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  • Masoud Dalvand 8:04 pm on October 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Norway,   

    Maryam Rajavi’s Message: To the Demonstration of Iranians in Oslo – Norway 

     

    NCRI Staff

    NCRI – Maryam Rajavi: The demonstrations of Iranians abroad echo the voice of prisoners’ strikes and protests of workers, teachers and those plundered

    October 7, 2017. On the eve of the ‘World Day Against the Death Penalty,’ and in support of the Call for Justice Campaign, Iranians in Norway staged a demonstration In Oslo, the capital of Norway, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the president elect of the Iranian resistance sent a message to this demonstration as follows:

    Fellow Iranians residing in Norway!

    Honorable personalities supporting the Iranian Resistance, and the dignified human beings who find defense of human rights, freedom and democracy in Iran as the requisite for ending war and terrorism in the Middle East. I hail all of you.

    I appreciate your demonstration in Oslo and your efforts to expand the campaign calling for justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre and the international campaign to confront violations of human rights in Iran.

    Your gathering is in line with the hunger strikes of political prisoners, the marches and protests of workers, teachers, students and those whose deposits have been plundered and complements them. All these activities have a single message and that is persistence on the desire of the people of Iran to overthrow the Velayat-e Faqih dictatorship.

    The incidents of the past year clearly prove that the efforts to mobilize our compatriots and to attract world attention to the clerical regime’s crimes have a great impact. After years, the issue of the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 has been brought up in an official document of the UN Human Rights Council.

    This is a great achievement and an important step, but it is not enough. The United Nations must set up a committee to investigate the 1988 massacre. The masterminds and perpetrators of this massacre, the executions in the 1980s and other crimes against the people of Iran must face justice.

    I also urge all parliaments to officially designate the 1988 massacre as a crime against humanity.
    Seeking justice for the victims of the massacre in 1988 is an important part of the struggle against violations of human rights in Iran which still continues in the form of daily executions, amputation of hands, and widespread arrests taking place every day to preserve the rule of repression. At least 3200 people have been executed under Rouhani. Another 5000 prisoners are on the death row.

    The regime relies on violations of human rights in Iran and suppression of protesters and freedom lovers to carry on with its belligerence and terrorism in the Middle East. If the regime had not been backed by the appeasement of Western governments, it would not have had a free hand in violating human rights. It would have not been able to extend its crimes to other countries, and it would have not been able to drench Syria in a whirlpool of blood.

    Therefore, I warn Western companies and governments, and particularly Norway, against dealing with the religious dictatorship ruling Iran.

    I hope that our fellow compatriots and Iranian freedom lovers in Norway could with their extensive campaigns attract the attention of the government and companies of Norway to the fact that any dealing and commercial engagement with the Iranian regime assists the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and reinforces its suppression of the people of Iran and belligerence in the Middle East.

    Iran’s ruling mullahs are at war with the people of Iran and the region. We urge Western governments to refrain from aiding the regime in this war through their deals. We urge them to make every engagement with the Iranian regime contingent on end to torture and executions.

    Dear compatriots, I would like to once again appreciate your efforts.
    Your campaign conveys the voice of the oppressed people of Iran to the world. This campaign has more impact today than any other time and is an important help to the Iranian Resistance for the overthrow of the clerical regime and establishment of freedom and democracy in Iran.

    I wish you every success.

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  • Masoud Dalvand 7:44 am on October 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Ignoring Iran’s crimes against humanity bolsters ayatollahs 

    By Soona Samsami

    For 40 days, 22 political prisoners staged a hunger strike in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj, 30 miles west of the Iranian capital of Tehran. Most are serving sentences for dubious political charges. In dire circumstances, they were only demanding their return back to bad conditions.

    Their health deteriorated; international intervention was literally non-existent, limited to a few expressions of concern, but no practical measures to compel the Iranian regime to stop its inhumane treatment of prisoners of conscience.

