against Alejo Vidal Quadras. I should also mention that recently, there was an attempt against your people not far from here. This was the same location that was previously the target of terrorist attacks.

We need to go after the people who plotted these actions. We know who they are, but they have not been met with proper legal proceedings.
The mullahs want all of you to be eliminated. They have created a court case for 104 members of your movement. They broadcast it every Tuesday. They talk about this trial in which the defendants are absent. The regime is trying to force Interpol to issue Red Notices against these people. This is a grotesque system organized by a legal system that is neither impartial nor independent. We must react.

The legal experts here have probably read a letter by the Human Rights League. We must talk about these unjustified trials and remind everyone that the rule of law does not exist in that country.

Former President of the UN Human Rights Council Joachim Rueker

Former President of the UN Human Rights Council Joachim Rueker

I fully support the struggle for a free, democratic, and secular Iran, and that’s what we’re all here for. I also wholeheartedly support the struggle for justice for the victims of the 1988 massacres and your struggle against the regime’s ongoing and scandalous violations of human rights. This is connected to crimes, including, as the Swedish courts have recently confirmed in the case of Hamid Nuri, crimes against international law.

Moreover, the hideous Hamas attack on Israel on the 7th of October last year was an eye-opener for many regarding the true character of the regime and its IRGC, which shamefully denies Israel’s right to exist and finances Middle East terrorism through all its proxies. Therefore, I believe it is high time for the EU to list the IRGC as a terrorist organization.

Apart from that, let me also, in my capacity as former President of the UNHRC, stress that I am satisfied in general with how the UN is responding to the challenge of naming and shaming what is actually happening inside Iran. I think we have seen reasonable resolutions from the General Assembly, but in particular, of course, I think we can be very proud of the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran.

It has already been mentioned that Professor Javaid Rehman published or talked about a new landmark report in which he, according to reports, concluded that the 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoners in Iran amounted to crimes against humanity, and it is reported that he also mentioned genocide. I think this report needs to be out there for the public to see what the Special Rapporteur has found, and we are very grateful to him as it shows that the human rights special procedures are actually functioning.

Professor Rehman presented these findings at an event hosted by the organization Justice for the Victims of the 1988 Massacres in Iran in Geneva on the 19th of June 2024, on the sidelines of the ongoing 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

I also think that the international fact-finding mission on the Islamic Republic of Iran is doing a reasonable job in finding what it should find, and it is very good that the 2024 report was actually adopted. It’s very good that the mandate of this mechanism has now been extended for another year, which is very important.

I think the regime’s recent attempt to prosecute 104 exile members and leaders of the PMOI on fabricated terrorism charges is a blatant attempt to extend its suppression beyond Iranian borders, and it should be condemned by the international community.

It is very unfortunate that Hamid Nuri was actually extradited in this infamous exchange. However, we should not forget that the Stockholm sentence from the second instance of the courts was actually a very, very good development.

We should ensure and continue to demand accountability from the regime. The crimes should not go unpunished . We should extend our support for the victims and their families, and we should shine a light on ongoing abuses.

Of course, we also need a diplomatic process, and we need pressure from the international community, including, as I’ve said in the beginning, things like listing the IRGC as a terrorist group.

Dr. Mark Ellis, international criminal law expert, Executive Director of the International Bar Association

Dr. Mark Ellis, international criminal law expert, Executive Director of the International Bar Association

I want to start by emphasizing the need to remember the victims of repression, particularly Mahsa Amini and the other victims who were killed by the Iranian security forces. We shall never, and should never, forget these individuals and we should always mention their names.

Make no mistake about it: the authorities in Iran are responsible for these serious violations of international law and the deaths that have occurred time and time again in the country.

The use of unnecessary force, arbitrary detention, torture, ill-treatment, and murder are all the most egregious violations of international law.
Most importantly for me as an international lawyer is that these acts have reached the level of crimes against humanity and genocide. These are the most egregious of all atrocity crimes, and they reflect much of what’s happening in Iran.

They are part of a widespread and systematic policy and attack by the government against civilians, particularly, as we have seen, women and political activists who oppose the Government of Iran.

The Special Rapporteur, which the Ambassador mentioned, is exceedingly important in international law. This is because it sets forth that the 1988 massacre was, in fact, crimes against humanity and genocide. The importance of this is that it elevates this massacre to the level of universal jurisdiction across the world. Universal jurisdiction focuses on the most heinous crimes, and this report clarifies that the massacre reached that level of atrocity.

