A conference was held in Paris on August 21, for the anniversary of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. Titled “Four Decades of Crime against Humanity and Impunity from Punishment,” in this event jurists from all around the world participated.
In her opening remarks, Mrs. Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, stressed the need to end impunity for the Iranian regime’s leaders, emphasizing accountability for their involvement in genocide and crimes against humanity.
Prof. Chile Eboe-Osuji, President of the International Criminal Court of Hague (2021) stated, “The story of the 1988 massacre has captured the anxiety of many important voices in the human rights field. That is the justice you call for and I join in that call.”
The1988 massacre in Iran, Prof. Leila Nadya Sadat, Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor (2012-2023) said, “These clearly are crimes against humanity under international law. Systematic murder, torture, and extermination”
The regime aims to undermine the fundamental rights of PMOI members in Ashraf-3 through blackmail & disinformation, laying the groundwork for their destruction.
PARIS, FRANCE, August 25, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — The National Council of Resistance of Iran-(NCRI) Foreign Affairs Committee in an article wrote that a conference held in Paris on August 21, 2023, commemorated the 35th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. Titled “Four Decades of Crime against Humanity and Impunity from Punishment,” the event gathered esteemed international judges and jurists from all around the world.
In her opening remarks, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, stressed the need to end impunity for the Iranian regime’s leaders, emphasizing accountability for their involvement in genocide and crimes against humanity.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi said, “For the past four decades, the regime’s central slogan has been “Death to the Hypocrites.” This chant is echoed without fail at every official ceremony. The term “hypocrite” is the regime’s derogatory reference to the PMOI. In its relations with any country in the world, the regime has declared its most significant red line to be any association with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
What prompted the numerous missile attacks, imposition of medical blockades, and execution of handcuffed captives in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq? Why are the mullahs conspiring against Ashraf-3 in Albania today?
Ashraf-3 accommodates around 1,000 former political prisoners, including witnesses to the 1988 massacre. They are the symbol of four decades of perseverance against this regime and steadfastness in the position of freedom.
The regime aims to undermine the fundamental rights of PMOI members in Ashraf-3 through blackmail and disinformation, laying the groundwork for their destruction.
On June 20, 2023, their efforts to pressure and intimidate the Albanian government led to an unwarranted assault on Ashraf-3, leading to the tragic death of one PMOI member and leaving hundreds injured.
Indeed, for what purpose has the Iranian regime’s Judiciary issued arrest warrants for more than 100 officials and members of this resistance who have been refugees in various European countries, including Albania, for years?
Clearly, the objective, once again, is to fabricate cases to exert pressure and pave the way for their assassination. The main goal remains the same as the 40-year-old objective: to annihilate the resistance movement and counteract Ashraf-3, which stands as a symbol of standing one’s ground in contemporary history.
The Call for Justice Movement is one where the blood of the steadfast victims of the 1988 massacre, the 1,500 martyrs of the 2019 uprising, and the 750 martyrs of the 2022-2023 uprising constantly roars, inspiring people to stand firm, rise, and fight. This movement will carry on until the regime is overthrown.
On a global scale, the moment has arrived to end the four-decade-long impunity enjoyed by the clerical regime’s leaders, shielding them from prosecution and accountability for their participation in genocide and crimes against humanity.
Khamenei, Raisi, and Ejeii, along with other architects of the 1988 massacre and instigators of the killing of young protesters during the recent uprisings in Iran, particularly the commanders of the IRGC, must be prosecuted by an international court.
The people of Iran neither forgive nor forget. They draw the day of reckoning ever closer. “The day of freedom for the Iranian people, illuminated by the struggle and resilience of Iran’s selfless and brave generations, is approaching like the inevitable rise of the sun.”
Prof. Chile Eboe-Osuji, President of the International Criminal Court of Hague (2021) stated, “The story of the 1988 massacre has captured the anxiety of many important voices in the human rights field. Human Rights Watch, an eminent human rights organization, Amnesty International, mandate holders of the United Nations have also worried and expressed concern about the lack of acknowledgment of the 1988 massacre. The massacre itself amounts to the crime of at least enforced disappearance and the crime of enforced disappearance is a continuing crime until there is an acknowledgement of what happened to the victims. So, and that is the justice that you call for, Madam President, you and your organization, and I join in that call.”