    Amnesty International’s Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director Magdalena Mughrabi said the protest “highlighted the urgent need for reforms to Iran’s cruel prison system.”

    In other words, the situation in Gohardasht reflected the much larger human rights crisis perpetuated by Iran’s clerical regime.

    There is an underlying need to use this situation, and the many others like it, as a jumping-off point to call international attention to the horror of conditions in which Iranian citizens might find themselves confined for years without ever having committing anything that the world would recognize as a crime.

    In addition, there’s a need to expose a past record of atrocities shocking in its horror and in the lack of international attention to it.

    This year’s United Nations General Assembly convened recently, and as in years past, was addressed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. To no one’s surprise, Rouhani again portrayed criticism of Iran’s human rights record, including this year’s report by the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Asma Jahangir, as a Western conspiracy to discredit the Islamic theocracy.

    Meanwhile, Iranian citizens and human rights activists are increasingly calling for the perpetrators of massacres, past and present, to be brought to justice. Social media has become increasingly effective at circumventing the regime’s restrictions on free expression, but people are still routinely charged with crimes, even capital crimes, on the basis of something an intelligence agent found them saying on a banned platform like Facebook or Twitter.

    As Rouhani addressed the nations of the world, many U.N. delegates had prepared for his diatribe by reading an article published that same morning by the Wall Street Journal.

    Written by a young Iranian political activist and former political prisoner, the piece decried the regime’s efforts “to force Iranians to forget 1988,” the “summer of blood,” when  approximately 30,000 political prisoners, primarily activists of the main Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK), were massacred in just a few months.

    They were condemned to death after “trials” lasting only a few minutes for dissent against the theocratic regime. As the young activist plaintively pointed out, “How could their families possibly forget?”

    The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), among others, has repeatedly called for an international inquiry, as the first step toward bringing charges against the key players for crimes against humanity.

    Some 30 years later, Secretary General Antonio Guterres appended a note to the special rapporteur’s report:

    “The families of the victims have a right to know the truth about these events and the fate of their loved ones without risking reprisal. They have the right to a remedy, which includes the right to an effective investigation of the facts and public disclosure of the truth; and the right to reparation,” he stated.

    Both U.N. officials acknowledged the 1988 massacre and subsequent “global denial” of it, but neither the secretary general, special rapporteur, nor any leading international official has yet to do anything practical to actually address that injustice or compensate for past neglect.

    As the United Nations Third Committee drafts its new resolution censuring human rights abuses in Iran, it should include a paragraph calling for the formation of an independent commission of inquiry into the 1988 massacre, with the aim of bringing the perpetrators to justice.

    The Iranian regime must not have a sense of impunity as it proceeds with its current crackdown on Iranian society, specifically in the prisons. If the world does not respond with one voice, that sense of impunity will only grow.

    Tehran must expect consequences for its ongoing crimes, fear consequences for future crimes and face consequences for crimes gone unpunished. Otherwise, the international community must share the stain of the blood on the hands of Tehran’s rulers.

    This is the message thousands of Iranians delivered to the United Nations during the Free Iran rally in protest to Rouhani’s presence on Sept. 20. It is the message Iran’s youth sends each day with their courageous defiance on social media. It is a message that deserves a response.

    Soona Soona Samsami is the representative in the United States for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which is dedicated to the establishment of a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic in Iran.

    Source: Ignoring Iran’s crimes against humanity bolsters ayatollahs

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:29 am on September 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Vice-President of the European Parliament Strongly Condemns Appeasement Policies of E.P Towards Iran Regime 

    In a speech at the meeting of ‘the Friends of a Free Iran’ in European Parliament, on September 13, 2017. Mr Ryszard Czarneski Vice-President of the E.P once again reiterated his support for the Iranian resistance and its president elect Ms Maryam Rajavi, the following is the full text of his speech:

    Dear colleagues,

    Mr Chairman,

    Thank you very much for holding this important meeting today.