Under the concept of universal jurisdiction, every state has a duty and responsibility to ensure those who have perpetrated these crimes are brought to justice. Universal jurisdiction focuses on the crimes themselves.

I don’t believe that any individual who has been found guilty of atrocity crimes such as crimes against humanity and genocide should ever be part of a political bargaining chip for any matter.

Let us remember, as we go forward in this legal journey, that there is no statute of limitations for these types of crimes. We have seen recently the use of universal jurisdiction, particularly in Syria. In Syria, countries such as Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden have all used universal jurisdiction to focus attention on the atrocities committed there. The same must be done in Iran.

We are witnessing a rebirth of universal jurisdiction. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has also provided an opportunity for the international community to embrace the concept of universal jurisdiction to ensure that those who have perpetrated the most heinous crimes understand that eventually they will be brought to justice—if not today, then tomorrow; if not tomorrow, then sometime in the future. This is what’s required under international law and what we must do in focusing on the atrocities committed in Iran.

Let us reinforce our commitment as an international community to ensure that those who have committed these crimes are brought to justice. Accountability is critical. Impunity, as Madam President said, is not an alternative. Accountability must be the focus of the international community to ensure that those who committed and continue to commit crimes in Iran are eventually brought to justice. This must be our mission.

Keith Harper, former US Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council

Keith Harper, former US Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council

I’d like to see a free Iran as soon as possible. I’d like to see a democratic Iran as soon as possible. I’d like to see an Iran that does not discriminate against women and fully empowers them in their society as soon as possible.

My focus today is on the human rights situation in Iran and the gross and systematic violations that have occurred under this present regime since its inception.
For myself, I was aware of the 1988 executions and massacre, but I did not fully understand the gravity and the sheer depravity of it. And let me be clear: once I learned more about it, what became unmistakably clear was that the cruelty involved was not a byproduct. The cruelty was the point.

The cruelty was the point in the way they treated the victims, tortured them, and treated their families. The cruelty was the point because it was about breeding fear. Their goal was to silence.

And that is the story that has to be told and is being told better each day. So I welcome the efforts of those focused on bringing accountability and shining a spotlight on this incredible crime against so many for merely sharing their point of view.

Your work on this is righteous. You’re giving voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. The efforts are important for several reasons. It sends a loud and clear message that it is not too late for justice.

More people have to understand what happened, and here’s why it’s important: where there is a sheer lack of accountability for those responsible for these atrocities—and we know this is what is—there is a lack of adequate accountability. Where there is a lack of adequate accountability, there will be more crimes.

The world has watched in wonder in recent years at the courageous women and men of Iran as they have protested this regime. Understanding the 1988 massacre and the other atrocities before and since speaks volumes about the sheer bravery of these protesters. They have not been cowed by the cruelty. Their protests are knowing of the consequences they may face. That is true valor, and indeed, some have paid the ultimate price, as has been discussed earlier—a price for exercising these basic freedoms to speak their minds and to assemble with others for political purposes.

We must also recognize another obvious fact, and that is impunity for past misdeeds sets the foundation for continuing wrongdoing today. We should recognize that in recent years there have been successes in getting the word out about the massacre and the ongoing atrocities as well.

The world is taking steps to bring accountability in the face of more recent gross and systematic human rights violations in Iran. I was glad to see the Human Rights Council, on which we served, renew the mandate for the fact-finding mission, and that obviously the Special Rapporteur has played such a critical role in shining a spotlight here.

Your efforts are worthwhile. Human rights promotion is hard work. It always takes longer than we’d like. But there are myriad examples of when accountability has come. My sense is that this regime in Iran is brittle. My hope is that a free Iran occurs sooner rather than later.

Senator Michael McDonald, Canadian Senator

Senator Michael McDonald, Canadian Senator

Iran is one of the cradles of civilization, and we in the West have always appreciated the many accomplishments of Persian civilization over the centuries. We know that a free and democratic Iran would make the world a better place.

So we are gathered here for a common but noble purpose: to support those who have made it their life’s work to oppose and remove the theocratic regime that has terrorized the people of Iran, funded terrorism, and promoted instability around the globe since 1979.

Under this regime, at least 120,000 people have been liquidated for their political opposition to the government. There is little freedom for anyone, but especially for women, who are particularly singled out for unrelenting oppression. However, the Iranian people, and especially the Iranian women, have not surrendered to the oppression of the regime. Their resistance is strong and resilient. Indeed, it’s arguably stronger today than at any time since 1979. These are courageous people, and they deserve international recognition and support.

