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 EXCLUSIVE U.N. expert backs probe into Iran's 1988 killings, Raisi's role

  • Javaid Rehman, UN expert on Iran, criticises conduct of election
  • Urges independent inquiry into alleged 1988 killing of thousands
  • Tells Reuters probe must establish role of President-elect Raisi
  • Iran has never acknowledged the mass executions in Khomeini era

PIX32SUBXBIE5L4HLVOFHV36UAGENEVA, June 29 (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 President-elect Ebrahim Raisi as Tehran deputy prosecutor.

Javaid Rehman, 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.


Amnesty International - July 23, 2021: Iran’s security forces have deployed unlawful force, including by firing live ammunition and birdshot, to crush mostly peaceful protests taking place across the southern province of Khuzestan, Amnesty International said today. Video footage from the past week, coupled with consistent accounts from the ground, indicate security forces used deadly automatic weapons, shotguns with inherently indiscriminate ammunition, and tear gas to disperse protesters.

Since protests over severe water shortages erupted in Khuzestan on 15 July, security forces have killed at least eight protesters and bystanders, including a teenage boy, in seven different cities. According to official statements, one police official was also shot dead in Mahshahr. Scores of people, including children, have been injured, including by birdshot, and several are hospitalized in critical condition due to gunshot wounds. Security and intelligence forces have swept up dozens of protesters and activists, including many from the Ahwazi Arab minority, in mass arrests.

Iran: Ebrahim Raisi must be investigated for crimes against humanity


AmnestyJune 19, 2021: Responding to today’s announcement declaring Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s next president, 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. In 2018, our organization documented how Ebrahim Raisi had been a member of the ‘death commission’ which forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in secret thousands of political dissidents in Evin and Gohardasht prisons near Tehran in 1988. The circumstances surrounding the fate of the victims and the whereabouts of their bodies are, to this day, systematically concealed by the Iranian authorities, amounting to ongoing crimes against humanity.

Iran: Overseer of Mass Executions Elected President

201812mena iran raeesiFurther Erosion of Political Rights, Accountability

Human Rights Watch, June 19, 2021: (Beirut) – The victory of Ebrahim Raeesi, Iran’s judiciary chief, on June 19, 2021, in a presidential election that was neither free nor fair raises serious concerns about human rights and accountability in the country, Human Rights Watch said today.

Raeesi has had a long career in the country’s judiciary and served on a four-member committee that ordered the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. The Interior Ministry announced that he won the presidency on June 19 with 62% percent of the votes

“Iranian authorities paved the way for Ebrahim Raeesi to become president through repression and an unfair election,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “During his judicial career, Raeesi oversaw some of the most heinous crimes in Iran’s recent history, which deserve investigation and accountability rather than election to high office.” 

To prevent further crackdowns in Iran, prosecute perpetrators of the 1988 massacre

Ebrahim Raisi, one of the perpetrators of the horrendous crime against humanity is running for president of Iran

- - Wednesday, June 16, 2021

I joined over 150 other lawmakers and human rights experts in signing a letter urging the United Nations Human Rights Commission to launch a formal inquiry into the 1988 massacre of at least 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. Now, one of the main perpetrators of that horrendous crime against humanity, Ebrahim Raisi, is running for president.

Despite countless appeals on behalf of the many victims and their families, there has been very little progress toward holding Raisi and others to account. As the letter specified, a culture of impunity persists in Tehran with regard to this crime. 

The massacre took place over several months beginning around this time of year in 1988. Then-regime supreme leader Khomeini set the stage for the killings by issuing a fatwa (religious decree), which declared that opponents of the theocratic regime should be considered enemies of God and executed swiftly