    I am very happy and honoured to have been a part of the Friends of a Free Iran group which has the support of hundreds of my colleagues in this parliament.

    Many of us in this group have different or even opposite views regarding domestic issues or about Europe, including my dear colleagues from Poland but we are all united in our hopes and dreams for a free Iran and in our support for the democratic opposition under the leadership of Mrs Maryam Rajavi.

    On Monday this week the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that “Iran continues to severely restrict freedom of opinion and expression.” He said “ill-treatment of prisoners is widespread, and the judiciary continues to sentence people to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, including amputation of limbs and blinding.” He also stressed that “Iran remains the country with the highest reported rate of executions per capita. “

    I believe this is an important statement by the UN. It should be followed up by adopting tough policies against this religious dictatorship. As long as human rights violations continue in Iran, we can not have a normal relationship with this regime.

    We strongly condemn the current appeasement policies of Mrs Mogherini, who totally ignores repression against women in Iran but went to Iran to take part in the ceremony for Rouhani who does not even have one woman minister in his cabinet. And she keeps calling Rouhani a moderate !

    This policy of closing the eyes to human rights violations in Iran and ignoring the sufferings of the Iranian people, is a disgrace and cannot be done under our name.

    I am deeply concerned about the victims of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. Most of the victims were from the PMOI.

    Many of those criminals who were responsible for that massacre in summer of 1988, are still holding top positions in this regime. That includes the current minister of justice who happens to be also in the black list of the EU for human rights violations.

    So I wish to use this opportunity to give a message to the people of Iran that we in the European Parliament are with you and will support you to be free.

    Thank you very much.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:40 am on September 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Mass Graves of 1988 Massacre, , ,   

    Iran Regime Destroys the Graves of the Martyrs of PMOI/MEK Killed in the 1988 Massacre 

    While hundreds of international figures and lawyers have called for a trial of the regime’s leaders and the perpetrators of the massacre of members and sympathizers of PMOI/MEK in 1988, the Iran regime is trying to destroy the graves of MEK martyrs killed in this crime.

    According to the reports from various parts of Iran, the regime has been eliminating the signs of this MEK genocide in several cities including Ahvaz (southwestern Iran), Mashhad (northeast), Isfahan (center of Iran), Tabriz and Ardabil (northwestern), etc. They seek to destroy the mass graves of MEK members so that the families could not pay tribute to their loved ones the way they have been doing for years in various ways such as cementing the graves or removing the garbage and so on.

    The Iranian regime also destroyed the mass graves of MEK martyrs in Vadi-e Rahmat Cemetery of Tabriz under the pretext of carrying out construction projects. Moreover, the supporters of the MEK distributed the pictures and videos of grave destruction on the internet on June 23 2018. The news of such crime has been also posted in forms of pictures on Vadi-e Rahmat Cemetery Telegram Channel on September 11, 2017.

    As the Iran regime admitted, the construction project includes a total area of 4500 square meters. The procedures consist of excavating operations, rolling, leveling and fitting, pouring concrete, building walls, gridding, installing light pylons. Three companies and the Supervision of Tabriz Civil Engineering Department launched this project and the Cemetery Organization of Tabriz Municipality is the employer.

    As the satellite TV of the Iranian resistance, ‘Simay Azadi’ Channel released photos and videos on the destruction of graves, the Iranian regime also destroyed a MEK mass grave in Sowme’eh Sara, Gilan Province. One of the supporters of the MEK who visited this location, reports:

    “I went to the cemetery in which the MEK martyrs of the massacre of 1988 are buried. I took photos of the graves of townspeople but I could not find the graves of MEK martyrs. Nevertheless, I saw a mechanical excavator behind the cemetery amidst the tall trees where the MEK martyrs are buried. As the people said, this excavator is operating to make roads.”

