London, 19 Aug – Senior UK figures have called for action on both the infamous massacre of political prisoners by the Iranian regime in 1988 and the escalation of executions and other atrocities under President Hassan Rouhani.
Malcolm Fowler, a former member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales, said that lawyers have a responsibility to help bring to justice the perpetrators of the killing of some 30,000 activists especially in the light of Montazeri’s new revelations.
An audio tape of a 1988 meeting between the late Hossein-Ali Montazeri, former heir to the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Khomeini, and senior officials was released by Montazeri’s son on August 9.
In the recording, Montazeri can be heard telling the Death Committee, responsible for the implementation of the massacre of mostly of members of the main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK): “[T]he greatest crime committed in the Islamic Republic … for which history will condemn us, is being committed by you. In the future your [names] will be etched in the annals of history as criminals.”
Mr. Fowler called the massacre “an injustice of historic proportions,” and pointed out the role of current senior Iranian officials such as the Supreme Leader and the Justice Minister.
Those responsible, he said, should be sent for trial to the International Criminal Court.
Jim Fitzpatrick from the UK House of Commons said, “There should be an enquiry; there should be charges levelled. Somebody has to be held responsible for the deaths of these people whose only crime was opposition to Ayatollah Khomeini.”
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, a member of the UK House of Lords, also discussed the Montazeri revelations, expressing the hope that the UK government would commission an inquiry into it.
He linked the past and the present: “The 3000 executions in Iran during the last three years are in a way the continuation of the 1988 massacre.”
“So long as Iran is treated as a trading partner and we focus on financial gains, the executions in that country will continue. The UK’s policy must focus on the plight of the Iranian people,” Lord Maginnis said.
Also linking the 1988 atrocity to repeated attacks by the Iranian regime’s proxy forces on members of the PMOI (MEK) in Camp Liberty in Iraq, he said “Iran is involved in atrocities all over the region.”