Working as a Porter, Kolbar, the last resort for a growing number of women

International Liberty Association: The number of women and youth working as porters (or back carriers) has increased dramatically in the Iranian border provinces of Kurdistan, West Azerbaijan, and Kermanshah.
This was reported by the state-run Hamshahri daily on 22 January.

Unemployment crisis in Iran is one of the reasons why women have been dragged into this job. Women have to carry heavy loads in difficult mountainous paths of western Iranian borders, to provide for part of their economic needs.

The number of women working as porters and carrying heavy loads on their backs has been rapidly growing so that this job is no longer a masculine job, and men have got used to women working as porters.

Porters face a plethora of dangers and threats in the border region. The threat becomes even more significant when you consider the presence of a growing number of women.

Halaleh Amini, representative of the Iranian Kurdistan Province in the Supreme Council of Provinces, said, “It is most regrettable that we face women and girls who have to disguise themselves as men and join the long line of porters.” (The state-run Tasnim news agency – 10 October, 2019)
Many of these women fear losing their jobs, if they talk to the media and only a few of them talked about their sufferings.

A young woman with heavy Kurdish accent introduced herself as Hiva. Her father was also a porter and she used to walk with him to the mountain foot.

Hiva says, “Every time my father went for work, I couldn’t sleep until morning. And when it was time for him to come back, I waited for him… We were five sisters and our father worked as a porter and did whatever he could to pay for our living.”

Hiva added, “One day, seven years ago, my father went to the mountain and never came back. We no longer had any breadwinner, so we had to do something to save our lives.”

“Regrettably, I’m not very strong and I cannot go (for work) very often. Every time I carry the cargoes and come back, I suffer from back pain for several days.”

Maryam is a young woman who works as a porter to earn her own and her daughter’s living. She has divorced her husband because he was an addict.
Maryam says, “I have no other option for paying the expenses of my daughter. In the eight years that I work as a porter, I have met many different people. Every one chooses this job out of some circumstances. Some have master’s degrees, but do not find jobs. Some people are old.

At age 65, they have no insurance to help them in such days. So they have to go through difficult paths to provide for the expenses of their families. Their shoulders break so much that they have to walk through these mountains.”

An old woman cannot speak Farsi. She speaks of her pains over the years, and her daughter translates. She has seen a man walk on a mine right in front of her eyes. She and other porters abandon their loads and take the wounded man to the nearest village clinic by a mule. Their clothes were drenched in blood and they were weeping.

The old woman says, “Every time after saying goodbye to my children, I thought I would not come back and what would happen to my kids?”

She also spoke of the days when she saved her money to buy some goods, but in the middle of the way, security forces seized her goods and sent her back home with empty hands.

International Liberty Association

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What do you know about the International Liberty Association

 A charity organisation registered in London called the “International Liberty Association

The International Liberty Association (ILA) is a Registered Charity (Charity number: 1160607). It was formed to promote a respect for human rights throughout the world and at the same time to do whatever is necessary to reduce the suffering of the victims of such abuses by focusing international opinion on the situation.                                                                            

In this regard, during the couple of years of activities, ILA along with its hard working volunteers and help from generous supporters has done:

► Campaigns to stop “Forced Marriage”, “Child Labouring”,

►Raise awareness of human rights issues, to support the rights of women, children and minorities,

►Aids refugees who are victims of human rights abuses,

►Has relocated more than 3,000 refugees in a safe place,

►Using all possible public network and communications, considering Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the way of living at peace. 

We can continue our activities to reduce people’s suffering and gain more respect for Human Rights, when you help us with a gift in your will to make a huge change in our children’s future life.

Imagine a Middle-East with no Human Rights violation which you have been part of this glorious project.

During all this years we could not do anything without your help. This is an admirable job which comes through with your generous help.

Please contact us today, we are here to help. It is quite easy o leave a gift in your will to ILA, empowering us to follow our commitments which are:

Raise awareness of human rights crises, Supporting Human Rights and its defenders, Protecting refugees and victims of Human Rights Violation, Protecting prisoners of conscience.

Struan Stevenson

ILA: Mr. Struan Stevenson

One of the main speakers of the International Liberty Association in our North London Event was Struan Stevenson, who represented Scotland in the European Parliament from 1999-2014. He is an author and international lecturer on the Middle East and Human Rights.

