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UN Rapporteur Calls for Action Over Iran's 1980s Mass Executions

June 20, 2024
2 min read
United Nations Special Rapporteur Javed Rahman has called the mass execution of political prisoners and killing of Baha'is in 1980s Iran  examples of "crimes against humanity" and "genocide"
United Nations Special Rapporteur Javed Rahman has called the mass execution of political prisoners and killing of Baha'is in 1980s Iran  examples of "crimes against humanity" and "genocide"

United Nations Special Rapporteur Javed Rahman has called the mass execution of political prisoners and killing of Baha'is in 1980s Iran  examples of "crimes against humanity" and "genocide."

Speaking at a meeting in Geneva, Rahman called on the international community to take concrete actions to hold the perpetrators accountable and end the ongoing impunity around these atrocities after a six-year investigation.

He said that the Islamic Republic's authorities did not cooperate with him during the investigation and obstructed his work. 

Rahman's report focuses on the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 after a fatwa by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. 

The prisoners, who had already been tried and were serving sentences, were retried in brief trials without due process and swiftly executed, with their bodies buried in mass graves like Khavaran.

In the report he presented to the UN Human Rights Council, Rahman said that it focuses on "crimes against humanity" that took place in the period of 1981-82 and 1988 in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mostafa Pourmohammadi, one of the direct perpetrators of the 1988 executions, is among the candidates for the upcoming presidential election.

In the description of "brutal crimes," the report details actions such as murder, arbitrary and extralegal executions of thousands of political opponents and prisoners, their captivity and imprisonment, enforced disappearance, and torture – actions described as "crimes against humanity."

According to Rahman's report, these executions included women, some of whom had been raped before execution. 

A large number of teenagers and minors, considered children, were among those executed.

The report also examines the violence and physical abuse of women as well as the oppression of minorities in the first decade after the 1979 establishment of the Islamic Republic.

The report states that despite evidence available until today, those who committed severe human rights violations remain in power, and the international community has been unable or unwilling to hold these people accountable.

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