    He added,” The cemetery of MEK martyrs is exactly located behind these tall trees, as the supporters of the MEK released pictures of this area. They are currently destroying the cemetery.” While a Justice Seeking movement is formed to try the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre of MEK and non MEK affiliates, the Iranian regime intends to eliminate the signs of such brutal crime.

    The Justice Seeking movement calls for the disclosure of secrets about the 1988 massacre, therefore, the perpetrators have to answer the following questions:

    1. The full name of MEK and non MEK affiliates who were executed.

    2. How many MEK and non MEK affiliates were killed in each city and province?

    3. The mothers of those executed shall know where their loved ones are buried and where the address of mass graves is.

    4. At the end, if these criminals are proud of such crime against the humanity, then why do not they reveal the names of the members of death committees in different provinces?

    It is noteworthy that in June this year a Call for urgent action to prevent destruction of 1988 massacre (mainly MEK members and sympathizers) evidence was made by Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in which it stated:

    During the past few days the mullahs’ regime in the city of Tabriz, northwest Iran, has begun a campaign of vandalizing graves of members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) executed back in the 1980s, especially those massacred during the summer of 1988. These now destroyed graves were in the Rahmat Valley Cemetery. To this point the graves of 75 MEK martyrs, including Akbar Choopani and Soraya Abolfat’hi, who was executed while pregnant, have been vandalized.

    Iranian intelligence has supervised measures placing 10 centimeters of cement and leveling the grounds in the cemetery to destroy all evidence of such a martyrs’ cemetery. They have also placed a sign reading, “Leveling the children’s block” and installed a number of gravestones in the area where the cement has been poured, to prevent any sign of the gravesite destruction. Attached images provide signs of the machinery used, the vandalized gravestone, and various phases of cement pouring and the placing of new gravestones.

    Last month in Mashhad, northeast Iran, mass graves of PMOI/MEK martyrs in the Beheshte Reza cemetery were also vandalized.

    In the city of Ahvaz, southwest Iran, city authorities have been widening a road near a cemetery in order to vandalize martyrs’ graves. Signs of tumbled bodies in a mass grave previously covered with cement were seen as the digging began in the area of phase 2 of Padadshahr and the Bankdar Boulevard in this city. Authorities quickly covered the mass grave with dirt and continued to widen the road.

    The Iranian Resistance calls on all international human rights organizations, especially the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Situation in Iran to condemn this inhumane act and take urgent action to prevent the destruction of such evidence of previous mass executions and massacre of political prisoners mainly MEK members, especially those of 1988. Iran’s ruling dictators must face justice for their crimes against humanity and 120,000 political executions.

    Source: Iran Regime Destroys the Graves of the Martyrs of PMOI/MEK Killed in the 1988 Massacre

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:43 pm on September 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Conference in Geneva, , ,   

    Conference in Geneva calls for investigation to 1988 massacre in Iran 

    : Justice for victims of the in .

    In a conference held at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva on September 14, European politicians, prominent jurists, and human rights defenders urged the UN to immediately set up an independent commission to investigate Iran’s 1988 massacre of political prisoners and to bring the officials who were responsible for this crime to justice. They stressed that this measure should be adopted during the current session of the UN General Assembly.

    The conference was organized by several respected UNGOs and coincided with the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

    In summer of 1988, some 30,000 political prisoners, the overwhelming majority of them activists of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) were massacred within the span of a few months on the basis of a fatwa issued by Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic.  There has never been an independent international investigation of the massacre, which according to many legal experts constitutes one of the biggest crimes against humanity since World War II.

    In her latest report, Asma Jahangir, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, raised the issue of the 1988 massacre and thus broke the UN’s 28-year silence on the issue.

    “Between July and August 1988, thousands of political prisoners, men, women and teen-agers, were reportedly executed pursuant to a fatwa issued by the then Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini. A three-man commission was reportedly created with a view to determining who should be executed. The bodies of the victims were reportedly buried in unmarked graves and their families never informed of their whereabouts. These events, known as the 1988 massacres, have never been officially acknowledged,” wrote the UN Rapporteur.

