Hassan Rouhani wins the presidency once more

Hassan Rouhani wins the presidency once more

Published by on May 20, 2017

Time to hold the regime accountable for human rights abuses

Finally the results of the elections held in Iran to determine the president for the next four years was announced and Hassan Rouhani was declared the winner of the race. Many observers called the process a farce.

Regardless of actual figures and the numbers announced (there is a convention of exaggeration by the regime in terms of the number of participants despite an all out boycott of the election that was supported by a wide range of opposition figures and political and human rights activists), the result of the election is an indication of the weakened position of the Supreme Leader who was widely assumed to be backing the hard-line cleric and member of the 1988 Death Commission, Ebrahim Raisi.

To boost his position during the ‘election’ campaign Rouhani called his main rival a man ‘who only knows execution and imprisonment’ as the way of solving problems. Of course Rouhani failed to mention that he himself held top security positions all these 38 years and a video showing him calling for public execution of prisoners at Friday prayers “to set an example” for the people, was widely distributed on social media.

Obviously there is not much difference between the two candidates, except that Rouhani is widely portrayed as ‘moderate’ in western media. But we should not be fooled by his rhetoric. ILA demands action. We have to intensify our efforts to hold the Iranian regime accountable for the crimes that have been committed, including the massacre of prisoners in 1988, as well as the current abuses of human rights. If Rouhani has been ‘elected’ based on a moderate agenda, then let’s force him to deliver it.

We call for sanctions against the oppressive forces of the regime, in particular the Revolutionary Guards, who are behind oppression in Iran and export of terrorism abroad. President Rouhani, if a moderate, should support this move. We shall see!

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Abolish death penalty

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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