Now, it is not for the democratic world to impose its political will on Iran, but it is critically important that the international community support a viable alternative to its current regime. The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) presents a democratic and credible alternative that the freedom-loving world can and should support. For over 43 years, the NCRI has demonstrated strong leadership and commitment to democratic principles.

President-elect Rajavi’s 10-point plan offers a comprehensive roadmap for a free and democratic Iran, emphasizing fundamental rights, the equality of men and women, and peaceful coexistence with the democratic pluralist world.

Adopting this 10-point plan is essential for overcoming the destructive impact of the current regime and achieving the aspirations of the Iranian people. This program offers a pathway to a future where Iran is free, prosperous, and respectful of international norms, nurturing the potential of all its citizens.

I believe that supporting the NCRI is crucial for fostering a future where Iran can emerge as a beacon of democracy and a force for peace in the region. The hope that the NCRI represents has no equal, and the democratic world must stand with them as they lead the way to rescue Iran from the autocrats and fanatics that have done so much damage to so many for so long.

Recognizing the NCRI and rejecting all forms of dictatorship are vital steps in supporting the Iranian people’s struggle. The NCRI has received endorsements from over 200 members of the US Congress, over 500 British parliamentarians, numerous Nobel Laureates, over 3,600 parliamentarians globally, and 125 former world leaders.

So it is gratifying for me to be here this year now that my country, Canada, has finally declared the IRGC to be a terrorist entity—a development, I must add, that was considered long overdue by most thoughtful Canadians.

Canada’s designation of the IRGC as a terrorist entity is a commendable step, something the Iranian Resistance has been advocating for years. The UN, the EU, and those of our allies who haven’t yet done the same should step up and do their part as well.

Doing nothing is a form of appeasement and is indefensible when one reflects on the conduct of the Iranian government. Appeasement is never a solution to tyranny and must be studiously avoided. The regime’s increasingly advancing terrorist operations, especially in Europe, are a direct result of appeasement policies.

The attempted assassination of the former Vice President of the European Parliament, orchestrated by the Iranian regime through criminal gangs, underscores this reliance on terrorism. These incidents highlight the need to end appeasement. When countries release convicted terrorists in exchange for hostages, they reinforce the regime’s belief that they can act with impunity.

I think it is useful now to talk about President Rajavi’s 10-point plan because the principles outlined in this plan are ones that should appeal to all democratic people and societies. An Iran that is governed under such principles would surely flourish and become a leader for positive change in the world.

Sam Brownback, former US Senator, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom

Sam Brownback, former US Senator, US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom

You are not going to get peace in the Middle East with these ruling mullahs in power in Iran. It won’t happen. It will not happen with this crew that’s running Iran now. The only route forward is regime change by the people of the ruling mullahs that are in Iran today.

That’s what has to happen if we’re going to get anywhere close to peace in the Middle East. And we need, I believe, the West—the United States—needs to support these efforts of regime change by the people in Iran.

We must put maximum economic pressure on the Iranian regime. We need to put maximum political pressure on the ruling mullahs. Iran is in the axis of evil of Russia, Iran, and China. These three want to dominate the world with communism, a ruling Islamic theocracy, and autocracy. They want to replace the current open world order of freedom, democracy, and human rights with communism, autocracy, and theocracy. And we say no, we are not supportive of that change, and we will fight that change. We need to fight it now, and we need to put down this axis of evil.

If you’re a person of faith, if you’re a Muslim, the Quran says there is no compulsion in religion, and yet the Iranian regime enforces compulsion on religion every day upon the people all the time. There is no religious freedom in Iran.

A hallmark of a free society is religious freedom. The world, except Russia and China’s leaders, needs regime change by the people in Iran to end this night of terror and wrong. The free world must support a free Iran. Iran having elections now is a farce. This isn’t a free election. This is a few ruling mullahs picking candidates to put in front of the people. The people have smelled it out, and they are not participating in this election, and they shouldn’t.

The days of dictatorship in Iran are coming to an end. The people of Iran will be free. The West and the entire free world must support the tools for regime change by the people and support groups like yours that are bringing this change forward. The fire of change is burning now in Iran.

