Protesters in Geneva Call for End to Three Decades of Impunity for Iran Regime’s Leaders
MEK supporters in Switzerland demonstrate outside the UN European HQ-8, November, 2019
On November 8, 2019, supporters of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), also known as the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), staged a demonstration in front of the United Nations office in Geneva, where Iran’s Universal Periodic Review was taking place.
The demonstrators also held an exhibition and portrayed the Iranian regime’s brutal crimes against political prisoners and its systematic use of execution as a tool to suppress dissent and consolidate its power.
Nov 8-Genève— Dowlat Nowrouzi (@DowlatNowrouzi) November 8, 2019
Supporters of #PMOI & families of victims #1988Massacre held an exhibition in front of UN, demanding @UN_HRC & its member states 2 hold #Iran Regime accountable 4 #CrimeAgainstHumanity, #HumanRights abuses & #NoImpunity4Mullahs as the regime undergoes #UPR34 #UPRIran pic.twitter.com/enN5bfAVlF
The organizers paid homage to the victims of Iran’s 1988 massacre and demanded that the perpetrators of this crime against humanity be brought to justice. The exhibition featured names and pictures of thousands of MEK members executed by the regime.
Laurence Fehlmann Rielle, Swiss Federal Parliament member; Alfred Zayas, former UN rapporteur and Professor of International Relations in Geneva University; Christiane Perregaux; and Daniel Neeser, priest and a longtime supporter of the Iranian Resistance, addressed the crowd.
On November 6, 2019, Amnesty International released a statement calling for the international community to “publicly condemn the deterioration in Iran’s human rights record during the country’s upcoming review session at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 8 November.”
The organization urged states taking part in Iran’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to denounce the widespread human rights violations and make concrete recommendations for the Iranian authorities to address them.
“From horrific execution rates to the relentless persecution of human rights defenders, rampant discrimination against women and minorities, and ongoing crimes against humanity, the catalog of appalling violations recorded in Iran reveals a sharp deterioration in its human rights record,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
The demonstrators pointed out that the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre actually hold top posts in the regime. Ebrahim Raisi, a member of the 1988 “death commissions,” is currently Iran’s Judiciary Chief while Alireza Avaie, another member of the “death commissions,” is currently Minister of Justice of the regime.
Bel appel à la justice ce matin à Genève sur la place des Nations pendant l'#UPRIran à l'ONU. Les Iraniens ont exhorté les pays membres à demander des comptes au régime iranien pour le #1988Massacre #NoImpunity4Mullahs @lemanbleutv @LNFlive @eric_gf @GuiChillier pic.twitter.com/ekzRyd6m8q— csdhi.org (@CSDHI) November 8, 2019
On November 4, 2019, the U.S. Department of Treasury sanctioned Ebrahim Raisi. The designation was announced by a Department of Treasury’s Press Release reading: “Previously, as deputy prosecutor general of Tehran, Raisi participated in a so-called "death commission" that ordered the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.”
The issue was also raised in a special telephone briefing of the Department of State. In the briefing a US Senior Administration Official said:
“Specifically, our actions today target, first and foremost, Ebrahim Raisi. He is the head of Iran’s judiciary and he was appointed by the supreme leader in March of 2019. When he was deputy prosecutor general of Tehran, Raisi participated in the so-called death commission that ordered the extrajudicial killings of thousands – I repeat, thousands – of political prisoners in 1988. Raisi’s oversight of the judiciary in Iran perpetuates the country’s record of barbaric human rights abuses.”
The demonstrators demanded that the Iranian regime’s officials be tried in international tribunals for their role in crimes against humanity. They also called on the international community to end three decades of impunity for the clerical regime’s leaders. They called for the referral of Iran's human rights dossier, particularly the massacre in 1988, to the UN Security Council.