    “In August 2016, an audio recording of a meeting held in 1988 between high-level State officials and clerics was published. The recording revealed the names of the officials who had carried out and defended the executions, including the current Minister of Justice, a current high court judge, and the head of one of the largest religious foundations in the country and candidate in the May presidential elections. Following the publication of the audio recording, some clerical authorities and the chief of the judiciary admitted that the executions had taken place and, in some instances, defended them,” the report pointed out.

    Speakers at the September 14 conference included Rama Yade, former French Secretary of state for Human Rights; Alfred Zayas, a United Nations Special Rapporteur; Tahar Boumedra, former director of the UN Human Rights Office in Iraq (UNAMI) and expert rapporteur of JVMI (Justice for victims of 1988 massacre in Iran);  Kirsty Brimelow, Chairwoman of Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales; and- Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-President of the European Parliament (1999-2014) and President of the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ).

    A survivor of the 1988 massacre and a number of families of the victims provided their testimonies and shared their observations.

    Also for watching conference, click on below link: 

    Geneva: Justice for victims of the #1988Massacre in #Iran

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 3:33 pm on September 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Marc Nelson,   

    Marc Nelson Supports the Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Iran with his Art 

    Marc Nelson is an artist and a teacher who is very active on Human Rights causes all around the world specially in Syria and Iran. MARC Nelson Supports the Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Iran with his art Recently he have joined a campaign on Social Media with the Hashtag #SaveGohardasht in support of the Political prisoners on Hunger Strike in Gohardasht prison since 30 July 2017 He and his class have been contributing a lot of picture to this camping and their pictures were shared widely on Social Media as well as in a Exhibition in Paris Marc Nelson have also been very active on the Syrian Revolution cause supporting many campaigns specially:

    #StandWithAleppo

    #SaveWhiteHelemts

    #ProtectSyrianRefugees

    And many many more.

    You can follow Marc Nelson on Twitter: @Marcnelsonart

    Reference to some of the Sketches in support of Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Gohardsasht Prison in Iran:  https://twitter.com/Marcnelsonart/sta…

    ⚡️ “Sketches by @Marcnelsonart 

    #SaveGohardahst#1988Massacre in #Iran ” by @No2Khamenei https://twitter.com/i/moments/9048384…

    Also visit his website: https://marcnelsonart.com/

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:56 am on September 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    A Hunger for Change in Iran’s Prisons 

    Capture

    Many of us cannot go 5 hours without needing something to eat, whether it’s a healthy kale snack or some fast food you know you really shouldn’t touch. Yet political prisoners in one of Iran’s prisons, Gohardasht – some 15 miles northwest of the capital – have entered their 5th week of hunger strike. Even under so-called normal circumstances, Gohardasht’s security guards are more notoriousthan those at Evin, Iran’s most notorious prison, when it comes to cruelty in treating political prisoners and some former political prisoners consider Evin as a 5 star hotel in comparison to Ghoardasht.

    Against this backdrop, on July 30th, inmates in Ward 4, Hall 12 of Gohardasht Prison were violently transferred to Hall 10, where conditions and treatment are even worse than the prisoners. Hall 10 had been newly renovated ahead of the raid; but this was not contractors installing new sinks or applying coats of paint; the renovations were solely intended to put more pressure on Iranian political prisoners. In their new home, the prisoners are subject to 24/7 video and audio surveillance – without exception. Windows have been covered over with metal canvas, thereby reducing airflow during summer in a facility already known for its inhuman and unhygienic conditions.

    The indiscriminate raid was followed by confiscation or outright theft of virtually all of the inmates’ personal belongings, including prescription medications. Since then, prison authorities have denied the prisoners access to medical treatment and have even blocked the delivery of expensive medications purchased for them by families outside the prison. Iranian trade unionist Reza Shahabi’s wifes insistence on visiting him forced the prison’s warden to allow a short visit, which Reza was forced to stand up throughout. She later told a radio broadcaster in Stockholm that her husband, in the 5th week of his hunger strike, was very frail. She fears his life is at serious risk. The raid’s victims have vowed to continue with the protest until they are transferred back to their previous ward and have their belongings returned to them.

