Iran must be held to account for crimes against humanity

The greatest threat posed by the Iranian Regime is not its illegal ballistic missiles or nuclear weapons programmes but the threat to its own people.

This threat is by no means a new one, it came in with the Regime in 1979, but for some reason hardly anyone outside of Iran appears to care.

The biggest single attack that the Iranian Regime launched on its own people, for which they remain unpunished to this day, is the 1988 massacre in which over 30,000 political prisoners were murdered in just a few months.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the executions of all of Iran’s political prisoners and the Regime created Death panels that oversaw show trials of blindfolded prisoners.

The courts would grant amnesty only if the prisoners represented for the ‘crime’ of supporting an opposition political party, agreed to denounce the Iranian opposition on state TV, slip a noose around the neck of a prisoner who would not renounce their political ideology, and agree to walk the border between Iran and Iraq to check for unexploded landmines from the recent war (essentially becoming human shields).

Few prisoners renounced their beliefs and so the majority were sentenced to death; including pregnant women and children as young as 13.

Sara Hassani, a Fellow in Politics at the New School for Social Research and an Adjunct Lecturer in Political Science at Brooklyn College, wrote an op-ed on TownHall speaking about the loss of her uncle, Mahmood ‘Masoud’ Hassani, during the massacre. He had been arrested in June 1981, whilst studying Economics at Tehran University, for giving out pro-democratic leaflets near his campus.

He was taken without a word and for two long months his family did not know what had happened to him. Then the Regime authorities said that he had been sentenced to 10 years in the notorious Evin Prison for ‘acting against national security’ and ‘spreading corruption on Earth’. These bogus charges are what the Regime charges prisoners with when there is no actual crime that has been committed.

When the fatwa was issued, he refused to cower before the Regime and so was sentenced to death, without a fair trial or even the opportunity to say goodbye to his family.

The Iranian Regime has never been brought to justice. Indeed, many of those involved in the death panels still hold high-ranking positions in Iran to this day and have even outright admitted their involvement.

Hassani wrote: “It has become painfully clear that the maintenance of economic ties with an oil-rich country has repeatedly trumped earnest efforts to speak out on Iran’s human rights record. With an abundance of contemporary and archival evidence supplied to the appropriate intergovernmental agencies, how else might we explain their silence if not as an instance of quid pro quo?”

The Regime has not managed to silence- no matter how hard it tries- the calls of the Iranian people for justice for their loved ones. Just last year, their calls were reignited by a leaked audio recording of Ayatollah Ali Montazeri admonishing the death panels for committing the greatest crime in the Regime’s history.

The people of Iran are arrested, tortured, imprisoned and executed for breaking the wall of silence. It is time for the international community to join with the Iranian people and calls for justice before the Regime can completely destroy all evidence of the crime, as they are currently trying to do with the mass graves that hold the prisoner’s bodies.

Source » ncr-iran

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