He is well known in Europe and Scotland for his in-depth knowledge and understanding of Scottish and EU affairs. Struan was a former President of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, President of the European Parliament’s Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development Intergroup, President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq and President of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup.

He is Co-ordinator of the Campaign for Iran Change (CIC) and President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA). Struan is Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Business UK (SBUK), a pro-union business organization. He is a director of The European Bureau for Conservation & Development (EBCD) and is also heavily committed to animal welfare issues.

Moderator: After his talk, you will have time to ask him questions, and there is no one better in this room prepared to take some challenging questions than Struan, so please everyone welcome Struan Stevenson (applause).

Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen, Secretary of State. It’s a hard act to follow Theresa, but it’s always a pleasure for me to come here (ILA office); I’m beginning to find my way here regularly. My favorite cat lives here as well (laughter). And really, could I start by thanking the International Liberty Association for all of your fundraising, and all of the work, very important work, that you do on behalf of victims of human rights abuse, particularly in support of our dear friends the Ashrafis, now two thousand five hundred of them in Albania.

Now, as we’ve heard this evening and we’ve seen some harrowing videos, the protests are continuing to rage in Iran. Millions of demonstrators are on the streets now in 144 cities and towns across the nation, demanding – and the demonstrations have become totally political now, there is now question of the old adage that we used to hear in the British press that it’s the hardliners against the moderates’ middle ground.

It is now political, they are calling for the downfall of this theocratic fascist regime. And let me give you the figures, the latest figures this evening, of what is happening in these demonstrations where the IRGC and the Bassij have given instructions to shoot to kill, aiming at the heads and chests of the protesters. The latest figures are that 285 people have been killed, four thousand have been injured, ten thousand protesters have been arrested. Ten thousand. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, he is the one who has ordered the regime’s Gestapo, the IRGC, to open fire on these unarmed civilians, many of them children. As we heard this evening, a 13-year-old shot in the head, killed.

In Iran more than half the population of eighty million is under the age of thirty. Around a quarter of these young people are jobless, more in some of the harder-hit regions. And yet the Iranians are among the most pro-Western people in the Middle East, but they are ruled by a clique of elderly, bearded, deeply corrupt mullahs who’ve drained the country’s rich oil resources to feather-bed their own lavish lifestyles, and to fund their revolutionary expansionism and proxy wars. This is why millions of people have taken to the streets inside Iran, but also why they have taken to the streets in Iraq and Lebanon, demanding an end to Iranian meddling in the Middle East and an end to corruption and oppression.

So if Europe’s new High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Josep Borrell, takes office, he must now tell the people of Iran, Iraq and Lebanon that they have EU support, that the people of Europe stand shoulder to shoulder with all of these protesters, and that we will not stop supporting them until we get rid of this theocratic regime. Thank you (app

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Iran November Protests

ILA: This is a excerpt report of some of the news agencies and Amnesty International about the recent peaceful protests in Iran against the Gasoline 300 percent increased price.

Iran’s government has blamed foreign enemies for the recent unrest — the severity of which remains unclear because a near-total internet shutdown has halted the flow of information out of the country.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has claimed victory over the ongoing unrest in the country, state media reported Wednesday, six days after nationwide protests erupted following an abrupt spike in gas prices.
The question is: So why is the internet still off?

Human Rights Watch said “occasional video footage of protests posted on social media amid the internet shutdown appear to show security forces directly shooting at protesters in different cities.”
Rouhani has suggested that the protesters were not Iranians but anti-government forces “pre-planned by the reactionary regional regimes, the Zionists, and the Americans.”

David Kaye, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, told CNN that: “The international community needs to be saying: keep the internet on, do not repress peaceful protest, use only proportionate means to deal with it, and make sure that all your responses to protesters are in keeping with international human rights standards.”

“We have seen the reports of a significant death toll during recent protests in the Islamic Republic of Iran. We echo the statement on Iran made by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights yesterday, including the call to immediately re-establish Iranians’ access to the internet,” Secretary General spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.


ABC News
On Tuesday, Amnesty International reported at least 106 people have been killed since the protests against a fuel subsidy cut began over the weekend. The report cites videos and eyewitness accounts that have trickled out of the country, an effort complicated by the internet restrictions.

With internet connections cut off across the country by authorities in Iran after days of bloody protests, Iranians are scrambling to understand what is happening beyond what little has come out in official channels.

