EXCLUSIVE UN expert supports 1988 Iran murders investigation, Raisi’s role


  • Javaid Rehman, UN expert on Iran, criticizes the election process
  • calls for an independent investigation into the alleged murder of thousands in 1988
  • Says Reuters investigation must play the role of President-elect Raisi. establish
  • Iran never recognized the mass executions in the Khomeini era

Geneva, June 29 (Reuters) – The UN human rights investigator in Iran has called for an independent investigation into allegations of the state-ordered execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 and the role of President-elect Ebrahim Raisi as deputy prosecutor in Tehran.

Javaid Rehman said in an interview with Reuters on Monday that his office had collected testimony and evidence over the years. She is ready to share it if the United Nations Human Rights Council or other agency opens an impartial investigation.

He said he was concerned about reports that some “mass graves” were being destroyed as part of an ongoing cover-up.

“I think the time has come and it is very important that now that Mr Raisi is the President-elect, we begin to examine the events of 1988 and the role of the individual,” said Rehman from London, where he was speaking teaches Islamic law and international law.

An investigation is in Iran’s interests and could shut down families, he said, adding, “Otherwise we will have very serious concerns about this president and the role he has played in these executions in the past.”

Raisi’s office was inaccessible for comment. The office of the spokesman for the Iranian judiciary was not immediately available for comment. The Iranian missions to the United Nations in New York and Geneva did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Raisi, a hard-line judge, is under US sanctions over a past that, according to US and activists, includes his involvement as one of four judges who oversaw the 1988 killings. Amnesty International puts the number of people executed at around 5,000 and said in a 2018 report that “the real number could be higher”.

When asked about allegations of being involved in the killings, Raisi told reporters, “When a judge, a prosecutor, has defended people’s safety, he should be praised … I am proud of the human rights in everyone To have defended position. ” I’ve held up until now. “

Rehman said, “We have given notices to the Islamic Republic of Iran because we are concerned that there may be policies again to actually destroy the graves or that there may be activities to destroy evidence of mass graves.”

“I will work for justice,” he added.

Arrests, intimidation

Raisi will succeed Hassan Rouhani on August 3 after securing victory in an election this month marked by voter apathy over economic difficulties and political constraints. Continue reading

Rehman condemned, as he put it, “deliberate and manipulative strategies to exclude moderate candidates and ensure the success of a particular candidate”.

“There were arrests, journalists were prevented from asking specific questions about the background of the presidential candidate, Raisi, and there was intimidation about any questions raised about his previous role and background.”

Iran has never admitted that there were mass executions under the leadership of the revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who died in 1989.

“The scale of the executions we hear suggests this was part of a policy that was being followed … It wasn’t just one person,” said Rehman.

He said the November 2019 killing of protesters, the bloodiest political turmoil since the Islamic revolution of 1979, had “not been properly investigated”.

“Even on conservative estimates, we can say that more than 300 people were killed arbitrarily and out of court and no one was held accountable and no compensation was received,” he said.

“There is widespread and systemic impunity in the country for gross human rights violations, both past and present.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Peter Graff and Jon Boyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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