Iranian rights advocate: Mass execution of Sunnis is “crime against humanity”Published by International Liberty Association on August 16, 2016
Dr. Mohammad Maleki, the first chancellor of Tehran University following the 1979 Iranian revolution, strongly condemned the mass execution of Sunni political prisoners earlier this month, and the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, describing these measures as crimes against humanity that can be prosecuted in court, in an interview with Al Arabiya.
In the August 6 interview, the prominent human rights advocate said: “All the massacres that have taken place from day one to this day are all legally void, illegal and can be prosecuted in a court of law as a crime against humanity.”
Maleki criticized the international community’s silence in the face of deteriorating human rights conditions in Iran and believes as long as the regime is in power the crackdowns and intense security measures will remain intact. He expressed his hope that the Iranian people will, as soon as possible, bring to power a democratic and freedom-loving state that respects people’s rights.
Some 30,000 political prisoners were massacred in Iran in the summer of 1988.
The following are parts of a telephone interview by the Al Arabia Farsi branch with Dr. Maleki:
Al-Arabia: What are your thoughts regarding the regime’s objective in mass executing Sunni prisoners on the 28th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners?
Dr. Maleki: Principally, from day one the so-called Islamic republic of Iran has adopted a violent approach vis-à-vis the people. From the very beginning this regime executed people in the name of drug addicts and political figures, launched the 1988 killings, and killed its dissidents abroad. I was personally prosecuted and placed behind bars for five years from 1981 to 1986. I have seen how these people were executed, and how the regime launched 2-minute court trials. Around 30,000 people were executed [in 1988], they were all prosecuted and in the initial courts they were sentenced to prison terms, not to be executed. They were all prisoners and were serving their time, and some had even served their entire sentences. Therefore, all the massacres from day one to this day, and to this moment, are all legally void, illegal, can be subject to prosecution and are considered a crime against humanity.
Human rights advocates & organizations, and also various executed Kurdish activists all say these prisoners were the victims of “forged cases” by security organs, with the objective of portraying Iran’s Sunni movement as extremists. What is your opinion in this regard?
I have been a prisoner myself. Principally, all the jailing and accusations are illegal and nothing but allegations lacking any real basis… Our friends who were their cell-mates, and whom I have talked with, say they had no relation with ISIS, terrorism or any such issue. They were all religiously devoted and often held mass prayers. Anyhow, these crimes that this regime will carry out until its very last day in power, are aimed at cementing a climate of fear in the society.
Considering the agreement reached between the West and Iran, how do you evaluate the international community’s position regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran? In your opinion, is the human rights situation – as many say – becoming victim to this agreement?
Why are they silent? Don’t they think with each day in power this government is a detriment for the Iranian people?
Dr. Maleki, how do you assess the situation of domestic protests and also Iran’s relations with the region in the shadows of its warmongering meddling?
All the workers, farmers, teachers, college students, bazaar merchants and various groups have come to understand that they are subject to cruelty. The taxes extracted from them and the money we were demanding are all spent in countries such as Iraq, Yemen and Yemen. I hope the Iranian people are successful, as soon as possible, in having a truly democratic and freedom loving state that respects human rights come to power.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein condemned the recent executions in Iran. In your opinion, is it enough for the U.N. to merely condemn human rights violations to stop the crackdown and intense security atmosphere in Iran? What is your message to the international community in this regard?
These condemnations are necessary, but not enough. I believe the U.N. and other international human rights organizations should seriously stand against these crimes.
On Tuesday, August 2nd the fundamentalist mullahs’ regime in Iran sent 25 Sunni prisoners to the gallows in the notorious Gohardasht Prison, located in Karaj, north-west of Tehran.