UN Geneva

JVMI Leads Successful Advocacy at Human Rights Council for UN Probe into Iran’s 1988 Massacre

Justice for the Victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran (JVMI) led a successful advocacy project at the 46th regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council throughout February-March 2021.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which has limited JVMI’s ability to conduct face-to-face meetings as in previous years, we were able to promote the call for a UN Commission of Inquiry into the 1988 massacre.

In February, JVMI and dozens of other international NGOs submitted a joint written statement to the Human Right Council appealing to High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to support the launch of a UN inquiry into the 1988 massacre. The text of the written statement is available on the UN’s website. The NGOs welcomed a letter by seven UN Special Rapporteurs to the Iranian authorities, dated 3 September 2020, reiterating that the 1988 massacre could amount to “crimes against humanity” which warrant an “international investigation”.

In the leadup to the Human Right Council’s latest session, the JVMI held an online press conference with the Association of Accredited Correspondents at the United Nations (ACANU) appealing to High Commissioner Bachelet to end the “chronic impunity” that exists among Iranian officials.

Tahar Boumedra, a former UN human rights chief in Iraq and current JVMI representative, joined an online side event on human rights in Iran organised by NGOs at the Human Rights Council. UN Member States should come together in support of a UN investigation into the 1988 massacre, Mr. Boumedra told the panel.

JVMI also conducted a media blitz in advance of the Human Rights Council session, publishing op-eds in publications such as Newsweek and Townhall.

Various national delegations and NGO representatives used the interactive dialogue and general debate forums at the Human Rights Council to support a UN investigation into the 1988 massacre.

The JVMI also helped mobilise the council’s Member States to extend the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Javaid Rehman, for an additional year. The council voted in favour of the extension on 23 March 2021.