Professor Wolfgang Schomburg, a former German Federal Judge served as UN Judge for Rwanda, International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Professor Wolfgang Schomburg, a former German Federal Judge served as UN Judge for Rwanda, International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

There is no peace without justice, no justice without truth. How can we achieve these values in relation to Iran? It has become clear in these three days that there are extremely serious crimes against humanity, and according to Professor Rehman, even genocide is a proper labeling of these crimes.

It’s not only about the crimes in 1988, but there is a focus on them. We must be aware that it’s an ongoing crime. When we look at the most recent crimes and the executions following the last events dating back only two years, it becomes evident.

In this context, Amnesty International has found that in the last year, 2023, Iran had 853 executions of the death penalty. This already aligns with the mentality of the acting regime and all those against this brutal punishment. I really appreciate, Madam President, that you openly call for the abolishment of the death penalty.

We have seen in the past that where there is a political will, judges and prosecutors tend to do the necessary. What we did in the tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, we completed our mission and brought to justice high-ranking politicians and members of the military. People were indeed, as promised by international law, equal before the law. But, as I said, it’s only possible if there is a political will to establish international courts or tribunals. It’s possible to meet the minimum standards abroad while still under the pressure of the mullah regime, and it is necessary to continue with all these efforts.

The ICC is not and will not be competent, but I think why isn’t it time to establish, even by the UN, be it now the Security Council, or as it happened in the past, by the General Assembly. In the General Assembly, each country has one vote. We have more than 180 countries, and I’m pretty sure that if there were a decision by the General Assembly, there would be a vast majority in favor of an international tribunal dealing with the crimes committed on the territory of Iran.

I think we have to fight for this because how can we have peace in the area when we have not established all the underlying facts and brought justice to the area. So this would be my first recommendation. The second would be to have at least an international mechanism to save evidence for all future tribunals and courts.
There is an additional element. We should not give up immediately because there is a unique chance to get a majority in the Security Council without a veto.

Because of the death of Raisi and the election, it has attracted the attention of the media, particularly because of his responsibility in the 1988 massacre. We also have to be aware, as serious as they are, these are not crimes only inside Iran. They are crimes committed abroad. Not only the list of the 104 people of the Resistance acting against the regime, which is condemned by numerous countries already. You can be assured that we have mechanisms to stop these trials in absentia from being brought over the borders, to stop red notices, and extraditions.

There are two more present events. It is time to investigate the fundamental crimes against the interests of the international community. Actions of states are driven by their own interests. The highest interest is international trade. And what we have seen in the Red Sea is far more than the media presents today. It is an ongoing attack against international trade. There is no reason to believe that behind these acts is anyone but the mullahs’ regime in Tehran, providing weapons and financial support to these people. This should be enough for one or more countries to consider an international tribunal.

The events of October 7 require an investigation not only about the leaders of Hamas but also about how far it was supported by the regime in Tehran.
The people of Iran need desperately to see that justice is done. It can only be done by an international tribunal. If countries don’t establish an international tribunal through the United Nations, then what we need is the People’s International Tribunal for the Crimes Committed in the Territory of Yugoslavia. We have seen this as being a trigger point for the tribunal. This can help people in Iran see that justice can be done and that we do what is in our power.

Alan Dershowitz, human rights lawyer

Alan Dershowitz, human rights lawyer

The 10-point plan has all the elements of the American Bill of Rights, the Canadian Bill of Rights, the unwritten Constitution of Great Britain, and Constitutions all through Europe and South America. If the people of Iran were able to live under these ten points, they would be so grateful.

I can’t imagine anybody, an ordinary citizen of Iran, who would not accept these 10 points and would not want to live under them. It’s just an amazing agenda for real democracy and a light not only into the region but unto the world.

What we are urging and what these ten points urge is not a return to the tyrannies of the past, whether the distant past or the recent past. What we want is a future.

The past is filled with a long litany of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Iranian people, crimes against women, crimes against dissidents, crimes against children, crimes against people of every possible background.

And that has to come to an end, and it has to come to an end now. This 10-point program is a road map for the future of a free Iran. The status quo is unacceptable. It’s extremely dangerous to the world. It’s extremely dangerous to the people of Iran. We need change, and we need it now. There are two options. One option is reform. The other option is regime change. Now regime change can come from many sources. It would be far better if regime change came from within. But if it doesn’t come from within, it has to come from outside.

