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Event to call on US to hold Ebrahim Raisi Accountable
September 20 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
Simultaneous with the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, on September 20th, 2021, Iranian American community leaders from across the U.S. will participate in a Conference in Washington, DC to call on the international community to hold Iranian regime president Ebrahim Raisi accountable for the 1988 Massacre of political prisoners. Prominent speakers and participants will call on the U.S. government to take a leading role in a U.N. backed investigation into the 1988 Massacre and Ebrahim Raisi in particular.
President Biden’s administration has leveraged the current U.S. sanctions against Raisi for his role in the 1988 killings and pledged to hold him accountable for his record going forward. Yet, a growing body of evidence, countless testimonials, and key human rights experts have called on the international community to hold Raisi and his regime to account for perpetrating the 1988 mass killings. A number of these experts have urged the U.N. security council to take up this dossier while others have asked that the killings to be investigated as a case of genocide.
Amnesty International’s Secretary General recently expressed revulsion, “That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance, and torture is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran.” The United Nations has also called for a probe into Raisi’s role in the massacre.
The political prisoners were killed in the summer of 1988 based on a religious decree (fatwa) from then supreme leader Khomeini. The majority were members of the People’s Mujahidin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Geoffrey Robertson who Until 2007 sat as an appeal judge at the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone, notes in his book about the killings that, “If, as the fatwa assumed, the Mojahedin were prisoners of war, then killing them was the gravest of breaches of Geneva Convention III.” He correctly asserts that these MEK members and sympathizers were not prisoners of war but political prisoners who were in prison during a time of war (with Iraq). Thus he notes, this mass killing is, “a war crime that all state parties to that Convention would have a duty to prosecute by tracking down suspected perpetrators and putting them on trial.”
In the US Congress, a bipartisan House Majority have also called on the United States to, “be involved in any establishment of an international investigation into the 1988 extrajudicial killings of Iranian dissidents.”