Commemorate someone accused of crimes against humanity is a violation of human rights

more than 600 people, including family members of the plaintiffs, women’s rights activists, political activists, civil activists, artists, poets, and writers, have called on Mr. Dennis Francis, the President of the 78th General Assembly of the United Nations, to refrain from holding any ceremony for  Ebrahim Raisi (former president of Iran) at the United Nations.

In this statement, referring to Ebrahim Raisi’s role in the 1988 massacres, the torture of thousands of protesters, the systematic and increasing violence against women due to the forced hijab, and the repeated violations of human rights in Iran, they consider this action to be contrary to the nature of the United Nations. They see it as a heresy that places political interests above the inalienable rights of individuals.

Notable signatories of this letter include:  Shirin Ebadi, Mehrangiz Kar, Rezvan Moghaddam, Nayere Tohidi, Bano Sabri, Bahare Manshi Rudsari, Farah Karimi, Laleh Bazargan, Farah Madain, Mona Tjali, Laden Bazargan, Khatire Moini, Parvin Ardalan, Mansoura Shojaei, Giti pour Fazel, Niloufar Beyzaei, Fahimeh Farsaie, Sholeh Pakrovan, Parviz Navidi, Kazem Kordavani, Mehrdad Darvishpour, and many other prominent figures of civil and political movements.

Your Excellency Mr. Dennis Francis, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations

According to an announcement published by the United Nations, this institution plans to hold a ceremony on May 30, 2024 in the memory of former president of the Islamic Republic, Ebrahim Raisi.

We, a group of Iranian petitioning families , women’s rights and human rights activists who have faced extreme human rights violations at the hands of the regime and women’s rights and human rights activists, ask you and all those involved in the United Nations to refrain from holding any ceremony in memory of Ebrahim Raisi.

Raisi was one of the most influential and decisive figures in the killing of dissidents in more than four decades since the establishment of the Islamic Republic. He never regretted his actions, and until his death was committed to brutally enforcing the visions of the theocratic regime.

Ebrahim Raisi was appointed as the general prosecutor of Karaj in 1981 at the age of 20. In the summer of 1988, he was a member of the death squad that ordered the summary execution of about 5000 prisoners, many of whom had already served their sentences. During the 45 years of the history of the Islamic Republic, Raisi was directly involved in forced disappearances and executions, as well as many other systemic human rights violations. Human rights advocates inside and outside of Iran believe that he should have been tried for his many crimes committed against humanity, among them, extrajudicial killing of thousands of political dissidents in the 1980s and after, torture and enforced disappearance and harassment of countless others, violent crackdown on peaceful women’s rights and other human rights advocates and groups, brutal harassment of women and girls who defied the mandatory hijab, and other serious violations of human rights.

As the head of the judiciary which he held from 2019 to 2021, Raisi, made a mockery out of Iran’s judicial system, as it repeatedly failed to maintain accountability on any human rights violations. A notable example of this is the lack of transparent investigation and trial of those responsible for the downing of the passenger plane 752 in January 2020 that killed all 176 occupants onboard. Mr. Raisi intentionally ensured that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that shot down the plane would never be held accountable for their actions. Mr. Raisi continued his abuses of power even further once he became president in 2021.

We, the petitioning families and women’s rights and human rights activists, ask you, if Hitler was killed in an air crash, would you hold a commemoration ceremony for him at the United Nations?

Indeed, similar to Hitler and other human rights violators, Ebrahim Raisi has the blood of many innocent individuals on his hands. We would like to point you to many reports produced by the United Nations and other human rights bodies on such violations. The United Nations Fact-Finding Committee has recently listed the cases of human rights violations and violence committed by the Islamic Republic at the level of “crimes against humanity.” Additionally, Mr. Javaid Rehman, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran has been uncovering his findings on widespread violation of human rights in Iran, in many of which. Raisi played a key role in, such as the mass executions of the 1980s in Iran.

We, the petitioning families and women’s rights and human rights activists, ask you as the president of the 78th United Nations General Assembly to please refrain from paying tribute to Ebrahim Raisi, who is known among the Iranians as “Ayatollah Massacre” or “Iranian Executioner.” We emphasize that the United Nations, as the guardian of global human rights, and you Mr. Francis as a protector of human rights, should not honor any person in any official position who is accused of crimes against humanity.



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