Ebrahim Raisi, the Iranian regime’s president, spoke to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. With pandemic concerns yet unresolved, the majority of this year’s sessions held online, but even permitting Raisi to address the assembly from overseas, lends credibility to this criminal and the terrorist government he represents.
The Iranian community in Sweden
The Iranian community in Sweden held a meeting in Stockholm to examine Raisi’s misdeeds and the lack of political will in the West when it comes to Iranian matters.
However, the conference’s location is noteworthy insofar as it calls attention to the lone example, in recent years, of a European nation actively pursuing accountability for the perpetrators of the Iranian regime’s worst assault on human rights.
Swedish police detained Hamid Noury
After arriving in Sweden on a visit in 2019, Swedish police detained Hamid Noury, a former Iranian jail administrator. Sweden asserted “universal jurisdiction” over Noury’s case, which entailed war crimes and mass murder in Iran, with the arrest.
The legal concept permits any nation in good standing with international law to prosecute anybody in its own courts if they are suspected of committing the most serious international crimes, for which they would not be held accountable in the jurisdiction where the crimes occurred.
The killing of over 30,000 political prisoners
Noury’s offenses meet the threshold of “most serious,” and they are the same as Raisi’s most notorious crimes.
Both individuals were involved in the killing of over 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988, with Raisi being the principal perpetrator, based on a fatwa issued by the regime’s founder and first supreme leader, Ruhollah Khomeini.
The 1988 massacre was genocide
Some legal experts have claimed that the 1988 massacre was genocide because it reflected a determination to eradicate religious identities that clashed with the mullahs’ theocratic fanaticism. In a meeting conducted electronically last month by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, UK human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC and Eric David of the University of Brussels both made that argument.
This view is likely to be echoed at Tuesday’s meeting, with attendees citing the Noury case as an example of how universal jurisdiction may be used to challenge Tehran’s impunity in human rights concerns. Noury’s trial started last month and is set to end in April. At least 35 plaintiffs are expected to testify about the former official’s participation in torture and mass executions at Gohardasht Prison.
1,000 Ex political prisoners spoke at (NCRI) conference
Raisi was present during the questioning of political prisoners “to ensure that no one would escape execution,” according to Akbar Samadi, one of 18 former political prisoners who posted comprehensive video evidence of their experiences on the NCRI’s website before the August meeting.
The United Nations General Assembly, as well as the potential audience for Raisi’s address, should consider whether the speaker is competent to speak to the world community on issues such as justice and freedom.
Raisi’s virtual address to the General Assembly
Raisi’s virtual address precludes the United States or any other Western nation from enforcing universal jurisdiction and arresting him while the General Assembly is in session.
Instead, human rights activists should use it as a chance to break his silence and bring attention to the specifics of his crimes in order to increase political support for sanctions, diplomatic isolation, and, eventually, prosecution of the regime’s leadership.