Let me tell you a story about what happened in the middle of the 1930s. As you know, the Nazis came to power, and the British and the French considered what to do when the Nazis violated the Versailles Treaty. And this is what Goebbels, the head of propaganda for the Nazis, wrote in his diary. He said in 1933 a French premier ought to have said, and if I had been the French premier, I would have said, “The new Reich Chancellor, Hitler, is the man who wrote ‘Mein Kampf,’ which says this and that. The man cannot be tolerated in our vicinity. Either he disappears, or we march.” But they didn’t do it. They left us alone and let us slip through the dangerous zone, and we were able to go around all the dangerous reefs.

I hope and pray that someday a mullah will not write that in his diary, saying there was an opportunity for outside forces, for international courts, for the United States, for others to bring about regime change because the current regime is intolerable. But they didn’t do it, and look at the result. None of us can predict the result.

Imagine how much more difficult it is to predict whether or not Iran would use a nuclear arsenal against any countries in the region or against even countries outside the region. It’s impossible to predict that. They’ve certainly said they would use it against at least one country. In fact, one of the leaders of Iran some years ago said, “If we develop a nuclear bomb and we hit Israel, which is a one-bomb state, they will retaliate and from Tehran, they will kill 10 million Muslims, we will kill 3 million Jews,” he said. “But the trade-off would be worth it because the Jewish state would have been decimated, and Islam would still survive.”

Can you allow people who have that attitude to have access to nuclear weapons? Of course not. And so there must be regime change. There must be, not only for the sake of the Iranian people but for the sake of the region, for the sake of world peace, for the sake of basic decency. The world cannot tolerate in 2024 the mullahs of Iran any more than the world should have tolerated in 1933, 1934, and 1935 the Nazis of Germany.

We don’t know what a nuclear-armed Iran would do, but we have to base our decision on the possibilities inherent in giving people and regimes and extremists of that kind access to nuclear weapons, which they can then give to their surrogates because Iran operates through surrogates now.

I really do think that a case should be opened by the International Criminal Court against the mullahs of Iran, naming specifically people who were involved in decisions to commit genocide, to commit war crimes, to commit acts of aggression against other countries. And the number one thing, Iran cannot claim complementarity.

The International Criminal Court has a concept called complementarity, that is, you can’t investigate a country if that country has the willingness and the ability to investigate itself and to bring legitimate charges against people in its own country who have violated the international laws of war.

Iran could never satisfy that test of complementarity because it has no judicial system, it has no legal system, it has no due process. There’s no possibility that the mullahs would ever be put on trial, no matter how many horrible things they’ve done. The best proof is they’ve done all these horrible things, and they have never been put on trial.

The question is appeasement, and that’s what we’re doing today. Our government, the United States government, is appeasing Iran. It is not implementing the sanctions. It is not putting pressure on Iran, either domestically or internationally. And so it’s so important to up the pressure legally, economically, politically, diplomatically. You know, I’m often asked, am I a pessimist or an optimist about Iran and about the world in general? Because the world is in a very dangerous situation today.

I think things can get worse. If Iran is permitted to develop a nuclear arsenal, things will get worse. It’s spreading terrorism around the world. The same is true of other countries. But Iran has as a religious principle, the idea that it has to spread its terrorism. It is the greatest exporter of terrorism in modern times. So unless things change, unless we absolutely devote ourselves to ending this horrible regime and bringing real democracy, real democracy—the 10-point program democracy—to the people of Iran.

Ambassador Zorica Maric-Djordjević, Former Special Representative of Montenegro at UNHCR

Ambassador Zorica Maric-Djordjević, Former Special Representative of Montenegro at UNHCR

As a daughter of a political prisoner, I bonded with all of you last year during the Free Iran rally. How does it feel when the system manages to make our loved ones, our political prisoners, invisible? How can the world understand our experience—the threats at school and the office, the stigmatization and mistreatment of our prisoners, their torture and isolation, and sudden execution?

Dear sisters and brothers in Iran, political prisoners, you are not alone. We hear you loudly, and we take your resistance and messages seriously. We stand with you.

The passing of Ebrahim Raisi and the subsequent elections have deepened the existing ruptures in the regime. The people are prepared for freedom, not just a change of dictators. I strongly believe that the NCRI can bridge this gap. This coalition represents the genuine aspirations of the Iranian people for a secular and pluralistic Iran. Madam Rajavi presents a 10-point plan and a transformative vision to address the violence of the mullahs’ regime over the past 45 years.

Make no mistake, the people of Iran are chanting for democracy and equality, but not for the return of the oppressive monarchy. Dear friends, the heart of the resistance in Iran is women, and we have among us the best of them—the leader of NCRI, Madam Rajavi. Madam Rajavi, thank you for your leadership. Thank you for the hope you bring to the Iranian people every single day.

