14 human rights lawyers residing Iran, EU, UK and US asked U.N. security council to intervene in massive violation of human rights in Iran. In this letter they asked security council to refer Iran’s human rights case to International Criminal Court, impose targeted sanctions on human rights abusers and pressure Iranian regime to release detainees of Iran Protests. They have also asked U.N. security council to lunch a comprehensive investigation on continuation of crime against humanity in Iran.
Dear President Kelly Craft,
In light of the grave situation in Iran we are writing to urge the Security Council Members to take immediate effective action to stop the continuation of crimes against humanity that has been taking place in Iran.
As you know, the UN Human Rights Council-appointed the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) for many decades including during the 1980s when IRI committed Prison Massacre by mass execution of the Political Prisoners (for which one of the alleged perpetrators by the name of Hamid Nouri currently has been remanded in custody in Sweden on suspicion of the Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide). The past month in particular has seen some of the worst crimes against civilians that Iran have ever experienced for many decades. We are therefore hereby urging a formal Council discussion of the human rights situation in Iran without prejudice to Iran’s ongoing issues on non-proliferation.
We draw the Council’s attention to the UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner’s Statements, European Parliament Resolution 2019 on the violent crackdown on the recent protests in Iran in Nov 2019, Amnesty International’s regular updates and shocking reportson unprecedented level of ongoing violence used by IRI against civilians and the most recent Special Report from the Reuters stating that the death toll is estimated to be over 1,500 within 3 days of the unrest in Iran in Nov 2019 which is based on information gathered from security forces, morgues, hospitals and coroner’s offices and the aforementioned information said to have been provided by two of the Iranian officials from which, it can easily be concluded that the long-standing and ongoing patterns of systematic and widespread violations of human rights in Iran meet the high threshold for proof of crimes against humanity and that their nature, scale, and gravity are totally unprecedented and it was the bloodiest crackdown on protesters since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and during which the internet access to global networks was shut down entirely to cover up the continuation of crimes against humanity.
The crimes entail “murder, shoot straight to head and heart to kill, arbitrary arrest and detention of over 7000 people within 3 days of the unrest, torture, sexual violence, the enforced disappearance of the protesters, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds which is depicted in great detail an alarming situation with genocide looming to be reoccurred in IRI prisons.
The reasons we believe that the re-occurrence of the 1988 genocide allegation (Prison Massacre by mass execution of the Political Prisoners) is looming because there are elements of political and religious beliefs in the commission of the above-mentioned crimes against humanity and this is because according to the Khomeinist interpretation of the Shia Sharia Law the Islamic Jurist or Clergy’s Guardianship (Velayat-e faqih) is a central pillar of the Islamic Ruling System similar to Caliph in Caliphate System and anyone who rebel and took to the street against the Islamic ruler -currently being the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Iran-and speak sacrilegiously against the said ideology, then according to this interpretation s/he would be classed as a blasphemer/heretic (Baghi in the Shia Sharia Law) and can even be summarily executed on street which we clearly can see happened in the most recent crackdown on Iran’s protests in November 2019.
On the basis of the aforementioned reports and findings, the continuation of crimes against humanity in Iran must be addressed and that the international community must accept its responsibility to protect the civilian population of Iran from the continuation crimes against humanity, because the Iranian Regime not only has manifestly failed to do so but itself is the perpetrator of the said crime.
The Security Council has a major role to play. Article 24 of the Charter of the United Nationsis clear that the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security rests with the Council.
Please note that subsequent to the Council’s meeting on 18 April 2017 (Please see S/PV.7926) regarding the Maintenance of international peace and security there is, growing international recognition of the need for Security Council engagement on the human rights situation in the countries such as Iran. At the above meeting It was Discussed by António Guterres the current Secretary-General of the United Nations that “Human rights are intrinsically linked to peace and security, and their inclusion in the deliberations and decisions of the Security Council is of great importance. The unity of the Council is crucial in order to effectively address the most flagrant violations of human rights, and in particular to prevent mass atrocities”.
It was also clearly asserted in the aforementioned meeting by the U.S Ambassador and then the Council’s President Nikki Haley “that the protection of human rights is often deeply intertwined with peace and security. The two things often cannot be separated. In case after case, human rights violations and abuses are not merely the incidental by-products of conflict, but the trigger of conflict. When a State begins to systematically violate human rights, it is a sign; it is a red flag; it is a blaring siren — one of the clearest possible indicators that instability and violence may follow and spill across borders”.
For the record in the history please note that given the unrest and ongoing protests in Iraq and Lebanon where the Iranian Regime uses the same modus operandi to brutally crackdown and gun down the posters there is a significant risk- if inaction of international community continues-that these crimes against humanity currently taking place in Iran to be turned into full-fledged conflict similar to what happened in Syria.
We believe that the sustainable peace and security cannot be achieved in isolation from human rights. As we seen and experienced in Syria the human rights violations are not only a dire consequence of conflicts, but they are often the very reason that conflicts begin in the first place.
We have seen in an instance in the past in which the Council was able to establish that link between the gross violations of human rights and danger of eruption of conflicts. We remind the Council about the resolution 120 (1956) adopted on 4 November 1956 on Hungary and the dire situation created by the use of excessive force by the Soviet military against the efforts of the Hungarian people to reassert their rights. The Council called an emergency special session of the General Assembly (see A/PV.564 to A/PV.573) so as to make the appropriate measures. We invite the Council to do the same as regard to Iran’s dire human rights situation.
