The opening words of the Rome Statute treaty states that all people are united through their common bonds but when serious crimes are committed.
In order to threaten the peace, security, and well-being of the world the perpetrators should be punished in order to stop any further crimes being committed against humanity.
Amnesty International has repeatedly reported crimes committed by humanity within Iran. One such criminal act was the 1988 massacre in Iran where at least 30,000 civilian political prisoners were executed by the regime. Many of the victims were either members or supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran).
Crime against humanity
Many international organizations which include Amnesty say that this is a “crime against humanity.” The victims’ bodies were dumped into secret mass graves and up to this day they are not known to loved ones and anyway they are banned from these sites and if caught are arrested and will follow the fate of those killed in 1988 and that is to be executed.
What makes matters worse for the regime is that up to this day they have withheld information about this crime against humanity and much of the evidence they are trying to erase such as bulldozing mass graves or constructing buildings on top of them. This makes this crime against humanity even worse.
Swedish court – Hamid Noury
One of those officials who was involved in the 1988 massacre is now in detention in Sweden. Hamid Noury is about to face trial under universal jurisdiction. Noury has a spectacular list of the most brutal crimes and has played many roles in the regime such as an assistant prosecutor working in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison as well as the Gohardasht prison in the city of Karaj. He has been accused of sending many political prisoners to their death by execution. He has also according to eyewitnesses hanged people himself.
The majority of those executed used to be members of the main opposition the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran). When the regime was forced to accept a ceasefire with Iraq in 1988, it felt weak and vulnerable due to the extended unpatriotic 8-year war that had drawn anger and hate from the people. The economy nose-dived while the opposition movement was growing stronger as each day passed by.
Khomeini decree – enemies of Islam
To try to maintain power, supreme leader Khomeini issued a religious decree, called a fatwa, which ordered that any political prisoners who refused to denounce the (PMOI / MEK Iran) which at that time and still is the most organized opposition against the regime, were considered to be “enemies of Islam” and it is essential to exterminate them straight away even if they had completed their sentences.
Hossein Ali Montazeri, who was Khomeini’s designated replacement, described the appalling massacre as the “biggest crime committed in the history of the Islamic Republic.”
Noury tortured and harassed prisoners and their families and many witnesses said he recited the prisoners’ names in the “death hall” on many occasions and took the blindfolded dissidents to the place where mass executions took place.
In 2020, (PMOI / MEK Iran) members who experienced being in prison at the time and were witnesses to Noury’s crimes provided 1st hand accounts of their experiences to Swedish authorities who are preparing to prosecute Noury this year. These horrendous accounts uncover crimes against humanity committed by Noury of which he must be punished.
Perpetrators must face justice
It is not only Noury that should be prosecuted but there are other perpetrators that must face justice, including the regime’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and President Hassan Rouhani, today’s “justice minister,” Alireza Avayie, and the judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi. These last two were members of the notorious “death commissions’ who have never been held accountable for their crimes against humanity.
The US and the EU, who are both parties to the Rome Statute, signatories of the Convention against Torture, and the UN Security Council, can and should instigate an investigation immediately. The case should then be heard at international tribunals so that more investigations and trials can take place.
The international community
So far, due to the international community’s appeasement towards the Iranian regime, officials have never been held accountable. The EU has closed its ears and eyes in a similar way to the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s. If action isn’t taken soon against the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre global peace and security will be under threat.
The abridged version of an article written by Ali Safavi for Townhall.