What are my takeaways from this summit? First, supporting the NCRI as the legitimate alternative to Iran’s current regime. Second, it is time for the international community to stop giving opportunities to the fascist leaders of Iran. We need to stop the policy of appeasement, and we need global support for a free Iran now. We need a campaign against the impunity of the religious terrorists in Tehran.

Stanislav Pavlovschi, Former Minister of Justice of Moldova, Judge at the European Human Rights Court

Women continue to face discrimination in Iran, including the mandatory dress code. According to the UN, at least 834 citizens were executed this year. International observers question the legitimacy of the judicial system. It is troubling that the previous head of the judiciary was a member of a death commission in Tehran during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.

Defendants in Iran have no opportunity to defend themselves. Human rights groups note the absence of procedural safeguards in criminal trials, where confessions obtained under torture are broadcast on television.

Last summer, the regime conducted a sham trial for 104 members of the democratic opposition. The judge began by declaring them terrorists, effectively passing judgment before the trial began. International lawyers were barred from entering Iran to defend the dissidents.

The regime pursues Interpol Red Notices for dissidents to extradite them to Iran. Any judicial process must adhere to the presumption of innocence and ensure access to legal representation. The regime’s actions extend its crackdown on dissidents beyond its borders. I urge all judicial bodies to reject the outcomes of such sham trials.

The human rights abuses by the Iranian regime are extensive and demand immediate action from the international community. We are in the 21st century, where every individual is entitled to dignity and prosperity. It is time for the Iranian people to demand their rights. The true source of power lies with the people, and the state belongs to them. You have the right to reclaim your state.

Dainius Puras, Special Rapporteur on the right of attainable physical and mental health

Dainius Puras, Special Rapporteur on the right of attainable physical and mental health

As a medical doctor and human rights advocate, and former UN Special Rapporteur, I emphasize that the right to health is an economic and social right that intersects with political and civil rights. Authoritarian regimes often disregard these fundamental rights.

The global community must intensify efforts to address the ongoing tragedy in Iran. Authorities must be held accountable for their crimes, including those committed during the 1988 massacre. The suppression of democracy and civil society undermines the health and well-being of all Iranians.

During my tenure as Special Rapporteur, I highlighted the case of Maryam Akbari Monfared, a young mother of three daughters who remains imprisoned for filing a complaint regarding the execution of her older brother and sister during the 1988 massacre. Prison authorities have unjustly linked her release to withdrawing her complaint.

Conditions in Iran are deteriorating, with alarming statistics such as 1,877 executions during Ebrahim Raisi’s tenure and 750 deaths during the 2022 protests, including women and children.

The regime in Iran also abuses psychiatry, using diagnoses like “antisocial personality disorder” to stigmatize civil disobedience. Misuse of psychiatry for political and religious reasons can have severe and lasting negative consequences.

Despite these grave violations, the international community’s response has been disappointingly muted. It is tragic that such human rights abuses are carried out under the guise of medicine and psychiatry, forcing doctors into a position of dual loyalty, where they may be coerced to harm their patients.

I fully endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the recent landmark report by Professor Javaid Rehman, the Special Rapporteur on Iran. I stand in solidarity with the families in Iran who are seeking justice and accountability for these egregious human rights violations.

Paolo Casaca, former MEP from Portugal

Paolo Casaca, former MEP from Portugal

I am confident that Madam Rajavi will lead the liberation of the Iranian people. Her leadership and dedication deserve commendation and support from all who value freedom and democracy.

The Iranian people have shown immense courage in resisting Iranian fascism, as evidenced by their rejection of the recent presidential charade. I applaud the prisoners in Evin Prison who refused to participate in this charade despite facing reprisals from the regime. It is crucial for the international community to exert pressure on the Iranian regime to cease its harassment of these prisoners.

Today, our focus must be on legal and human rights issues, which are fundamental. The institutional pillar provided by the UN Special Rapporteurs is critical in addressing these issues. Iran has been fortunate to have exceptional rapporteurs such as Ahmed Shaheed, Asma Jahangir, and Javaid Rehman, who bravely exposed the genocide of 1988. Professor Rehman’s recent report is an outstanding piece of work and serves as a cornerstone in the international effort against the Iranian regime.