    The initial hunger strike has gained momentum and fellow inmates are joining the protest. Two dozen prisoners are on hunger strike now. Most of the strikers are political prisoners, often supporting the country’s leading banned opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

    Western governments have been largely focussed on the regime’s nuclear activities and finding ways to prevent it from gaining nuclear capability. However, this has led to a loss of focus on it’s internal affairs – human rights defenders have therefore lost a receptive ear to their whistle blowing. The regime has not change its behaviour, despite facing annual reports of various kinds published by the Western governments about its violations of human rights, women’s rights, religious rights or even UN resolutionscondemning it. The ruling mullahs know full well that as long as the rest of the world is willing to give in to its re-strengthening, whilst missing it’s internal behaviour, it need not be worried too much.

    A close look at Hassan Rouhani’s first term in office sees a concerning continuation of human rights abuses; most noticeable are the more than 3,000 executions and a severe crackdown on dissidents and right activists. Despite the portrayal of Rouhani in the West as a ‘moderate’ figure in the Iranian establishment, his record shows that perhaps human rights are not his top priority. Indeed, a recent Amnesty International (AI)’s report gives short shrift to the idea of “moderation” in Iran, referencing its “’vicious’ crackdown on human rights activists under Rouhani” and “long jail sentences after trials lasting only 45 minutes “ for ’Offences’ that included communicating with EU, UN and human rights organizations.”

    A case in point was last month when EU Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, paid a high profile visit to Iran. She was received as a celebrity by Iran’s parliament and posed for “embarrassing” selfies with its members, rather than investigating human rights abuses. Human rights organization such as AI – the most vocal on Iranian regime’s abuses – have constantly called on western governments to condition their visits on permission to independently meet with rights’ activists in the country.  In a statement, the organisation commented that “The international community, and in particular the EU must not stay silent over the outrageous treatment of human rights defenders in Iran.”

     

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    REZA SHAFIEE is a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

    via A Hunger for Change in Iran’s Prisons — Raddington Report

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 3:47 pm on September 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , UN Special Rapporteur   

    New report by UN Special Rapporteur draws attention to Iran’s 1988 massacre 

    Asma-Jahangir-UN-Special-Rapporteur-on-Iran

    The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran has in her latest report made numerous references to the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran, pointing out that the families of the victims have a right to know the truth about these events and the fate of their loved ones without risking reprisal.

    Asma Jahangir’s report (A/72/322) was transmitted to the UN General Assembly by Secretary-General António Guterres on 14 August 2017. The full text of the report is available HERE.

    The SR-Iran states:

    “11. (…) The Guardian Council, a body of six clerics appointed by the Supreme Leader that oversees the electoral process and vets the candidates, announced that the candidatures of only six men (0.37 per cent of the applicants) had been approved. Among them was Ebrahim Raisi, who reportedly had served on a committee that had ordered the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.

     “71. In March, families who visited a mass grave located in the city of Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan Province, where up to 170 political prisoners are believed to be buried, reportedly discovered that the previously flat area had been covered with soil to create a raised mound over the grave. In mid-May, bulldozers were reportedly seen working on a construction project directly alongside the mass grave site at Ahvaz, located on a barren piece of land 3 km east of Behesht Abad Cemetery, where the remains of at least 44 people killed during the summer of 1988 are believed to be located. The plan is reportedly to ultimately raze the concrete block marking the grave site and build a “green space” or commercial development over the site.

     “72. In her first report to the Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur raised the case of Maryam Akbari Monfared, who had been denied medical treatment and threatened with the cancellation of her visitation rights for having published a letter calling for an investigation into the executions of 1988.43 In May, Ms. Akbari Monfared’s husband was summoned for interrogation by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security and threatened with the prospect that his wife would face an additional three-year prison term and exile to a remote prison in Sistan and Baluchestan Province if she continued to write open letters about the 1988 events.

