Thursday, September 14, 2017

Live from Geneva: Justice for victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran.

In a conference held at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva on September 14, European politicians, prominent jurists, and human rights defenders urged the UN to immediately set up an independent commission to investigate Iran’s 1988 massacre of political prisoners and to bring the officials who were responsible for this crime to justice. They stressed that this measure should be adopted during the current session of the UN General Assembly.
The conference was organized by several respected UNGOs and coincided with the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
In summer of 1988, some 30,000 political prisoners, the overwhelming majority of them activists of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) were massacred within the span of a few months on the basis of a fatwa issued by Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.  There has never been an independent international investigation of the massacre, which according to many legal experts constitutes one of the biggest crimes against humanity since World War II.
In her latest report, Asma Jahangir, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, raised the issue of the 1988 massacre and thus broke the UN’s 28-year silence on the issue.
“Between July and August 1988, thousands of political prisoners, men, women and teen-agers, were reportedly executed pursuant to a fatwa issued by the then Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini. A three-man commission was reportedly created with a view to determining who should be executed. The bodies of the victims were reportedly buried in unmarked graves and their families never informed of their whereabouts. These events, known as the 1988 massacres, have never been officially acknowledged,” wrote the UN Rapporteur.
“In August 2016, an audio recording of a meeting held in 1988 between high-level State officials and clerics was published. The recording revealed the names of the officials who had carried out and defended the executions, including the current Minister of Justice, a current high court judge, and the head of one of the largest religious foundations in the country and candidate in the May presidential elections. Following the publication of the audio recording, some clerical authorities and the chief of the judiciary admitted that the executions had taken place and, in some instances, defended them,” the report pointed out.
Speakers at the September 14 conference included Rama Yade, former French Secretary of state for Human Rights; Alfred Zayas, a United Nations Special Rapporteur; Tahar Boumedra, former director of the UN Human Rights Office in Iraq (UNAMI) and expert rapporteur of JVMI (Justice for victims of 1988 massacre in Iran);  Kirsty Brimelow, Chairwoman of Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales; and- Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-President of the European Parliament (1999-2014) and President of the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ).
A survivor of the 1988 massacre and a number of families of the victims provided their testimonies and shared their observations.

For watching conference, click on below link: 

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