It is important to recognize the regime’s tactics, including outsourcing criminal activities to drug gangs to target its opponents and spreading disinformation through pseudo-independent organizations. We must be vigilant and prepared to confront these challenges in our support for the Iranian opposition.
In conclusion, we must remain steadfast and determined. We will overcome these challenges, and together, we will achieve a free Iran.

International Jurist Dr. Juan Garcés

International Jurist Dr. Juan Garcés

I am moved by this meeting. I would like to comment on two points from yesterday’s intervention by Mrs. Rajavi. In 1943, the heads of state from the US, Britain, and Russia went to Tehran to make an agreement that became the basis of the current world order. One of the agreements was for nations to be independent.

I want to pay tribute to Dr. Mossadegh. Ten years after this meeting, he made an intervention that changed the world. We don’t know what would have been the future of Iran without this intervention. The consequences are still present today.

Another international conference took place in Tehran in 1968. If you read the minutes of this conference, you will find the roots of the Ten-Point Plan of Mrs. Rajavi. Its roots are in the 1968 conference in Tehran. It was that generation that rose against dictatorship in Iran in 1979.

I have the pleasure of searching for a tribunal court. The principles exist. The Nuremberg trial, the convention against genocide, the agreements against war crimes. But where is the court of justice where we can enforce these laws on those who violate them? I did some research and the Spanish court, based on the principle of Universal Jurisdiction, accepted the complaint against Iraqi forces who committed war crimes against Iranian refugees in 2011.

This evidence was gathered and the court found on June 15, 2015, that this evidence constituted a crime against the international community, including 11 crimes of murder, 400 crimes of serious injury, and 35 crimes of illegal detention and torture. Those facts stemmed from July 28, 2009, by 2000 soldiers of the Baghdad Scorpion Brigade and the anti-riot police in a planned action under the command of an army general.

The Spanish court spoke to the Supreme Court in Spain asking for authorization to continue the investigation in Iraq. The question was raised whether the context of what happened in Iran contained elements of genocide given the component of the nationality and religion of the victims. At that moment, an international factor intervened. Three foreign powers intervened and pressured the executive branch of Spain to change the international law and prevent the court from prosecuting the crime unless the perpetrator was in Spanish territory. This meant that if those people entered Spain tomorrow, the case would be reopened.

This is an example of the way those binding standards can be applied when the political circumstances allow and how they are suspended when political circumstances don’t allow it. We are in a difficult international context, but the crimes committed in Iran could one day meet justice where those responsible can be judged. There is also a positive element that happened a few months ago.

The International Court of Justice accepted a request to open an investigation into the genocide happening in the territory of Palestine. Therefore, war crimes and genocide are currently at the highest levels of international justice. The crimes in Iran don’t have a statute of limitation until international circumstances allow us to reopen the case. Meanwhile, we must gather evidence to be able to one day present it in court. Those crimes are so serious that the law evolves, and I wish that one day Iranians will get justice.

Dr. Valeriu M. Ciucă, former Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union

Dr. Valeriu M. Ciucă, former Judge at the Court of Justice of the European Union

Based on the model of ex-Yugoslavia and Rwanda, I hope this kind of court is created for the crimes in Iran. Many hide behind this justification that their countries are not part of the International Criminal Court.

We, Romanian legal experts, support this model. In the future, we will probably be proven right. My message today is in two sentences: a democratic state and moderation in virtue. It’s an honor to be here today among esteemed defenders of freedom.

We stand in solidarity with the people of Iran who want their rights. The situation in Iran is critical. In the past 30 days, the regime has executed at least 100 prisoners, a testament to its lack of respect for human rights and human life. These are not statistics; they are mothers, sons, and brothers, who had hope for a better future.

We are here to be the voice of those who have been silenced and to amplify the cry for justice in the streets of Iran. We stand by their side in their quest for democracy and freedom. Despite severe repression, arbitrary arrests, and executions, the people of Iran continue to protest for their rights. It is our responsibility as members of the global community to hold the regime of Iran accountable. To achieve this, we need five things from the perspective of legal experts.

Firstly, international justice. I believe the best way for justice is to create an ad-hoc international court for the regime’s crimes against the opposition and protesters.

Secondly, we must raise awareness and shed light on the atrocities committed by the Iranian regime through media, social networks, and public discourse.

Thirdly, governments and international organizations must take a firm stance against the human rights abuses of the regime, including through targeted sanctions.

Fourthly, we must promote democratic values through education and cultural exchanges so that we can find a deeper understanding of democratic principles in Iran.