Nationwide protests against tripling fuel prices in Iran have resulted in at least 106 protesters in 21 cities in Iran killed, Amnesty International reported Tuesday.
They raised objects to some of the domestic and international policies of the Islamic Republic, by shouting slogans like, “No Gaza, no Lebanon, I give my life for Iran” and “We’ve got no money and no fuel, leave Palestine alone.”
Philip Luther, research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International:
“The frequency and persistence of lethal force used against peaceful protesters in these and previous mass protests, as well as the systematic impunity for security forces who kill protesters, raise serious fears that the intentional lethal use of firearms to crush protests has become a matter of state policy.”

Amnesty International

Iran: More than 100 protesters believed to be killed as top officials give green light to crush protests

The authorities must end this brutal and deadly crackdown immediately and show respect for human life 
خيلي جمله خوبيه:
Even if a small minority of protesters have resorted to violence, police must always exercise restraint and use no more force than is strictly necessary, proportionate and lawful in response to the violence they are facing. Violence by a few individuals does not justify a widespread reckless response 

On 16 November, less than a day after the protests began, the authorities implemented an ongoing near-total shutdown of the internet, shutting off nearly all means of online communications for people inside Iran.

The Telegraph
Iran affairs expert Dr. Reza Taghizadeh, formerly of Glasgow University:
“It appears that the common element of these protests is exactly the same as what we are currently witnessing in Iraq, Lebanon and Chile and that is general poverty and the failure of their governments to provide the basic needs of populations.
“Although the trigger force in Iran is the rise of price of gasoline, the protests in more than 37 major cities are political and against a system of government that is corrupt, undemocratic and resists change”,

Iran’s Interior Minister Abdulreza Rahmani Fazli announced the sudden 300 percent increase in the price of gasoline last Friday, saying that it was a decision by the country’s High Council for Economic Coordination.

International Liberty Association: Please make a donation towards our “Campaign to support the victim of peaceful demonstrations”

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The situation for a child in Iran is appalling

ILA Supporting Children Event

Dr Davina Lloyd was another speaker at the International Liberty Association’s event:

“Before I begin I wanted to say two thanks-you. First thank-you is to all my Iranian friends. This might seem a strange thank-you, but before I knew them I knew nothing about Camp Liberty. But what they gave me was the chance to save the lives of other human beings, and I think the one thing you can do in life, the best thing you can do in life, is to save the life of somebody else, and there is nothing better than that; and then, to top it all, they let me go to Albania and meet the people whose lives I’ve saved, and that was overwhelmingly joyful, and for that I say thank you to them all.

I also want to thank you all, everybody here, for everything you do to support this wonderful organisation (International Liberty Association) and for everything you’ve done in the past to make sure that our friends escaped that dreadful, ironically-named Camp Liberty. I think we all know that the current regime of mullahs is only interested in expanding their misogynistic and very cruel version of Islam across the world. And because they obviously have different world-view to everybody else, they see that the best way to do this is to increase their population from 82 million to 150 million, when everybody else in the world is trying to cut back on the expanding population.

Now the slight problem with this is, if you want an instant increase in babies being born, all you can do is take young girls, girls under the age of eighteen, to older men, and that is the state-sanctioned view of what you do with little girls. And so currently 17 per cent, that’s almost a fifth, of all marriages in Iran, are with young girls under the age of eighteen, and one million of those marriages are with girls aged ten to fourteen. And the whole idea is to get them pregnant and expand the population of an Islamic state. I myself, as a biology teacher, I know that it is not right, either physically or mentally, for young girls to be having children at such a young age, and the problems that will then come to them, both physically and mentally, afterwards are extreme; and it is a most awful form of child torture.

The consequence of that is that the suicide or attempted suicide as well, of all these young girls has considerably increased. We have to do something to stop that. The second thing of course, as you saw, is all the problems with work. These girls have a particular problem because they don’t often stay married. Once they’ve done their bit, once they’re no longer virgins, these older men move on to the next one, and there are huge numbers, something like 40,000, very young girls divorced before they get to eighteen.

The problem they’ve got is that they’re now on the scrapheap. Nobody wants them, and how on earth are they going to get any work, except on the streets, because they haven’t got any education, because at marriage the education stops as well ? And they’re not the only ones that don’t get the education. It’s hard with Iran to get hold of actual figures except for the ones that they give you themselves, but there are about 3.2 million children who don’t get any education and about seven million of those actually work on the streets.

