Iran’s Impunity Must End

Iran: 87 executions since the beginning of January

111_2016_b3-carl-iran-noose-8201_c0-160-1760-1186_s885x516In an article in The Washington Times, Alex Carlile of Berriew – a Liberal Democrat member of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords and co-chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, urged the UN to stop ignoring Iran’s terrorist activities.

He said that just as parents do not reward a child’s bad behaviour, policymakers should do the same. Yet this does not happen with regards to the Iranian regime that has been carrying out human rights abuses for decades. Recently a British charity worker was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment on made-up national security charges.

Carlile mentioned that earlier this year an audio file was leaked proving that top-level regime members were complicit in the 1988 massacre which brought the deaths of 30,000 political prisoners.
Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the heir-apparent to then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, said in the recording that the death committee should not commit the executions. He said: “In my opinion, the greatest crime committed during the Islamic republic, for which history will condemn us, has been committed by you.” Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri was subsequently placed under house arrest.

During the 1988 massacre, the opposition movement People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, or MEK) was the main target, but people with a casual connection or family member in the PMOI were also executed.

Carlile said: “Those executed were already serving — some had even finished serving — prison sentences, but the regime did not care. They were sentenced to death after a mockery of court trial, lasting a maximum of five minutes and generally consisting of just one question: ‘What is your political affiliation?’ When the families of the victims came looking for answers, they were merely handed a bag of their loved one’s possessions, denied information on the burial location, and warned against publicly mourning the victims.”

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has exposed the regime’s crimes over and over again. The NCRI’s president-elect, Maryam Rajavi, said about the audio tape: “The recording is irrefutable evidence that leaders of the mullahs’ regime are responsible for crimes against humanity and the unprecedented genocide.”

The NCRI published a list of over 50 regime members who were involved in the 1988 massacre and still hold power today. Instead of being punished, they are being protected. The current justice minister, Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, was an Intelligence Ministry agent during the 1988 massacre. Only a few months ago he spoke about how proud he was to have played a role in the killing of political prisoners.

Carlile said: “Lest you think that 1988 was the last time that the Iranian regime ruthlessly murdered its opponents, there have been near 1,000 executions in the last 12 months, according to the U.N. secretary-general and the special rapporteur on Iran.”

He added that the Iranian regime is the leading state sponsor or terrorism and has the highest execution rate in the world. The Iranian regime carries out horrific punishments like limb amputation, flogging and blinding with acid. “These are medieval punishments that have no place in 2016.”

He said: “The Iranian regime has evaded justice for far too long; it must be held accountable. The United Nations should launch an impartial investigation into the 1988 massacre, with a view to possible prosecutions in the International Criminal Court. This initiative could be included in the upcoming U.N. censure resolution on Iran’s human rights record during the current General Assembly session.”