The situation of the Iranian people is not only an Iranian issue. It’s a global situation. This is a global problem. As long as part of our world suffers from tyranny, we are all not free. Let’s make sure the sacrifices of those who fight for freedom are not in vain.

Amineh Qaraee, PMOI Supporter

Amineh Qaraee, PMOI Supporter

When I was 16 years old, I was standing in the cemetery, thinking about the many who were executed in 1988. I remember the pain of mothers and fathers. When I was one year old, my father was arrested for supporting the PMOI. A few months later, I was arrested with my mother. I walked among tortured prisoners. These were my mother’s friends, and teenage girls being taken for execution. Two of my friends were pregnant when they were executed.

When I was five years old, my parents were finally released from prison. When I was six years old, my father was arrested again because he had a phone call with a supporter of the PMOI. Two years later, in the summer of 1988, I was standing in front of the prison. My father was banned from visits. For three months, I stood there and was given no answer. Then they called my grandfather and told him my father was executed without saying where he was buried.

What have you done to our loved ones? What did they want other than freedom, equality, and prosperity for all? Today, I stand here next to the proud PMOI organization. The same resistance is the most important red line for the regime. Despite all the executions, conspiracies, and attacks, it stands proudly on the side of the people and history to overthrow the mullahs’ regime. We will not surrender to any dictator, whether the shah or the mullahs.

This is the same resistance whose resistance units will not let the flames of the uprising and desire for freedom be extinguished. The price of appeasement is being paid by the best children of Iran. The same ones who free the murderers of the Iranian people and don’t respect their own human rights. Shame on anyone who adds a second to the disgraceful life of this murderous regime. We will neither forget nor forgive the accomplices of this regime.

I swear that the highest honor of my life is to know the PMOI, the flag bearers of the justice movement, who will not let the blood of the martyrs of freedom be in vain or be wasted by appeasement.

Former Argentinian MP Mariana Stilman

Former Argentinian MP Mariana Stilman

It’s a huge privilege to be here for the Free Iran Summit. The regime plans to attack the democratic world and expand fundamentalism. It is our goal to address this issue. The international community will work on this. This year is a great year for us.

We must support the people of Iran, especially the women. All of us have been victims of fundamentalism. We also experienced a great dictatorship in Argentina, which tortured people. After 40 years, we can say “down with the dictatorship.” Women are the protagonists who suffer from the torture of the dictatorship. Their children are also the victims of the repression of the regime.

Women cannot have leadership roles in Iran. Their human rights are being violated. We have to eradicate the application of the death penalty. I would like to affirm that I stand with Maryam Rajavi’s Ten-Point Plan and support democracy in Iran.

Former Chief of UN Human Rights Mission in Iraq, JVMI co-founder Tahar Boumedra

Former Chief of UN Human Rights Mission in Iraq, JVMI co-founder Tahar Boumedra

The first perpetrator of the extralegal and extrajudicial executions that took place in 1988 against political prisoners was held accountable in Stockholm under universal jurisdiction. It’s a victory.

Do not ever think that sending or bargaining, negotiating with the Iranian regime and sending Hamid Nouri back to Iran is a loss or a defeat. No, it’s another success. In fact, we achieved two victories for the price of one.

We have a judicial decision condemning Hamid Nouri to life imprisonment for his crimes under international law. And the second victory is that we have revealed the kind of appeasement that governments are prepared to engage in.

The same thing happened in Belgium. A terrorist was condemned to 20 years in prison, but there were negotiations and Assadi was sent back to Iran. Here again, we got two victories for the price of one because, on one hand, Assadi was condemned by an independent court of law, and on the other hand, we have discovered the kind of political deals governments are prepared to make.

Now I am one of those people who has benefited a lot from the contributions of the European Union for the promotion and protection of human rights. But when I see these kinds of practices by governments, I get disappointed.

I’m very disappointed in the sense that independent courts of law make these kinds of judgments, and then the governments undermine their own judicial system.

First of all, they undermine their own legal system, the judicial system, and also they spend taxpayers’ money to send back criminals, condemned criminals, back to Iran.

We need to celebrate these victories and we need to keep in mind that the MEK has never lost a case before a court of law.
In America, in the United Kingdom, in Europe, everywhere, it was always a judicial decision that cleared them.

So today we see Nouri and Assadi going back to Iran. That’s not a defeat. They were sent back as criminals condemned by an independent court of law, and they were sent back to Iran because of political deals.

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