The average life expectancy on the streets is ten and that’s because, not only do you become ill because of the life on the streets, but you are trafficked. You are rented out for sex. You are sold and sold for your organs as well, and there are no laws to prevent any of this happening whatsoever.

So the situation for a child in Iran is appalling. I just wanted to say that I give to a number of charities and I’m involved in a lot of charity work, and the ILA is the only charity that I give to that I know that none of the money I give is going to some executive in charge. I know it’s going out there to do good work and I have seen the consequences of their work myself. So children are our future, that’s what it says. Let’s help them. Thank you!

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Iran’s Trash Children: A Harrowing Reality

The International Liberty Association found this report good to share about the children situation in Iran, particularly it is about children who are looking for food in trashes our to find something to sell and then share their earning with their families. These children spend their time and life for a basic need to be survived, instead of enjoying their childhood or going to school, be ready to build the country’s future.  

ILA invite you to read this report, written by Hamideh.

A garbage lot in Shar-e Rey, south of Tehran, has become very important to locals who earn money from sorting trash, with some being lucky enough to find something edible or valuable in with the rubbish.

While this story would be tragic enough like that, most of the trash sorters are young children whose families are struggling to survive and are forced to send their children to do this dangerous work in order to make ends meet.  

Worse still, the Regime has actually been charging the child garbage collectors 35 million rials for access to the lot and 5-7 million rials to rent small shacks to live in. Then, on October 16, several garbage lots in Ashraf Abad of Shar-e Rey were destroyed, forcing the garbage collectors to spend several nights in the neighboring deserts.

Of course, Shar-e Rey is not the only place that children pick through trash and this is not the only dangerous job that children there are forced to do. In Tehran alone, nearly 5000 children are sorting trash, with 40% of them being the only worker in their family. All of them are at risk of infection and developing diseases like Hepatitis and AIDS. 

In September, ISNA news agency found out that the “average age of garbage collectors is 12”, but kids as young as four are working out there for “10-20 hours a day” and that these kids “live in makeshift homes made of junk and have no bath”. They concluded that this can only be described as “modern slavery”. 

Life for children has only gotten worse under the mullahs’ regime, with many being robbed of a future and forced to do exhausting and humiliating work, where the regime can still exploit these precious children to make money. Even the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS)-affiliated Mehr news agency reports that there is a mafia network that has grown around the garbage collector children.

While back in March the state-run ILNA news agency wrote that the government won’t stop the child trash collectors because then the regime would be forced to pay higher wages to workers of legal age, who know their rights and can fight for them through legal channels. 

Now, of course, the regime’s media hides much of the crisis, but it is clear that government institutions and officials are exploiting Iranian children to line their own pockets, no matter what damage it might do.

As International Liberty Association one of our main campaigns and works is towards supporting children rights, stopping child laboring and forced marriage.

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Our event in North London

Azadeh Hosseini

The International Liberty Association held an event in North London. The vent was regarding the Child Laboring in Iran. The speakers also talked about it including:
Azadeh Hosseini, a mother of two young children and a secondary school head teacher.

Excerpts of her speech at the International Liberty Association event follow:

“I would like to thank you all for being here and for your endeavours in improving the lives of women and children in Iran. My parents came to the UK as refugees when I was three years old, and my sister was just two months old, knowing that Iran was not a place to raise their daughters. Unfortunately, however, for other young women and girls the harsh life under the mullahs is a bitter reality. Trafficking and exploitation of young girls, some the same age as my own daughter, is commonplace. An unprecedented number of Iranian girls are being forced into child marriage as you know, and this is mostly due to poverty.

This issue sparked a renewed wave of outrage in February after an eleven-year-old girl was repeatedly raped after being forced to marry a man forty years her senior, who already had a wife and seven children. Sadly this is not uncommon, and what is worse is that there seems to be little outcry about this atrocity. Child marriage is just one area where the treatment of women in Iran has prompted concerns. Iran is a country where women are harassed to the extent where it is not even safe to go to work, where women are executed for simply defending themselves against rape by those in power. Those who rise up against injustice against women and children are faced with a harsh prison sentence.

As you’ve seen from the videos, not a day goes by without a new clip being shown of Iranian children either selling chewing-gum and other items in order to feed their families, or children playing instruments on the streets to collect loose change to pay for their parents’ medical bills, or other clips where children describe how they take it in turns to go to school with their siblings, as their parents cannot afford to buy them each a pair of shoes. Or there are other videos of mothers and children sorting through rubbish to find food to fill their empty stomachs. As a young mother, it is such things that break my heart into a million pieces, and bring tears to my eyes. Whilst those in power in Iran line their pockets and use the Iranian wealth to fund terror groups, these innocent children are being robbed of their dignity and their youth on a daily basis.

