NGO urges UN Special Rapporteur to investigate Iran’s 1988 massacre of 30000 political prisoners

NGO urges UN Special Rapporteur to investigate Iran’s 1988 massacre of 30000 political prisoners

A representative of the French NGO “Fondation Danielle Mitterrand – France Libertés” addresses the UN Human Rights Council’s 34th session in Geneva on 10 March 2017 about Iran’s 1988 massacre of political prisoners. He urges the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, Pablo de Greiff, to carry out an inquiry into the 1988 massacre which resulted in the death of over 30,000 Iranian political prisoners.

Text of remarks:

Human Rights Council

34th Session

GD Item 3 – Fondation Danielle Mitterrand – France Libertés

Mohammad Hanif Jazayeri

Geneva – 10 March 2017

Mr. President,

The Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth has in his report to the Council highlighted the importance of victims’ participation in transitional justice measures. We would like to highlight that under the current justice system in Iran no such transitional justice measures are possible.

On 27 November 2016 a Special Clerical Court sentenced the son of the late Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, the Deputy Supreme Leader, to 21 years imprisonment for releasing an audio tape of his father denouncing the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran.

In the confidential audio file members of the Judiciary and Intelligence Ministry of Iran who were among perpetrators of the massacre, notably the current Justice Minister, confirm the executions in their own voices.

According to the London-based NGO ‘Justice for the Victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran’ (JVMI), some 30,000 political prisoners, primarily affiliated to the main opposition PMOI were executed for refusing to denounce the group.

In a joint statement on 8 March, 20 human rights groups called on the Iranian authorities to stop the harassment and prosecution of human rights defenders seeking truth and justice on behalf of those who were executed in 1988.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and FIDH have said that these executions amount to a crime against humanity.

Renowned international jurists have concluded that the international community’s inaction and insensitivity to this crime has allowed the Iranian government to feel free to continue violating international law and human rights. Impunity will only result in more mass executions.

We therefore recommend that the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth carry out an inquiry into the 1988 massacre as part of his mandate. Thank you Mr. President.

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