     “73. Between July and August 1988, thousands of political prisoners, men, women and teen-agers, were reportedly executed pursuant to a fatwa issued by the then Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini. A three-man commission was reportedly created with a view to determining who should be executed. The bodies of the victims were reportedly buried in unmarked graves and their families never informed of their whereabouts. These events, known as the 1988 massacres, have never been officially acknowledged. In January 1989, the Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, expressed concern over the “global denial” of the executions and called on Iranian authorities to conduct an investigation. Such an investigation has yet to be undertaken.

     “74. In August 2016, an audio recording of a meeting held in 1988 between high-level State officials and clerics was published. The recording revealed the names of the officials who had carried out and defended the executions, including the current Minister of Justice, a current high court judge, and the head of one of the largest religious foundations in the country and candidate in the May presidential elections. Following the publication of the audio recording, some clerical authorities and the chief of the judiciary admitted that the executions had taken place and, in some instances, defended them.”

    The report adds in its conclusions and recommendations:

    109. Over the years, a high number of reports have been issued about the 1988 massacres. If the number of persons who disappeared and were executed can be disputed, overwhelming evidence shows that thousands of persons were summarily killed. Recently, these killings have been acknowledged by some at the highest levels of the State. The families of the victims have a right to know the truth about these events and the fate of their loved ones without risking reprisal. They have the right to a remedy, which includes the right to an effective investigation of the facts and public disclosure of the truth; and the right to reparation. The Special Rapporteur therefore calls on the Government to ensure that a thorough and independent investigation into these events is carried out.”

     Twenty-nine years after the 1988 mass extra-legal executions of political prisoners in Iran, JVMI believes that until the full truth is unveiled and the perpetrators are held to account for their crimes, there will be no incentive for the government of Iran to change its policy on human rights. We urge the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council to launch an independent inquiry into the 1988 massacre to reveal the truth, hold the perpetrators to account and seek justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.

    Originally published at: New report by UN Special Rapporteur draws attention to #Iran’s #1988massacre

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 3:41 pm on September 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    To save the lives of political prisoners who are on hunger strike 

    To save the lives of political prisoners who are on hunger strike.

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 5:20 pm on August 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    The World’s Shame: Iran’s Hunger Striking Political Prisoners are Largely Ignored 


