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UN Expert Calls for Investigation Into Iran’s 1988 Massacre and Raisi’s Role

UN Agrees to Extension on Iran Special Rapporteur's Mandate

Days after the Iranian regime’s sham presidential election calls for holding the mullahs’ new president, Ebrahim Raisi, accountable for his involvement in human rights abuses have amplified. These calls have reached a new point with Mr. Javaid Rahman, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, called for an international investigation into the 1988 massacre of political prisoners and Raisi’s role in this crime against humanity.

According to Reuters, “The U.N. investigator on human rights in Iran has called for an independent inquiry into allegations of state-ordered executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988,” and the role played by “Ebrahim Raisi as Tehran deputy prosecutor.”

“Javaid Rahman, in an interview with Reuters on Monday, said that over the years, his office has gathered testimonies and evidence. It was ready to share them if the United Nations Human Rights Council or other body sets up an impartial investigation,” Reuters report read.

While asking Raisi to investigate the massacre, Mr. Rahman underlined that “we will have very serious concerns about this president and the role, the reported role, he has played historically in those executions.”

“We have made communications to the Islamic Republic of Iran because we have concerns that there is again a policy to actually destroy the graves or there may be some activity to destroy evidence of mass graves,” Javid Rahman said, according to Reuters.

Raisi continued human rights violations during his time as the regime’s Judiciary Chief. In his first interview after the sham election, Raisi defended his dark history of human rights violations.

“If a judge, a prosecutor has defended the security of the people, he should be praised … I am proud to have defended human rights in every position I have held so far,” he said.

In September, Mr. Rahman and six other UN experts published a letter sent earlier to the Iranian regime in 2020, underlining that the 1988 massacre “may amount to crimes against humanity.”

In the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out based on a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini.

Raisi played a key role in the 1988 massacre as one of the members of the so-called “death commission” responsible for deciding the fate of prisoners. Most of the 1988 massacre victims were members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

The Iranian regime has no intention of investigating the 1988 massacre, as it has appointed Raisi as the new president. Asking the regime to investigate the massacre is like asking an arsonist to put out the fires. The regime has been recently destroying the mass graves of the 1988 victims.

Before Mr. Rahman, Amnesty International urged the international community to investigate Raisi’s role in the 1988 massacre.

“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,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard in a statement on June 19.

As the Iranian Resistance has long said, the international community should end the regime’s systematic impunity by probing human rights violations in Iran, mainly the 1988 massacre.

“The impunity of Khamenei and other regime officials must end. Khamenei and Raisi, and many other officials of this regime have all been involved in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. They must face justice for committing crimes against humanity.” Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of NCRI, tweeted on June 26, 2021.