We respectfully remind the Council for the future references and to prevent the history to repeat itself that the entire world, today, is watching the severe consequences of the preventable crisis in Syria and the gross human rights violations committed by various parties, especially the Syrian regime and its allies including IRI. And it should be noted that the first draft resolution on the very issue (S/2011/612) introduced by Portugal, France, the United Kingdom and Germany with a prominent human rights component, but it was unfortunately vetoed on 4 October 2011. Early warning signs of an imminent conflict were ignored in 2011 which led to the gross human rights violations being turned into full-fledged armed conflicts in Syria.
We also draw the Council’s attention to the most recent resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN General Assembly Third Committee, the latter of which was adopted with 84 UN Member States voting in favour and call on Iran “to ensure that no one is subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, either in law or in practice. It would urge Iran to cease the widespread use of arbitrary arrests and detention, release persons detained for the exercise of their human rights and fundamental freedoms, and end serious restrictions on the right to free expression and opinion”.
The Council however should note that the previous efforts taken so far have proved inadequate as the Islamic Republic of Iran has defied the united stance of the international community as embodied in the General Assembly and its Human Rights Council and continued to grossly violate its citizens human rights. The Islamic Republic of Iran ongoing and open defiance of the United Nations call on its awful human rights record, warrant a decisive, yet carefully targeted action through peaceful means that in our view should be taken by the Security Council in support of the ongoing efforts of the remainder of the United Nations system.
The IRI’s bellicose response to the latest vote in the UN General Assembly’s Human Rights Committee— by kidnapping the injured protesters from hospital, most disturbingly, the families of individuals killed by security forces have reportedly been threatened not to speak out and demanding from the families large amount of money for the cost of the bullet that killed their loved ones which is consistent with previous practices of the IRI, broadcasting forced confession on the State TV and threatening to kidnap the journalist covering Iran protest abroad and harassing their families only further supports the call that the UN Security Council’s consideration of the human rights situation in Iran is utterly essential.
It should be noted that Iran International a Persian language television channel and Media outlets reported from Iranian based Mehr News Agency that the Regime’s security forces have arbitrarily arrested the victims’ families of November uprising in Iran including the outspoken family of Poua Bakhtiari a young Iranian who has been murdered after being shot to the head by the Regime’s snipers in Nov 2019 and quickly became a symbol of peaceful protests in Iran. Poua’s family members that reportedly being arrested are being his father Manoochehr Bakhtiari, his mother Nahid Shir-Pishe and his 11 years old brother Kousha Bakhtiari after the family announced that they will hold a memorial for their son.
As outlined above, the aforementioned reports underscore the urgent need for the Council to consider the continuation of crimes against humanity in Iran as part of its agenda. To this end, we hope that the said reports were already shared with the Security Council Member States although on the best of our knowledge the Council has not yet formally discussed them. We therefore urge the UN Security Council to prioritize formal discussion of the continuation of crimes against humanity in Iran immediately, and without further delay. Such a meeting should be open to all Member States given that, the responsibility for any action lies with the entire international community.
As such we request the UN Security Council:
● To consider the relevant conclusions and recommendations of the above-mentioned reports and take appropriate actions to ensure accountability, including through possible referral of the IRI for its alleged crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court;
● To impose targeted sanctions including travel bans and asset freezes against individuals or entities that commit serious violations of international humanitarian law in Iran;
● To call on IRI to “immediately provide the identity of the detainees to the international community and without any delay to release unconditionally all protestors, human rights defenders and journalists currently held under arrest in Iran for exercising their legitimate rights to freedom of expression and assembly” under the ICCPR and Iran’s own national law;
● To call on the Iranian authorities “to live up to their international obligations”, including under United Nations Convention against Torture and stressed that torture is a Crime Against Humanity;
● To trigger without delay a comprehensive investigation on the events that have taken place during and following the Iran recent protests, led by the panel of experts to also investigate the continuation of crimes against humanity and call on IRI “to give full and unrestricted access to those conducting this inquiry”;
● To call on Iranian authorities to immediately to cease harassing the victim’s families and also “to inform all families of the location of their detained relatives, and to call on IRI for granting unhindered access for lawyers and international observers to all those detained during the protests”;
● To strongly “condemn Iran’s decision to shut down internet access to global networks and underscores that such actions are a clear violation of the freedom of speech and urges the Iranian authorities to lift all online based communications and services blockages”;
● In addition, we urge the Security Council to closely monitor the dire situation of human rights in Iran and to strongly condemn violations of the human rights in Iran.
We hope that the Council’s immediate appropriate actions would send a clear message that the human rights abuses will not be tolerated, that action will be taken to prevent further abuse and that Iranian aspirations for a lasting freedom, democracy, peace and justice have the full support of the UN Security Council.
We finally call on the Council to spare no effort to put an end to the intolerable sufferings of the Iranian people. Failure in that task would be a tragedy to shame us all.
The list of signatories includes:
1.Mehdi Houshmand-Rahimi-Human Rights Lawyer
2. Hossein Ahmadiniaz- Human Rights Lawyer
3. Ehsan Hosseinzadeh- Human Rights Lawyer
4. Soheila Rahimi- Human Rights Lawyer
5. Mazdak Etemaadzade- Human Rights Lawyer
6. Hossein Haghmeh – Human Rights Lawyer
7. Danial Estakhr – Human Rights Lawyer
8. Masoud Akhtaran-Tehrani – Human Rights Lawyer
9. Ahsan Hasan-Pour – Human Rights Lawyer
10. Mohammad Moghimi – Human Rights Lawyer
11. Alias Yousef – Human Rights Lawyer
12. Ch, Muhammad Imtiaz Hussain – Human Rights Lawyer-Barrister
13. Mojtaba Hosseini – Human Rights Lawyers
14. Daniel Rasteen – Human Rights Lawyer