Iranian exiles file UK rights abuse claim against Raisi

An Iranian opposition group has lodged a complaint with Scottish police over alleged human rights violations and genocide committed by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, its members said in Glasgow on Wednesday.

Hossein Abedini, member of the coalition of opposition parties of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), told a press conference that Raisi should be held responsible for his participation in the massacre of around 30,000 political prisoners in 1988.

“Raisi should be held responsible for the genocide and the many crimes against humanity he committed as a senior Iranian regime official,” Abedini told reporters.

“The international community must act to investigate the 1988 massacre and Raisi’s role in it.”

The NCRI has demanded that Raisi, an extremist cleric elected to power in August, be arrested if he travels to Glasgow to attend the UN climate change summit on October 31.

“He should not be allowed to set foot in countries outside of Iran and that is why an official request has been made to the Scottish Police to arrest Raisi for crimes against humanity if he decides to ‘attend COP 26 in Glasgow,’ said Abedini.

A similar complaint has been filed in England, which has a separate legal system.

The complaints concern Raisi’s role as a judge in mass executions in 1988, when the Islamic Republic consolidated its control.

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, then Iran’s Supreme Leader, issued a fatwa ordering the execution of all supporters of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), whom Tehran considers a “terrorist group”.

Special death commissions have been created to implement the order, according to the NCRI.

Struan Stevenson, a former member of the Scottish European Parliament, said he sent a letter to Scottish Police Chief Iain Livingstone on behalf of the NCRI, requesting a criminal investigation into the charges of genocide and crimes against humanity against Raisi.

“In a covering letter to Police Chief Livingstone, the plaintiffs state that they themselves, or their relatives or cell mates, have been ‘subjected to the crime of torture and large-scale extrajudicial killings’,” Stevenson said.

“In their testimonies, they describe how, in the summer of 1988, they were taken to Gohardasht prison, west of Tehran, where, during a three-minute hearing, they were confronted with Raisi, in his role as prosecutor, and asked if they continued to support the PMOI. “

Stevenson said Raisi, a former Iranian justice chief, is widely known as “Tehran’s Butcher” and is on the US sanctions list for serial human rights violations.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both called for his indictment of human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

srg / phz / tgb

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