These children are a generation who would be left damaged and broken whose scars will run deep and may never heal.
As a teacher I am left wondering how these children one day will try to overcome the mental and physical scars inflicted upon them. I often remind myself that these could have been my children, with no food, no shelter or shoes to line their sore feet, forced to marry when very young because I had no means of supporting them – oh how life could have been so different for me! What a shame, and how sad it is to be speaking such words in the context of a country with such a proud history and such a proud people, a country whose oil should see to the needs of the Iranian people ten times over. Even thirty-five years ago when my parents left the country, they could not have imagined what would become of the country that they loved, and what would become of the situation of women and children of their homeland.

Fortunately, the work of organisations such as International Liberty Association, whose work I am proud of, brings this to light. We are all here because this issue has touched us in some ways, and I am so grateful to each and every one of you for being here.

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 International Liberty Association had an interview with one of the young volunteers, Rosa. She told ILA a brief story about her background and her motivation in helping International Liberty Association human rights campaigns, particularly, Campaign to Stop Child laboring and Forced Marriage.

ILA: Hi Rosa! Thank you for accepting our invitation and sharing your story with International Liberty Association Report readers.

As you know the “Report” page is a new page in ILA website, and we wanted to have an interview with one of ILA’s young volunteers. So, please tell us about yourself, you study and your hobbies or how you spend your spare time.”

Rosa: “Hi, I am Rosa, 17 years old. I’m currently doing my last year of A-levels. My parents are both British-Iranians and human rights activists. I have been learning piano 10 years ago and I play piano in my free time, and also I do volunteering for the International Liberty Association one day a week.”

ILA: “We appreciate your excellent work here at International Liberty Association.”

You said your parents are both British-Iranians and human rights activists, please tell us more about them?”

Rosa: “My dad was in prison and tortured for 8 years because of fighting for human rights and freedom of speech in Iran. Many of his friends have been executed. My aunt has also been executed. My father still hasn’t been able to move on from the pain and suffering that he has been through.

My dad says the only way to help me dealing with this pain is by supporting human rights and fighting for the people who are suppressed by the Iranian government in our country. My mother also is a human rights activist and we all are hoping freedom for our country like what I am enjoying here.”

ILA: “Do you have any sisters our brothers here?”

Rosa: “yes, I do. I have a very kind brother, Elia. He was born here like me and we have not seen Iran yet.”

ILA: “You haven’t seen Iran! That’s interesting, so tell us what do you and Elia Know about Iran?”

Rosa: “Yeah! Literally our parents aim to keep me and my brother, Elia, educated on the history and culture of our country; a country in which, unlike the UK, the children have to work instead of going school and having fun; a country where, without their consent, young girls are being married off to men the age of their fathers; where children have to sell their kidneys to be able to put food on the table.

When I ask my father why Iran is like this, he says that Iran is a rich country and with proper use of this money it could end all sufferings, however, the people in charge, are exploiting this money for their own use.”

ILA: “So, could you please tell us about the reason for your volunteering here at International Liberty Association, I mean what is your motivation in helping this human rights charity?”

Rosa: “With my parents, I follow the news on what is happening in Iran. My parents would rather me to focus on my studies than to see the evil in my country. Despite this, I feel obliged to see what is happening to kids my own age in my own country. Just like Maryam Akbari and Soheil Arabi who can’t be with their children, I think that if I was in Iran I could be in the same position as those children. The children of Iran don’t deserve this. Just as my parents put so much of their time and energy in helping them, I want to do as much as I can to be the voice of the children of Iran.

ILA: “Rosa, thank you very much for your time and your hospitality. We wish you all the best at your education and your fight for human rights and a better future for the whole world.”

Rosa: “I should thank you and the International Liberty Association that established these opportunities for people like me who want to do something to support human rights and end the suffering of people whose rights have been violated.”

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Mr. Geoffrey Robertson at the ILA social event

International Liberty Association held a social event in Waterloo on 21 September, this year, and the Human Rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, was the keynote speaker at the event.

According to the International Liberty Association’s reporter; “During the half-hour long speech Mr. Robertson laid out the case for the need to hold Iranian regime authorities to account for the crime against humanity they committed in the summer of 1988.

