UN Secretary General raises concern on executions, human rights abuses in Iran

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, September 4, 2021—The situation of human rights in Iran remains of serious concern, with no meaningful efforts made to improve compliance with international human rights law, according to a new report by the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

In his report, Guterres raised concern over the “impediments to the rule of law and weak justice and accountability mechanisms” that have resulted in impunity of regime officials involved in rights abuses, which manifests itself in continued persecution, prosecution, and execution of human rights defenders, dissidents, and members of minority communities.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to carry out the death penalty at one of the highest rates in the world,” the report states, adding that at least 108 documented executions have taken place from January to June 2021.

Among the executed are members of the Baluch, Kurdish, and Arab minorities, with many more prisoners have been sentenced to death on charges of moharebeh (enmity against God) and vague security charges that the regime often uses against minorities and dissidents.

The UN Secretary General also raised concern over the regime’s use of death sentence against protesters in 2020, including the execution of wrestling champion Navid Afkari and Mostafa Salehi, both of whom were arrested for taking part in anti-regime protests. Other arrested protesters are facing death sentences despite widespread international calls for the regime to revoke their death sentences.

Also alarming is the continued execution of juvenile offenders, including at least four executions in 2020. “[The] application of the death penalty on child offenders constitutes a serious breach of international law,” the report of the Secretary General states.

The Secretary General’s report contains accounts of poor conditions in Iran’s prisons, crackdown on peaceful protests, and a corrupt judiciary system that provides impunity to regime authorities and deprives dissidents and activists of justice.

“Reports indicate that the judiciary fails to perform an independent role and that the human rights violations and crimes appear to be part of a policy to silence and discourage perceived or real political opposition,” the report states.

Political prisoners are especially subjected to harsh treatment in Iran’s prisons.

Per the Secretary General’s report: “Some political prisoners have been in prison for years without a single day of furlough. Maryam Akbari Monfared, sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for participating in protests in 2009, has remained imprisoned for the past 12 years. Harassment against her increased after she filed a formal complaint, seeking official investigation into the executions of political prisoners, including her siblings, in 1988.”

Following the United Nations Secretary-General’s report, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said: “The Iranian people and Resistance demand the referral of the dossier on the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses to the UN Security Council. They call on the UN Security Council to facilitate the prosecution of [regime supreme leader] Ali Khamenei, [regime president] Ebrahim Raisi, Judiciary Chief Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i, and other officials responsible for four decades of atrocities, especially the massacre of political prisoners which amounts to a crime against humanity and genocide.”

Mrs. Rajavi called on the UN to not welcome Raisi to the upcoming session of the UN General Assemgly and said, “The Iranian regime is leading violator of human rights, the most active state sponsor of terror, and the foremost threat to peace and security in the world today. It must be subjected to international sanctions under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter.”

The UN Secretary General’s report comes in tandem with another report by the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances that raises concern over the regime’s continued cover-up of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.

“The Working Group reiterates the concerns expressed about the ongoing concealment of burial sites of those forcibly disappeared and allegedly executed between July and September 1988 across the country,” the report reads in part. “The Working Group recalls that an enforced disappearance continues until the fate and whereabouts of the individuals concerned are established and joins the call for an international investigation into the matter.”

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