For those living in Iran, the human rights situation is deplorable. Activists, journalists, and foreign nationals are routinely harassed, arrested, mistreated, tortured, and then imprisoned for speaking out against the regime or highlighting any need for change.
Today, the international community took a step forward to address the issue of human rights under the fundamentalist regime, by passing the 64th resolution condemning the human rights violations in #Iran. The resolution was adopted by the UN Third Committee. The resolution was praised by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) President-elect #MaryamRajavi, who sees it as another step forward by the international community in addressing the pressing needs of the Iranian people.
Iran 1988 Massacre
One of the major human rights violations coming to the fore, particularly in reports by the UN Secretary General and the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, is the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. This was an execution of prisoners sanctioned by the Supreme Leader and carried out before the victims were buried in mass graves. Many of their families were not notified and the regime has attempted to act as if the event never happened. Construction has begun on sites that were potential mass graves to hide evidence of this crime against humanity.
“The best example of serious human rights violations in Iran is the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 in which all the clerical regime’s agencies and officials including Ali Khamenei, the president, the judiciary, the mullahs’ parliament, and the highest officials in charge of security and intelligence agencies were involved and complicit. They defend it and have so far remained immune from prosecution. Therefore, the international community faces a great test in investigating this great crime against humanity and prosecuting its perpetrators,” said Rajavi. She also urged the UN to launch an investigation into the 1988 massacre.
Additionally, the resolution called for Iran to ensure that no one is subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, in law or in practice. The regime has consistently used the threat of prison or execution to intimidate the Iranian people.
Execution of Juvenile offenders
There are systemic issues within the Iranian judiciary that make it difficult to impossible for anyone to get a fair trial. Juvenile offenders are routinely sentenced to death, in a direct violation of international laws and resolutions.
The #UN Third Committee expressed “serious concern at the alarmingly high frequency of the imposition and carrying-out of the death penalty… including the imposition of the death penalty against minors and persons who at the time of their offence were under the age of 18, and executions undertaken for crimes that do not qualify as the most serious crimes, on the basis of forced confessions” and called on the Iranian regime “to abolish, in law and in practice, public executions.”
Throughout Iran, women’s rights activists, political activists, and labor activists are routinely harassed, arrested, and sentenced to long prison sentences for speaking out about the injustice that they see throughout the country. Iran’s track record of acknowledging its mistreatment of its citizens and making adjustments is poor to say the least.
Prisoners often face a lack of food and water. They have been forced to purchase water for themselves, and are frequently denied necessary medical treatment. Those who protest using hunger strikes are thrown into solitary confinement as a punishment for trying to draw attention to the conditions within Iran. Others are moved from their cells into high security blocks, where they are filmed and watched even when in the restrooms and showers.
The levels of discrimination and abuse have become part of Iran’s culture at all levels of government. Those who commit these crimes are assured of no punishment, as they are part of the system and their actions are seen as key to protecting the regime and its power.
“The time has come for the international community and especially the UN Security Council to undertake effective and practical measures against the religious fascism ruling Iran for its flagrant and systematic violations of human rights in Iran, particularly the brutal executions that are carried out arbitrarily and en masse,” said Rajavi.
As part of the resolution, the UN called for accountability within Iran for the human rights violations and to end any impunity for such violations of the members of the judiciary and security agencies. However, it needs to be recognized that the Iranian regime is incapable of self-policing on these issues. The 1988 massacre leaders are still active members of the Iranian government and even part of the current Presidential cabinet.
The international community needs to recognize that this resolution is a first step, but it needs to be backed up by real action in order to achieve any lasting change for the Iranian people.