As the United Nations Human Rights Council prepares to hold its its forty-ninth regular session from February 28 to April 1, 2022, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Amnesty International has sent a report to Council, in which it has called for urgent action to prevent continued human rights abuses in Iran.
Amnesty urged the Human Rights Council to “to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Iran; engage thoroughly with the findings and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur’s upcoming report; and increase its focus on the crisis of systemic impunity in Iran for past and ongoing crimes against humanity and other gross and systemic human rights violations.”
The report comes on the heels of another 200-page report, in which Amnesty has called for an international investigation into the massacre of Iranian political prisoners in 1988. The report described the 1988 massacre as a “crime against humanity” and stressed that lack of investigation and accountability for the main perpetrators of this crime has resulted in the continuation of systematic human rights abuses in Iran.
While raising concern over the continued deterioration of human rights situation in Iran in its latest report, Amnesty called for “the creation of an impartial, independent mechanism on Iran to address entrenched impunity for the most serious crimes under international law, with a mandate to collect, consolidate, preserve, and analyse evidence for future investigations and, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, prosecutions.”
It is worth noting that the renewal of the mandate of Javaid Rehman, the UN Special Rapporteur on Situation of Human Rights in Iran, is on the Human Rights Council’s agenda and it is expected that the UN HRC will approve it for another year, causing much concern among Iranian regime officials. In his last report, Rehman had called for an end to impunity on human rights abuses in Iran and accountability of regime officials responsible for the 1988 massacre and the brutal suppression of protesters in November 2019.
In January, 470 current and former UN officials, international jurists, judges, and Nobel laureates wrote a letter to the UN HCR and called for an immediate investigation into the 1988 massacre. The letter especially highlights the role of regime president Ebrahim Raisi and judiciary chief Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei played in the crime against humanity.
The continued activities of the Iranian Resistance and activists around the world has helped shed light on the human rights conditions in Iran and the crimes committed by the mullahs’ regime. Violence, executions, and human rights abuses have been a key tenet of the mullahs’ rule since they seized power in 1979. They will resort to blackmail, and other threats to prevent the world from holding them to account for their human rights abuses because they know that the minute they back down from repression and executions, their rule will head toward collapse.
It is now the duty of the international community, the UN, and governments to take a stand. Nothing justifies turning a blind eye on the ongoing human rights abuses in Iran.