The 1988 massacre was against defenseless prisoners of conscience whom he described as “the most vulnerable” persons. Excerpts from his speech appear below. (ILA)

Let me make a beginning from here. The prisoner, human rights prisoner, is the most vulnerable person because he or she is at the complete command of those in authority… To commit crimes against humanity, which comprises the worst sort of crime, is the killing of prisoners. On July the 29th, 1988, the worst example of the worst of all crimes happened in the prisons of Iran. … The Ayatollah issued a fatwa. Now, on the 29th of July, prisons throughout Iran went into lockdown. The radio wasn’t heard, no newspapers were allowed, prison visits were canceled, and trips to the infirmary were stopped. Prisoners – the only visitors that came to those prisons – Evin, and other prisons in Tehran and all over – were black BMWs with what later was termed a Death Commission, three officers of the state: one, a judge; one, a prosecutor; one, an intelligence officer. At Evin, where most of the prisoners in Tehran were being kept, you had as the prosecutor a man named Raisi; as the intelligence officer, renowned for always voting to execute, you had a man named Pour-Mohammadi. Now, what happened then was that all the prisoners in this category were called up and waited outside the door of the makeshift courtroom.

International Liberty Association reporters that Mr. Geoffrey Robertson continued: “There were two exit doors; they were brought in from the front, and there were two exit doors, one to the  right and  one  to the  left, and  the  prisoner was brought in, and  [they] said: “What is your allegiance?” And if the prisoner honestly said “the organization” or “the MEK,” the order was: “Take him to the left.” If the prisoner crumpled and said “I’m a hypocrite, a monafeqin,” he was taken sometimes to the right, sometimes; otherwise, for one reason or another, he was taken to the left, usually because the intelligence officer, Pour-Mohammadi, had decided he wanted everyone taken to the left. Taken to the left, a queue was blindfolded, hand-whopped, hands tied behind back, and led in a conga line to the auditorium of the prison, and there were six ropes hanging and they were strung up, six at a time.  There was another group taken to cranes that were outside the amphitheater; four nooses to every crane, four at a time.  Thousands of people in this way were killed on the 29th or 30th.

It is worth mentioning that according to many human rights organizations, the International Liberty Association has reported that 30,000 prisoners were executed in the summer of 1988, in Iran.

Mr Geoffrey Robertson added: “It was the worst crime against humanity committed against prisoners since the Pathan death marches in the Philippines of American and Australian servicemen by the Japanese at the end of the war. Those Japanese who ordered that barbaric treatment, to march prisoners to death, were executed in the Tokyo trials. There was a similar situation of course in Srebrenica, when seven thousand Muslim men and boys were executed by the Serbs.

They were imprisoned, but only for a few hours; these, this was a crime against people who’d been kept in prison for seven or eight years, and in many cases were melikesh, had served their sentence. This was a brutal execution without a trial, without an appeal, without mercy.

How is it that when every other crime committed in this world since the Second World War has had some prosecution, some retribution, this has not had any? And the relatives, the families of those who were killed in this barbaric way have not been allowed to mourn. They’ve not been told the location of the mass graves in which their children were put in them.

I think it is important that either the Security Council give a direction to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to develop a case in relation to the mass killings in Iran, or, it could be, but these people up for trial in absentia, in their absence, because we’ll never get them out of Iran while the government stands.   But one way or the other, it has become crucial, I think, to the development of human rights law that some retribution, even if it’s only retribution in absentia, should be visited on these people.   Set up a prosecutor, set up a court that can hear the evidence that can shame them, that can articulate what happened in those prisons in 1988, so that, hopefully, it will not happen again, so that the world can see what kind of people run this country.   Only by telling that truth and having it widely appreciated can the other horrors that this regime is perpetrating be called out.   So that would be my plea, that this is the worst of crimes against humanity since the Second World War, nothing has been done about it and now the United Nations, which failed in 1988 to do anything, must step up and do something, because even by authoritatively putting out the evidence, that is one way that the truth can come out.   Thank you (applause).

International Liberty Association wants to get this opportunity, once again to thank Mr. Geoffrey Robertson for his speech at ILA event in Waterloo on 21 September.

What International Liberty Association is doing regarding the 1988 Massacre is: “…telling that truth and having it widely appreciated can the other horrors that this regime is perpetrating be called out.”  

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