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Iran’s Human Rights Situation Deteriorates in Light Int’l Community’s Inaction

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Last week, a video circulating on social media from Iran showed the regime’s State Security Forces (SSF) and the morality police under the pretext of “mal-veiling.” This incident was another example of Iran’s mounting human rights abuses under the current president Ebrahim Raisi.

According to independent human rights organizations, like the Iran Human Rights Monitor, there have been at least 38 executions in Iran. On September 29, the regime’s authorities executed Abbasgholi Salehi after twenty years in prison. There have been at least 263 executions in Iran since the beginning of 2021.

Besides executions, there has been a number of deaths under torture in the Iranian prisons in September. Amirhossein Hatami was killed under torture on September 23 in the Greater Tehran Penitentiary. Shahin Naseri, who had revealed the tortures Iran’s wrestling champion Navid Afkari endured, died under torture on September 21. According to sources close to Mr. Naseri’s family, his body showed signs of torture, and his ears were bleeding after his death.

The Iranian regime continues its human rights violations to intimidate the public and silence any voice of dissent. As the Iranian Resistance has repeatedly reiterated, this regime cannot stay in power.

However, the regime’s increasing human rights violations were widely predicted when in June 2019, the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, appointed Ebrahim Raisi as the regime’s new president.

Raisi also knows as the “hanging judge,” is one of the main perpetrators of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Raisi continued its human rights violations in the coming years since the 1988 massacre, serving as one of the top Judiciary officials. In 2019 Khamenei appointed him as the head of the Judiciary. Major Iran protests erupted in November 2019, shortly after Raisi was appointed the regime’s head of Judiciary. While over 1500 peaceful protesters were gunned down during the uprising, Raisi oversaw the torture and detention of nearly 12,000 prisoners arrested during the uprising.

Raisi, Butcher of 1988 Massacre in Iran

Amnesty International documented some of the brutal tortures the detained protesters endured in prisons since their arrest in November 2019 in a report called Trampling Humanity. Amnesty International underlined in its 2020 reports that “given the gravity of the violations perpetrated and the systematic impunity prevailing in Iran,” the “member states of the UN Human Rights Council” should mandate an “UN-led inquiry into the violations committed with a view to ensuring accountability and guarantees of non-repetition.”

Yet, the world community failed in doing so, allowing the regime to continue its crimes. The international community’s silence vis-à-vis the ongoing human rights violations in Iran fueled the systematic impunity in Iran, allowing Khamenei to appoint a mass murderer like Raisi as president in June 2019.

In reaction to Raisi’s appointment, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard said: “That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture, is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.”

Impunity continues to reign in Iran if the international community fails to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its crimes against humanity. The current crisis of impunity in Iran and the worsening human rights situation is due to the failure of the international community to act regarding the 1988 massacre when it happened. This fact was highlighted in a letter by Seven United Nations experts in December 2020, saying that “The failure of these bodies to act had a devastating impact on the survivors and families as well as on the general situation of human rights in Iran.”

The world community has a moral and legal duty to act and hold the Iranian regime accountable for its crimes. Besides, the foiled bombing of the Iranian Resistance gathering in 2018 in France shows that the Iranian regime’s crimes are not limited to its borders. Thus, acting immediately to halt Iran’s human rights violations is indeed for the benefit of all western powers.

As Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: “The international community should refer the dossier of the clerical regime’s crimes in Iran to the UN Security Council and prosecute its leaders for four decades of crimes against humanity and genocide.”