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Who Is Ebrahim Raisi: Raisi’s Role in Iran’s Death Commissions

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On June 18, 2021, the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei pulled Ebrahim Raisi out of the ballot box as the regime’s next president. Raisi is a notorious criminal. He has held top positions in the regime’s oppressive apparatus. Most importantly, he was one of the key members of the “Death Commissions” during the 1988 massacre 

In 1988, the Iranian regime’s then-Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a religious decree or fatwa, ordering the mass execution of all political prisoners. Shortly after, the “Death Commissions” were formed in more than 70 cities. These “Death Commissions” implemented Khomeini’s fatwa. In a matter of a few months, more than 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members and supporters of the main opposing group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), were executed. 

Khomeini’s fatwa in 1988

The “Death Commissions” were compromised of a judge, Intelligence Ministry representatives, and Prosecutor. Some of these “Death Commissions” had substitute members, including the local or provincial prison chief. 

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran’s (PMOI/MEK) latest list about the “Death Commissions” includes 86 members forming 35 commissions across Iran. These include commissions in 12 provinces, nine provincial capitals, and 13 towns and officials of urgent trials in western Iran. At the time of the executions, Iran was broken into 24 provinces. Therefore, the latest list includes half of the commissions in half the provinces at that time.  

Raisi played one of the main roles in the bloodbath of religious fascism at the age of 28 as a member of the 1988 Death Commission. Some of the survivors of the executions have narrated that they saw Ebrahim Raisi in the corridors and torture chambers of the prison while he was working on the execution cases without religious clothes or a turban and clad, wearing comfortable clothes. 

Who is Ebrahim Raisi, a candidate in Iran presidential election and an executioner in 1988 massacre

On January 1, 1989, after being convinced of Raisi’s brutality as Deputy Prosecutor of Tehran, Khomeini selected him to be in a two-member delegation alongside the Nayyeri. The two were tasked with issuing death sentences and ordering amputation of limbs to increase repression “regardless of the administrative difficulties.” 

Khomeini’s order: 

“His excellency, Hojjat al-Eslam Mr. Nayyeri, 

Since I have received numerous reports of the weakness of the judiciary, and the honorable and committed people of Iran expect a more serious approach to various issues, Your Excellency and Hojatoleslam Raisi will be given a judicial mission to investigate the reports from the cities of Semnan, Sirjan, Islamabad, and Doroud, and to carry out what is God’s command in these cases, regardless of the administrative difficulties. May peace be with you. 

January 1, 1981, Ruhollah Khomeini” 

The facts mentioned above are just part of Raisi’s dark record of human rights violations. His role in the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly the MEK members, and his cruelty was the main reason for Khamenei to appoint him as the regime’s new president. 

The international community should not stay silent. Raisi does not represent the Iranian people. He represents Iran’s murderous regime and should be held to account for his crimes.