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Iran: UK Parliamentarians Pose Parliamentary Questions About The 1988 Massacre

Several UK Parliamentarians posed 20 parliamentary questions to the British Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary about the need for the British government to recognize the 1988 massacre in Iran as a crime against humanity.
In the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime summarily and extra-judicially executed over 30,000 political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out based on a religious decree by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini.
In 236 words, Khomeini signed the death sentences for all prisoners supporting the main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK):
“Those who are in prisons throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for the [PMOI/MEK] are waging war on God and are condemned to execution…”
The UK parliamentarians called on the British government to recognize the massacre as a crime against humanity. They also asked for an independent UN fact-finding mission to investigate the perpetrators of this massacre justice.

David Jones, the first Secretary of State for Wales and former Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union, posed several parliamentary questions.

Also, Bob Blackman, a Conservative MP and co-chair of the International Committee of Parliamentarians for a Free Iran, and many other MPs posed the following parliamentary questions:

Bob Blackman
Conservative
Harrow East
House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the UN on launching an inquiry into the (a) 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners and (b) Government of Iran’s implementation of calls in the UN General Assembly Human Rights Council resolution 43/24 for justice and accountability for serious human rights violations in that nation.

James Cleverly
Conservative
Braintree
House of Commons

Answered on 15 September 2021
The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. The UK has designated Iran as a human rights priority country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session.
We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988. Meanwhile, we have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present.
We are in regular contact with the Iranian Government and expect to engage with President Raisi on a number of issues now he has taken office, including human rights. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course and commit to improving human rights in Iran.

Bob Blackman
Conservative
Harrow East
House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will (a) recognise the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran as a crime against humanity and (b) assist people who are being persecuted for seeking justice and the truth about those extrajudicial mass executions.

James Cleverly
Conservative
Braintree
House of Commons

Answered on
15 September 2021
The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. The UK has designated Iran as a human rights priority country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session.
We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988. Meanwhile, we have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present.
We are in regular contact with the Iranian Government and expect to engage with President Raisi on a number of issues now he has taken office, including human rights. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course and commit to improving human rights in Iran.

Bob Blackman
Conservative
Harrow East
House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he or officials in his Department have made of any historic involvement of Iran’s president, Ebrahim Raisi, in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran; and whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of a UN inquiry into that matter.

James Cleverly
Conservative
Braintree
House of Commons

Answered on 15 September 2021
The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. The UK has designated Iran as a human rights priority country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session.
We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988. Meanwhile, we have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present.
We are in regular contact with the Iranian Government and expect to engage with President Raisi on a number of issues now he has taken office, including human rights. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course and commit to improving human rights in Iran.

Mr. David Jones
Conservative
Clwyd West
House of Commons

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the report of the United Nations’ Secretary-General on the human rights situation in Iran published on 4 August 2021.

James Cleverly
Conservative
Braintree
House of Commons

Answered on 15 September 2021
The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988 and those mentioned in the UN Secretary General’s most recent report.
The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course. That includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

Mr. David Jones
Conservative
Clwyd West
House of Commons

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take to help ensure compliance by Iran with the recommendations of the UN Secretary-General’s report on the human rights situation in that country, published on 4 August 2021.

James Cleverly
Conservative
Braintree
House of Commons

Answered on 15 September 2021
The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988 and those mentioned in the UN Secretary General’s most recent report.
The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course. That includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

Mr. David Jones
Conservative
Clwyd West
House of Commons

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take in response to the recommendation by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran for an independent inquiry into allegations of state-ordered executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 and the alleged role played by members of the current Iranian government.

James Cleverly
Conservative
Braintree
House of Commons

Answered on 15 September 2021
The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988 and those mentioned in the UN Secretary General’s most recent report.
The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course. That includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

Henry Smith
Conservative
Crawley
House of Commons

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Affairs, whether he plans to use UK’s Global Human Rights sanctions regime against (a) Ebrahim Raisi and (b) other members of the Iranian Government in response to human rights violations in Iran.

