Remarks by Hiljmnijeta Apuk at online conference on Iran on sidelines of 49th Session of UN Human Rights Council – 28 February 2022

The following is the text of remarks by Ms. Hiljmnijeta Apuk at an online conference by international human rights experts and NGOs on 28 February 2022, appealing to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to launch an inquiry into the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran:

Hello to everyone. Thank you for the opportunity to talk about these very important issues.

There needs to be accountability into the 1988 massacre in Iran through a UN inquiry on the basis of the facts.

In 1988, the Government of Iran massacred 30,000 political prisoners. The executions took place based on a fatwa by Supreme Leader Khomeini.

Three-member Death Commissions were formed across Iran, sending political prisoners who refused to abandon their beliefs to execution. The victims were buried in secret mass graves.

The perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity. They include Iran’s current President Ebrahim Raisi and Judiciary Chief Golam-Hossein Mohsen-Ejei.

I am among the 470 distinguished experts who signed the open letter to the Member States and Observers of the UN Human Rights Council.

I appeal to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to urgently establish an inquiry into the 1988 mass executions and enforced disappearances.

I appeal to the UN Member States to support the call for accountability by the UN Special Rapporteur on Iran over the 1988 massacre during the upcoming Interactive Dialogue on Iran that will take place at the Human Rights Council on 17 March 2022.

I send the families and those campaigning for justice over the 1988 massacre the best wishes from our NGO Little People of Kosova and our country the Republic of Kosovo.

Thank you.

Ms. Hiljmnijeta Apuk is Winner of the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights for 2013, Director of Little People of Kosova, and Member of the Ad Hoc Committee of the UN General Assembly on drafting of the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities