Amnesty International‘s Secretary General Agnès Callamard addressed today’s announcement of Ebrahim Raisi as Iran’s future president, asserting: “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. In 2018, our organization documented how Ebrahim Raisi had been a member of the ‘death commission’ which forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed in secret thousands of political dissidents in Evin and Gohardasht prisons near Tehran in 1988.
The circumstances surrounding the fate of the victims and the whereabouts of their bodies are, to this day, systematically concealed by the Iranian authorities, amounting to ongoing crimes against humanity. “ Callamard noted.
In 1988, as deputy prosecutor of Tehran, Raisi was one of four people who, at the time, was named by the Supreme Leader Khomeini to carry out his infamous fatwa to massacre imprisoned activists affiliated with the main democratic opposition.
As a result, thirty thousand political prisoners, mostly members of the MEK, were summarily executed in a couple of months during the massacre.
“As Head of the Iranian Judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi has presided over a spiraling crackdown on human rights which has seen hundreds of peaceful dissidents, human rights defenders, and members of persecuted minority groups arbitrarily detained.
Under his watch, the judiciary has also granted blanket immunity to government officials and security forces responsible for unlawfully killing hundreds of men, women, and children and subjecting thousands of protesters to mass arrests and at least hundreds to enforced disappearance, and torture, and other ill-treatment during and in the aftermath of the nationwide protests of November 2019.” Callamard noted, addressing the November 2019 crackdown.
In March 2019, Khamenei appointed Raisi as Chief of Judiciary. Since then, Raisi’s history of executing democratic activists has proceeded with more revenge. Raisi supervised 251 people’s executions, in 2020, and in 2021 there were 267 people and the number keeps growing.
“Ebrahim Raisi’s rise to the presidency follows an electoral process that was conducted in a highly repressive environment and barred women, members of religious minorities and candidates with opposing views from running for office.”
“We continue to call for Ebrahim Raisi to be investigated for his involvement in past and ongoing crimes under international law, including by states that exercise universal jurisdiction.”
“It is now more urgent than ever for member states of the UN Human Rights Council to take concrete steps to address the crisis of systematic impunity in Iran including by establishing an impartial mechanism to collect and analyze evidence of the most serious crimes under international law committed in Iran to facilitate fair and independent criminal proceedings,” Callamard concluded.
Raisi has been blacklisted for violating human rights. The international community has the opportunity to put an end to the regime’s human rights atrocities by holding Raisi and other violators accountable.