At least 33 people have been executed in Iran within the last 30 days. The Iranian regime’s authorities continue their killing spree, enjoying what seems to be systematic impunity. This figure does not include prisoners secretly executed and whose identities are not known.
In another development, Hadi Rostami, sentenced to finger amputation, committed suicide in Urumaiah prison on January 18. Last November the regime’s court in Urumaiah issued this medieval verdict.
Despite global condemnations, the regime continues issuing harsh and inhumane sentences and its officials defend these inhumane methods.
“The Global Arrogance [international community] monitors Iran [regime] regarding [hand amputation] and questions the implementation of Islamic codes and has tightened the hands of judges. But the sentence of amputation must be carried out for the thieves so that these criminals will stop their evil deeds,” Entekhab daily wrote on January 05, quoting Mousavi Largani, Member of the Presidium of the regime’s Majlis [parliament].
Inmate Hadi Rostami, the 4 fingers of whose right hand are due to be amputated, attempted suicide on Jan. 18, by swallowing glass splinters. He did so in protest to being detained in a high security ward in the Central Prison of Urmia, NW #Iran. He has been taken to hospital. pic.twitter.com/fEvykC0x8G
— IRAN HRM (@IranHrm) January 20, 2021
The so-called “moderate” president, Hassan Rouhani, has over 4,000 executions on his record since he assumed office in 2013, including 111 women.
Rouhani’s current and former Justice Ministers, Alireza Avaii and Mostafa Pourmohammadi, respectively, along with the current Judiciary Chief, Ebrahim Raisi (aka hanging judge), are the main perpetrators of the 1988 massacre. Over 30,000 political prisoners were massacred in the summer of 1988. At the time world leaders and the international organizations such as the United Nations chose not to react to the massacre and only expressed “concerns.”
Thirty years later, seven UN experts in a letter underlined the 1988 massacre “may amount to crimes against humanity,” highlighting however that since the massacre, the perpetrators of this massacre enjoyed a “systematic impunity.”
They highlighted how “Media outlets in Iran frequently publish distressing statements from high-level officials glorifying the executions and describing the perpetrators as ‘national heroes’ and call any public criticism or documentation of the killings as support for terrorism.”
The human rights experts also criticized how the world community’s failure to “act” has had “a devastating impact on the survivors and families as well as on the general situation of human rights in Iran and emboldened Iran to continue to conceal the fate of the victims and to maintain a strategy of deflection and denial that continue to date.”
In December 2020, the European Union approved its new global sanctions regime against human rights violators and underlined that upholding “the universality and indivisibility of human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for human dignity’ is one of the core principles of the EU’s external policy.”
But when it comes to Iran, with its record-holder regime in terms of executions per capita, the EU’s external policy’s core principles seem to change, and they have always prioritized their economic interests over their human rights standards.
While the EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, on December 10, urged EU members to go “beyond condemnations” and take action against human rights violations, he was scheduled to jointly chair a business forum with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on December 12.
This event was canceled due to the execution of Ruhollah Zam, a French resident. The organizers underlined they are looking forward to holding another forum in the near future with Tehran. Thus, they confirmed parallel to the regime’s persistence on human rights violations, the EU leaders persist in appeasing the ruling theocracy in Iran.
Rouhani later confirmed this fact, saying Zam’s execution would not affect the regime’s relationship with the EU.
The EU has always expressed concerns about the human rights violations in Iran, but Rouhani’s remarks suggest that the EU’s lack of action has made those probably genuine concerns worthless.
EU leaders should end their wrong approach toward the regime in Tehran. The Magnitsky Act allows the EU to apply sanctions when governments commit “genocide; crimes against humanity; torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; slavery; extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and killings; enforced disappearance of persons; and arbitrary arrests or detentions.”
The Magnitsky Act allows the EU member states to apply sanctions “in the event of other violations if they are widespread, systematic or otherwise of serious concern, in view of principles, such as respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”
The UN experts’ letter called the 1988 massacre “crimes against humanity” and a clear sign of extrajudicial executions and forced disappearance. Many international organizations such as Amnesty International and even the regime’s state-run media have confirmed systematic human rights abuses in Iran.
Thus, the EU has this momentum to act and for once go “beyond” verbal condemnation of the Iranian regime and use the Magnitsky Act and impose sanctions on the Iranian regime and its authorities.
All relations with Tehran must be contingent on an absolute halt of human rights abuses.