UN urged to open query into Iran’s 1988 killings and Raisi role


GENEVA (Reuters) – Prominent former U.N. judges and investigators have known as on U.N. human rights boss Michelle Bachelet to examine the 1988 “bloodbath” of political prisoners in Iran, together with the alleged role of its present president, Ebrahim Raisi, at the moment.

The open letter launched on Thursday, seen by Reuters, was signed by some 460 individuals, together with a former president of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Sang-Hyun Song, and Stephen Rapp, a former U.S. ambassador for international legal justice.

Raisi, who took workplace in August, is underneath U.S. sanctions over a previous that features what the United States and activists say was his involvement as considered one of 4 judges who oversaw the 1988 killings. His workplace in Tehran had no touch upon Thursday.

Iran has by no means acknowledged that mass executions passed off underneath Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the revolutionary chief who died in 1989.

Amnesty International has put the quantity executed at some 5,000, saying in a 2018 report that “the true quantity might be greater”.

“The perpetrators proceed to get pleasure from impunity. They embrace the present Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and judiciary chief Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Ejei,” mentioned the open letter. Ejei succeeded Raisi as head of Iran’s judiciary.

Raisi, when requested about activists’ allegations that he was concerned within the killings, instructed a information convention in June 2021: “If a choose, a prosecutor has defended the safety of the individuals, he ought to be praised.” He added: “I’m proud to have defended human rights in each place I’ve held to date.”

The letter, organised by the British-based group Justice for Victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran, was additionally despatched to the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose 47 member states open a five-week session on Feb. 28.

Other signatories embrace earlier U.N. investigators into torture and former overseas ministers of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Italy, Kosovo and Poland.

Javaid Rehman, the U.N. investigator on human rights in Iran who’s due to report to the session, known as in an interview with Reuters final June for an unbiased inquiry into the allegations of state-ordered executions in 1988 and the role performed by Raisi as Tehran deputy prosecutor.

(This story fixes typos in paragraphs 1 and 7.)

(Reporting and writing by Stephanie Nebehay; extra reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Dubai; modifying by Gareth Jones)

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