Stop ignoring Iran’s human rights violations

We must stop the international silence over the Iranian Regime’s egregious human rights violations and hold the mullah’s responsible for their crimes against humanity, according to a human rights expert.

Tahar Boumedra, who works with the nongovernmental organization Justice for the Victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran, wrote an op-ed for The Hill in which he implored the international community to take the human rights violations of the Iranian Regime seriously.

Boumedra, who was chief of the human rights office of United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, wrote that human rights abuses have become more serious since the supposed “moderate” Hassan Rouhani has taken power.

He wrote: “Rouhani has overseen a crackdown by Iranian security forces. The ranks of political prisoners have swollen since he took office. A shockingly broad range of “offences” can lead to execution, and despite campaign-trail promises of a more open Iranian society, Rouhani has done nothing to curtail this trend.”

Close to 4,000 people were executed during Rouhani’s first term, some for “crimes” like donating money to banned media outlets or supporting the main opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.

Unlike most other countries, Iran does not even spare juveniles from the death penalty. In August, two juvenile offenders were set to be executed within a week of each other (although one execution was halted after the accused paid a substantial amount of money to the victim’s family and they waived his execution).

The Iranian people have the right to waive the death penalty when the crime has been committed against them or a member of their family and often choose to. That might explain why the majority of those on death row are accused of crimes against the Regime, rather than a person.

Boumedra wrote: “This serves to illustrate the sharp difference between the Iranian regime and the Iranian people when it comes to basic questions of human compassion. Such misalignment between government and citizenry is important to understand in setting policy toward the Islamic Republic, and President Drumpf deserves credit for calling attention to it in his United Nations speech.”

However, Boumedra also notes that Trump didn’t make human rights the focus of his speech, which is a shame because international pressure can be extremely effective in these matters.

He said: “To its credit, the White House is doing its part to back criticism up with credible threats and to build international consensus in many areas. But as long as the United States leaves human rights in the margin of its Iran policy, Tehran will continue to push the boundaries. And as long as the international community continues to look the other way on past crimes, there remains a high benchmark for what Tehran believes it can get away with.”

That benchmark is the 1988 massacre in which the Iranian Regime slaughtered 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members of the PMOI, in just a few months and buried them in secret mass graves.

This crime against humanity remained unacknowledged by the international community until very recently, when the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Asma Jahangir, called attention to it in her latest report.

Boumedra wrote: “Unfortunately, the United Nations maintains that Iran could be urged to undertake its own investigation, even after 29 years of enforcing silence domestically. Perhaps the United Nations is still clinging to the notion of moderation under President Rouhani, a man who appointed two consecutive justice ministers in full awareness of the roles they had played on death commissions in 1988.”

He continued: “The pressure on the Iranian regime must be backed up by assertive policies and it should be focused on the correct topics, like those the United Nations has identified. The coming deliberations present an opportunity to finally adopt the correct policy on human rights in Iran.”

Source » ncr-iran

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