30 October, 2012

The Iran Tribunal - The Hague 25-27 October 2012

On 26th May 2011, this blog published ~ Massacre of prisoners in Iran - "Do you think we should have given them sweets?" - Iran Tribunal.

A post on The Justice [ ] Gap blog preceded an independent tribunal hearing in The Hague (held 25th - 27th October) which examined the massacre by the Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime of some 20 to 30,000 political prisoners, men and women, in Iran in the 1980s.  About 4,500 people, many of them teenagers and from leftwing groups, died in the summer of 1988 alone, according to Amnesty International.   The killings have been largely ignored by the west, unlike the mass killings perpetrated in places like Srebrenica, Rwanda, or the Chile of Pinochet.  The Islamic Republic of Iran was invited to participate in the hearing but has to date refused to engage with the Tribunal process.

See the Tribunal's Press Release of 15th October.

The Tribunal follows on from a Truth Commission process which issued a report in September 2012.  The report is 357 pages and is exceptionally harrowing.  The report provides in detail the manner of arrest, the brutal tortures that were carried out by the regime in the Iranian prisons and mass executions between 1981 and 1988.  The report further investigates the disastrous impact of these brutalities on the families of the victims and the survivors of the torture and imprisonment.

The Tribunal is to hand down a verdict in November - see Payvand Iran News 27th October 2012 - Iran Tribunal Closing Statement at The Hague

In the closing statement John Cooper QC said:  “We have heard the accounts of many who had crimes committed against them by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The experienced panel of judges will now adjourn to consider the wealth of information that witnesses have provided about their experiences of the Iranian prisons and the treatment of political as well as religious and ethnic minority prisoners between 1980 - 1988. It is a real credit to the wives, sisters, and mothers of those who were executed and victims of atrocities who have persevered for twenty five years to have their voices heard in a court for the first time. The Tribunal will be issuing its verdict on the Islamic Republic of Iran and the crimes against humanity that have been described here shortly.”

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