Iran Human RightsIran Regime’s President Ebrahim Raisi’s Attendance at the UNGA77...

Iran Regime’s President Ebrahim Raisi’s Attendance at the UNGA77 Is a Violation of Human Rights Principles

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On June 19, 2021, Amnesty International in a statement announced that the regime’s current president Ebrahim Raisi should be investigated for crimes against humanity during the 1988 Massacre of political prisoners.

Short after this statement, on August 5, 2021, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Agnès Callamard in her tweet said: “On the inauguration day of #Iran President #Raisi lets remember the 1000s victims of the 1988 repression, disappeared and extrajudicially executed and recall President Raisi role.”

On June 29, 2021, the UN investigator on human rights in Iran Javaid Rehman called for an independent investigation of the state-ordered executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 known as the 1988 Massacre, and the role of the regime’s present president famous as the ‘Butcher of Tehran’.

At that time Raisi was Tehran’s deputy prosecutor and a member of the infamous death commissions who ordered the executions of the political prisoners in one-day trials, while most of them has ended up their sentences.

Rehman said that his office has gathered many testimonies and evidence. In fear of the exposure of the regime’s crime, the regime destroyed many times mass graves of the victims while Rehman said that he was concerned about the reports coming from Iran.

On January 27, 2022, prominent former UN judges and investigators called on UN human rights boss Michelle Bachelet to investigate the 1988 massacre, including the role of Ebrahim Raisi. The letter sent to the Bachelet was signed by some 460 people.

Now, in August 2022, victims of the 1988 massacre file suit in New York City against Raisi. The suit was filed in federal court last week in the names of two people tortured in 1988 and a third person whose brother was executed.

In a press conference on August 25, 2022, the members of the Iranian Resistance, the National Council Resistance of Iran (NCRI) outlined a federal lawsuit branding Raisi ‘a mass murderer who has no place at the United Nations upcoming 77th general assembly.’

Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Mr. Steven M. Schneebaum, Counsel for the plaintiffs, also joined the press conference.

In their professional insight, they shared their opinions on why Raisi could be prevented to step on US soil and attend the UNGA.

Mr. Scheebaum said: “In the summer of 1988, Raisi and his cohorts literally determined who would live and who would die, and as many as 30,000 people were taken out to be executed, to be hanged sometimes in groups as large as 12 after hearings.

“The prisoners were asked basically one question: Do you repudiate your opposition to the regime, which is to say, in 90% of the cases, do you repudiate your membership or your support for the MEK?”

The greatest obstacle the lawsuit faces is the question of immunity, which should be used to prevent Raisi to enter the US. Mr. Schneebaum believes the structure of the regime’s government helps him to question the immunity that should be applied to him as the “heads of state.”

A US State Department document on the subject notes that most privileges and immunities “are not absolute,” and the 1978 Diplomatic Relations Act replaced most of the more outdated laws on the subject.

According to the new provisions, some protections only apply to officials from nations that have ratified the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or to whom the U.S. president has granted privileges and protections.

And Mr. Schneebaum believes that he can use these aspects to go ahead and prevent Raisi from entering US soil, while according to the regime’s government structure he is not the ‘head of state’ and the “US government has, generally speaking, honored the absolute immunity of and this is the important term heads of state.”

He explained: “Our argument is that Ebrahim is not the head of state of Iran. He may have the title of president, but he is not the leader as Ayatollah Khamenei is the supreme leader and is, therefore, the head of state of Iran and indeed the Iranian constitution.”

At the conference Judge Michael B. Mukasey said: “In 2019, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, known as OFAC, imposed sanctions on Ebrahim Raisi based on his participation in what has become known as the ‘Death Commission’, ordering the execution of thousands of political prisoners. In 2021 the U.S. State Department imposed immigration restrictions on him based on a finding that he was a senior Iranian official involved in the commission of serious human rights abuses.

“It is anticipated that if Raisi comes to the United States, he would be subject to the jurisdiction of United States courts and could be served with the complaint in this case, which presents claims under two federal laws – the Torture Victim Protection Act and the Alien Tort Statute.”

Finally, he added: “Diplomatic immunity does not mean impunity.”

Last year similar complaints were filed in England and Scotland, avoiding him to attend the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow.

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