In a viral video seen on social media last week of the Iranian regime’s State Security Forces (SSF) and the morality police involved in an incident of ‘mal-veiling’, it is yet the latest example of human rights abuses faced by Iranians under the presidency of Ebrahim Raisi.
Since the beginning of 2021, figures have stated that there have been at least 263 executions in Iran, with 38 taking place within the last month alone. Many other deaths have been attributed to torture while imprisoned. Amir Hossein Hatami was tortured to death on September 23 in the Greater Tehran prison, as was Shain Naseri who was killed on September 21. Naseri’s family later revealed that his body showed visible evidence of the torture he endured.
The Iranian regime continues its human rights violations to intimidate the public and silence any voice of dissent. As the Iranian Resistance has repeatedly reiterated, this regime cannot stay in power.
Raisi is well known for his previous human rights violations, especially his involvement in the 1988 massacre. He was one of the main perpetrators involved in the executions of 30,000 political prisoners. Following the massacre, he continued to commit other human rights violations in his role as a top judiciary official. As he was appointed to head of the Judiciary by Khamenei in 2019, it coincided with the major uprising in November of that year, an event that saw 1,500 peaceful protesters gunned down by security forces. During the uprising, Raisi also oversaw the torture and detention of almost 12,000 protesters who had been arrested for taking part in the demonstrations.
Following the uprising, Amnesty International documented some of the cases of torture suffered by detainees and in a report issued in 2020, they stated that an inquiry led by the UN should be put forward to ensure that regime officials are held accountable.
Yet, the world community failed in doing so, allowing the regime to continue its crimes. The international community’s silence vis-à-vis the ongoing human rights violations in Iran fuelled the systematic impunity in Iran, allowing Khamenei to appoint a mass murderer like Raisi as president in June 2019.
Agnès Callamard, the Secretary-General of Amnesty International spoke out following Raisi’s appointment to the presidential role and said that the fact that he has reached such a position instead of being held accountable for his crimes against humanity is ‘a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran’.
The impunity that surrounds the regime has continued and worsened since the 1988 massacre, and all because the international community failed to act accordingly and prosecute those who were involved.
The world community has a moral and legal duty to act and hold the Iranian regime accountable for its crimes.
The regime does not limit their crimes just to within their borders, as highlighted by the failed bomb plot of the Iranian Resistance conference in France in 2018. Unless an immediate halt is brought to their human rights violations, the West will remain at threat of future activities.
The international community should refer the dossier of the clerical regime’s crimes in Iran to the UN Security Council and prosecute its leaders for four decades of crimes against humanity and genocide.