    By Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

    Human rights record has deteriorated markedly in Iran according to human rights organizations including Amnesty International.
    For example, most recently, on July 30, inmates in Ward 4, Hall 12 of Iran’s Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) Prison were made subject to a violent and unexplained raid that led to more than 50 persons being transferred to Hall 10, where conditions and treatment are even worse than the prisoners had been experiencing up to that time. Hall 10 had been newly renovated ahead of the raid, apparently with the explicit intention of putting more pressure on the prisoners of conscience that the Iranian government was planning to transfer there. In their new surroundings, the prisoners are subject to 24-hour video and audio surveillance, even inside private cells and bathrooms. Windows have been coveredover with metal sheeting, thereby reducing airflow during summer in a facility that was already known for its inhuman and unhygienic conditions. In additional, the raid saw the confiscation or outright theft of virtually all of the inmates’ personal belongings, including prescription medications. Since then, prison authorities have denied the prisoners access to medical treatment and have even blocked the delivery of expensive medications purchased for them by families outside the prison.
    According to Amnesty International, withholding medical treatment is a well-established tactic utilized by Iranian authorities to exert pressure upon political prisoners, especially those who continue activism from inside the nation’s jails or strive to expose the conditions that political prisoners and other detainees face. The former residents of Hall 12 certainly fit this description, as evidenced by their response to the raid and worsening conditions. Despite the fact that their newfound stress and lack of sanitation already threatened to have a severe impact on their health, more than a dozen of the raid’s victims immediately organized a hunger strike and declared that the protest would continue until they were transferred back to their former-surroundings and had their belongings returned to them.
    In subsequent days, several of this initial group’s cell mates joined them, and at last count, 22 detainees were participating in the hunger strike, the vast majority of whom are serving sentences for political crimes like criticizing the government’s policies or supporting the country’s leading banned opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. The core group of hunger strikers has been starving themselves for approximately a month now, and their health conditions have predictably deteriorated. Heart, kidney, and lung ailments have been reported, among other health problems in Iran’s prisons, and the prisoners appear to be rapidly approaching the point at which they may start dying as a result of their protest. Nonetheless, neither the Gohardasht authorities nor the Iranian judiciary have shown any sign of responding to their demands or publicly addressing the severity of the crisis. What is much worse, though, is the fact that the international community has not proven to be much more attentive to the hunger strikers’ dire circumstances.
    Notwithstanding calls to action by such human rights groups as Amnesty International, there has been virtually no push by Western governments or the United Nations to put pressure on the Iranian regime to save the lives of the Gohardasht inmates. This is particularly disappointing in light of the recent shifts in Western policies toward Iran, which come after years of conciliation and neglect for human rights while the United States and its allies focused their attention narrowly on the nuclear issue and prospective trade deals. During that time, various human rights activists rightly criticized the world community for putting certain matters of Iran policy on the back burner even though they had an absolutely immediate impact on the lives and safety of potentially millions of Iranian citizens. It has been widely reported that Tehran has been cracking down with escalating intensity on journalists, activists, and other undesirables, and thus swelling the ranks of its political prisoners.
    The Gohardasht raid is a clear indication that this trend is still ongoing, but the resulting hunger strikes are an equally clear sign that Iranians as a whole have not capitulated to the pressure yet. Unfortunately, in absence of a coordinated international response, this situation also promises to be a sign that for all their resilience in the face of violent repression, the Iranian people have precious little outside support that they can rely on. Every global policymaker and every prominent human rights activist has a responsibility to prove this conclusion wrong. Organizations like the National Council of Resistance of Iran have vigorously responded to the hunger strikes by calling for the United Nations high commissioner on human rights and the special rapporteurs on torture and on human rights in Iran to issue public statements and initiate a coordinated strategy that will impose serious penalties on the Iranian government if it does not address the plight of the Gohardasht hunger strikers. Some organizations that claim to be advocate of promoting Iran’s situation and Iranian people’s rights have ignored the issue and human rights violations.
    There is desperate need for international inquiries not only into this but also into various other human rights crisis throughout the Islamic Republic. In fact, while the Gohardasht situation is particularly urgent, once an adequate international response is made, it should only serve as the template for many more such inquiries, some of them into human rights abuses that are happening at this very moment and some of them into crimes against humanity that no one in the mullahs’ establishment has ever answered for. In the summer of 1988, some 30,000 political prisoners were hanged simply for suspected loyalties to anti-theocratic resistance groups, mainly the PMOI. The incident was largely ignored in Western media, and despite a handful of statements over the years, no serious inquiry has been launched to identify the locations of the secretly buried victims or to pursue charges against those responsible, many of whom retain positions of influence to this day.
    Although 1988 marked the single worst act of repression against Iran’s population of political prisoners, the Gohardasht hunger strikes highlight the fact that the overall pattern of repression remains unchanged, while the ruling clerical establishment remains as indifferent to human suffering as it ever has been.
    It goes without saying that the international community as a whole is better than this; but that community must act accordingly, to protect and promote human rights, and intervene when Iran’s political violence threatens to claim new victims.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Dr. Majid RafizadehPresident of the International American Council and board member of the US-Middle East Chamber of Business and Commerce and Harvard IR.


    Source: The World’s Shame: Iran’s Hunger Striking Political Prisoners are Largely Ignored

     
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