UN Human Rights Experts Call for Accountability, Transparency for 1988 Massacre of Political Prisoners
In September, 2020 UN human rights experts delivered to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran a communication expressing their concern about the alleged forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings of thousands of political dissidents between July and September 1988.
In the communication, the experts draw attention to Iran’s repeated refusal to provide accurate information on the fate and whereabouts of individuals; its failure to provide accurate death certificates; noting reported threats to, and harassment of families, and failures to investigate and prosecute, the experts call on Iran’s government to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into all cases, to disclose detailed information on the fate of each individual and to prosecute perpetrators, to provide accurate death certificates to family members, for gravesites to be identified and protected, for exhumations to be conducted in line with international standards to identify and facilitate the return of remains, and for families and survivors to be protected from any form of reprisals.
The UN experts also expressed concern that the situation may amount to crimes against humanity and stated that should Iran’s government continue to refuse to uphold its obligations under international human rights law, they would call on the international community to take action to investigate the case including through the establishment of an international investigation.
The letter was signed by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Special Rapporteur on the rights to peaceful assembly and of association; Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran; Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism; Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman degrading treatment or punishment; Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence.
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