James Cleverly
Conservative
Braintree
House of Commons

Answered on 16 September 2021
Iran is a Human Rights Priority Country for the FCDO. We regularly raise human rights with the Iranians at all levels and take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor record. It would not be appropriate to speculate which individuals may be designated under the Global Human Rights sanctions regime in the future. To do so could reduce the impact of designations.

Baroness Eaton
Conservative
Life peer
House of Lords

 

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on 17 December 2020 calling on the government of Iran to investigate past and current human rights violations in the country.

Dr. Matthew Offord
Conservative
Hendon
House of Commons

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a UN-led inquiry into the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran following representations by the Prime Minister of Slovenia and UN special rapporteurs seeking the establishment of that inquiry.

James Cleverly
Conservative
Braintree
House of Commons

Answered on 21 September 2021
The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988.
The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course. That includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

Dr. Matthew Offord
Conservative
Hendon
House of Commons

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of seeking a UN inquiry into events surrounding the 1988 massacre in Iran.

James Cleverly
Conservative
Braintree
House of Commons

Answered on 21 September 2021
The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session. We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988.
The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. We have always been clear that Iran must uphold its international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course. That includes committing to improving human rights in Iran.

Dr. Matthew Offord
Conservative
Hendon
House of Commons

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support survivors of the 1988 Iranian massacre and their families who are seeking legal recourse in UK courts.

James Cleverly
Conservative
Braintree
House of Commons

Answered on 21 September 2021
We are unaware of any legal action having been brought in the UK in relation to the 1988 massacre. Any decisions in relation to investigation, charging and prosecution are matters for the Police and Crown Prosecution Service.

Lord Alton of Liverpool
Crossbench
Life peer
House of Lords

 

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what further steps they plan to take at the UN General Assembly Third Committee to hold the leaders of the Iranian regime to account for serious human rights violations, including the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.

Answered on 21 September 2021
The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session.
We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country, so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988. Meanwhile, we have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present.
We are in regular contact with the Iranian Government and expect to engage with President Raisi on a number of issues now he has taken office, including human rights. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course and commit to improving human rights in Iran.

Lord Alton of Liverpool
Crossbench
Life peer
House of Lords

 

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take (1) to ensure that a UN inquiry into the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran is launched, and (2) to ensure that the call for such an inquiry is added to any future UN General Assembly resolution on Iran.

Answered on 21 September 2021
The British Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and takes any allegations of extrajudicial killings seriously. The UK has designated Iran as a Human Rights Priority Country, and we continue to take action with the international community to press Iran to improve its poor human rights record. This will include using all opportunities during the upcoming United Nations General Assembly session.
We urge Iran to allow the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran access to the country so that he can conduct research and investigations into human rights concerns reported there, including the events of 1988. Meanwhile, we have always been clear that Iran must uphold its own international legal obligations, including conducting thorough and independent investigations into suspected human rights violations, both past and present.
We are in regular contact with the Iranian Government and expect to engage with President Raisi on a number of issues now he has taken office, including human rights. We call on President Raisi to set Iran on a different course and commit to improving human rights in Iran.

Steve McCabe
Labour
Birmingham, Selly Oak
House of Commons

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of an international investigation into the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran.

Steve McCabe
Labour
Birmingham, Selly Oak
House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of whether the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran amounts to (a) crime against humanity and (b) genocide.

Theresa Villiers
Conservative
Chipping Barnet
House of Commons

 

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential effect on the UK’s reputation of the issue of an invitation to Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi to attend the COP26 summit, in light of Mr Raisi’s involvement in serious human rights violations.

Baroness Eaton
Conservative
Life peer
House of Lords

 

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that the government of Iran has (1) destroyed evidence of human rights violations, including mass graves of political prisoners from 1988, and (2) intimidated survivors and families of victims of human rights violations.

Baroness Eaton
Conservative
Life peer
House of Lords

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with other governments about establishing a United Nations led commission of inquiry into human rights violations in Iran, including the deaths of political prisoners in 1988.

Baroness Eaton
Conservative
Life peer
House of Lords

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on 17 December 2020 calling on the government of Iran to investigate past and current human rights violations in the country.