Call for justice over Iran’s 1988 massacre a key theme at UN Human Rights Council

UN must end impunity for Iran Justice Minister, perpetrator of crime against humanity

Families of the victims of the 1988 massacre are appalled at the misuse of the United Nations human rights institutions by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iranian Justice Minister Alireza Avaei, a perpetrator of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, on Monday entered the premises of the UN in Geneva to attend the High-Level Segment of the 37th Session of the Human Rights Council. He is scheduled to address the council at 15.40 on Tuesday, 27 February 2018.

Rather than welcoming a serial abuser of human rights who act with impunity, the international community ought to prosecute Avaei on the charge of committing crimes against humanity over his role in the largest massacre of political prisoners since the second world war.

Survivors and families of the victims of the 1988 massacre demand and expect all democratic nations and human rights institutions to strongly oppose Avaei’s visit. The Human Rights Council must not allow Iran to make a mockery of the world’s human rights platform.

Avaei was Prosecutor-General and member of the 1988 Death Commission in Dezful, south-west Iran, that extra-judicially sent large numbers of political prisoners to their death. At a civil society hearing in Geneva on 1 February 2018, survivors of the massacre and international human rights experts testified about the massacre which under the definition of the Rome Statute constituted a crime against humanity. Avaei’s name was repeatedly brought up over his role in the massacre.

Avaei’s name (Seyyed Ali-Reza AVAEE, a.k.a. Seyyed Alireza Avaie) is also included on the sanctions lists of the European Union, Switzerland and the United Kingdom for human rights abuses during his time as President of the Tehran Judiciary.

JVMI published his name and background as a member of the 1988 Death Commission in Khuzestan Province in two books – “Inquiry into the 1988 mass executions in Iran” and “The 1988 Massacre in Iran: Evidence of a Crime Against Humanity” – in 2017.

Justice for the Victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran

27 February 2018