Referring to a joint letter signed by 152 former United Nations officials and renowned international human rights and legal experts to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet calling for an international Commission of Inquiry into the 1988 massacre, Prof. Eboe-Osuji added, “I hope you can add me to one of the voices who call for the United Nations that call is actually based on a promise that the United Nations has made to the world in 2005. The promise of responsibility to protect, and that responsibility to protect says that every country has a primary obligation to respect the rights and dignity of the people within their borders and also to protect them from serious violations of international law. When they fail to do that, then the international community has a say in the matter, and a critical element of that responsibility to protect doctrine or promise is the element of accountability. It is for that reason that I strongly join the call for a proper, formal investigation of that matter.”
Commenting on the evidence about the 1988 massacre in Iran, Prof. Leila Nadya Sadat, Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity to the ICC Prosecutor (2012-2023) said, “I think having read now the reports that have been given to me as well as the Amnesty International report, and some of the other testimonies, these clearly are crimes against humanity under international law. Widespread, systematic, pursuant to a state policy with an attack against a civilian population that included murder, torture, extermination, enforced disappearances, persecution on many grounds, gender, politics, religion, because of the fatwa, and also, of course, other inhumane acts coming from the desecration of the bodies, the failure to provide information to the families, and the continued cover-up and lack of transparency about the crimes. I have no doubt that in what I call an atrocity cascade, this is one of the worst instances of crimes against humanity that we have seen. And it may indeed include pockets of genocidal acts because of the ferocity of the crimes and the groups against that which they were directed.”
The Amnesty International report about the 1988 massacre in Iran. “Iran: Blood-soaked secrets”
Applauding the Iranian Resistance for their efforts, Prof. Sadat added, “Calls for accountability like this, I think, can be successful. Largely through the extraordinary efforts that you yourselves have made to document and make the evidence clear so that it can be presented. And I applaud your call for a formal Commission of Inquiry by the United Nations, which could also document the evidence.”
She also stressed, “The Iranian government is a government that’s particularly unrepentant, that has doubled down on the Commission of Atrocities because it has essentially gotten away with them for so long. We see continuous protests in Iran that are met again with rounding up tens of thousands of prisoners, as well as executions without due process. And these current protests and executions have been extensively documented, not just by you, but even by the United States and its human rights country reports, where you can read an entire list. It’s also been accompanied, as Madam President has said, by a campaign of extraterritorial repression, attacking Iranians and their supporters outside Iran, which has even been accompanied with assassination and other acts of crimes.”
Prof. Wolfgang Schomburg, Judge of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the Judge of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) stated, “There must be accountability for those perpetrators of the crimes committed in the prison in 1988, and in particular those in the background, those ordering these crimes, and even if it’s a sitting president, we have now concluded under international law that being a sitting president of a country is not an obstacle to bring cases against them, there is no longer immunity.”
And the good message [news] is that apparently what you have already prepared by compiling evidence and videotaping of hearing of witnesses. “I think this is very important, and would it have been possible that in Sweden a person would be brought to justice as we have already heard, when in the case of Hamid Noury, based on the evidence of 26 witnesses, he got life imprisonment.
And I think here is the closed nexus to Ebrahim Raisi, and we shall be aware of this because it becomes a puzzle. The evidence heard there is evidence that can be brought as evidence in a court of justice.”
Prof. William A. Schabas, Chair of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict (2015) and President of the International Association of Genocide (2011) stated, “We don’t have statistics for all of them because we don’t get the numbers of executions from China and Vietnam and North Korea, but of the rest, Iran sits at the top of the list.
In fact, last year Iran had as many executions as the rest of all the other executing countries combined. It has a huge predilection for capital punishment. “I think that when the time comes to prosecute, to hold trials, there will be useful circumstantial evidence, should the crimes of 1988 be denied, about the fact that since the day it started, since the day it took power, until the present day, this is a government and a regime with a thirst for capital punishment.”
Prof. Vilenas Vadapalas, Judge of the General Court of the European Union (2013) noted that European Union institutions have taken several actions against the Iranian regime. He expressed his personal view that EU legislation related to the prosecution of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes against peace should be revised.
He mentioned that in January of the same year, a resolution addressing atrocities in Iran was adopted by the European Parliament. Prof. Vadapalas emphasized the significance of the European Parliament urging the Council to implement substantial legislative changes, particularly among the member states of the European Union.
Prof. Vilenas Vadapalas highlighted that his country, Lithuania, has introduced legislation that broadens the definition of genocide to encompass the persecution and eradication of political groups, such as the distressing case of the PMOI.
He further explained that, as per their legislation, the concept of genocide now encompasses the prosecution, killing, and extermination of political groups, which holds significant importance.
Prof. Vilenas Vadapalas concluded by noting that in the situation of Iran, the victims and ongoing suffering are confined to Iranian citizens. He pointed out that according to the principles of international state responsibility, all nations within the international community have the right to demand accountability from Iran.
He expressed his hope that any potential future democratic government in Iran would take appropriate actions to bring those responsible to justice and ensure reparations for the victims. He emphasized the importance of reparations for victims and the pursuit of justice without external interference.
Prof. Valerius M. Ciucă, Judge of the General Court of the European Union (2010) expressed his dedication to the event, clarifying that he accepted the invitation, aiming to contribute thoughts that could offer some solace to the memory of the victims and their families affected by the Iranian tragedy.
Prof. Valerius M. Ciucă conveyed his heartfelt message directly to the victims and families impacted by the tragic events of 1988 in Iran. He assured them of his support and the collective support of others, emphasizing their unwavering commitment until justice is achieved through the accountability of those responsible.
He praised their courage, resilience, and determination to uphold their noble cause over 35 years, even in the face of numerous challenges
Ms. Sheila Paylan, international human rights lawyer and former SGBV Specialist at United Nations human rights said, “I stand with you to help shed light on a subject that demands our unwavering attention and collective action, the 1988 massacre of Iranian political prisoners. This stark chapter in history, now 35 years ago, serves as a stark reminder of the grave consequences of silence and the rise of authoritarianism in our world.
In the summer of 1988, Iran witnessed one of the most tragic and brutal events in its history. Tens of thousands of political prisoners were forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in a matter of weeks. Victims of a merciless government cracked down on dissidents. The massacres took place based on a fatwa by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini and what has been determined by experts to amount to crimes against humanity and even genocide.”
Referring to the political prisoners murdered during the 1988 massacre, she added, “These prisoners were individuals who dared to raise their voices against oppression, who sought nothing more than the realization of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. Their lives were tragically and senselessly cut short, leaving families shattered and communities scarred. We are fortunate that some of those who were incarcerated at the time of the 1988 massacres survived and are living witnesses to these heinous crimes. Having sought refuge in Albania, they must therefore be protected at all costs as they are critical to any future investigation or inquiry about the massacres. But while we wait for justice to prevail, it is more than disheartening to have to bear witness to history so predictably repeating itself. The protests that raged throughout Iran last year and the ensuing and ongoing tens of thousands of imprisonments and executions at the hands of the current regime are a direct continuation and result of the failure to punish the 1988 massacres. What is even more disheartening is the role of the international community in this unfolding tragedy among many others. While some nations voice their concerns, many choose silence, turning a blind eye to atrocities being committed. By doing so, they become complicit in the horrors that unfold, betraying the very principles that they espouse to uphold freedom, justice, and human rights. The lack of decisive action allows impunity to thrive, emboldening authoritarian regimes and undermining the very fabric of international law and justice.”
Highlighting her role in penning the final judgment against the former head of the Khmer Rouge for his crimes, she stated, “To combat impunity in Iran and other oppressive regimes, we need the continued support and involvement of the international community. Silence and inaction are not neutral. They perpetuate the suffering of countless victims and emboldened oppressors.”
Expressed her commitment to helping the Iranian people to achieve justice and change in their country, she concluded, “We must commemorate the victims of the 1988 massacres, as well as all those who have suffered or perished in fighting for freedom. We must not do so with a heavy heart but with the deepest gratitude and the utmost admiration. These heroes deserve not just to be mourned, but also to be revered and serve as an inspiration to us all to rise against the tide of authoritarianism, advocate for justice, and maintain hope for a world where human rights are fully respected everywhere, where freedom and justice reign, and where impunity has no place.”
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Ashraf-3 accommodates around 1,000 former political prisoners, including witnesses to the 1988 massacre. They are the symbol of perseverance against this regime