Amnesty International has issued a fresh call for Iranian president-elect Ebrahim Raeesi to be investigated for crimes against humanity.
Raeesi, the current Chief Justice of Iran, has comfortably won Friday’s election with more than 60 percent of the ballots that were cast – albeit in an vote marked by historic low turnout and widespread calls for a boycott.
Amnesty has called for Raeesi to be investigated over his role in the mass executions of thousands of leftists and other dissidents in 1988.
Raeesi sat as a deputy prosecutor on Ayatollah Khomeini’s ‘Death Panel’ for Tehran, which sent hundreds of prisoners to be hanged and tortured outside of the normal judicial process between July and September that year.
The human rights organization’s secretary general, Agnès Callamard, said that instead of becoming president, the now 60-year-old Raeesi should be investigated for the “crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture”.
“The circumstances surrounding the fate of the victims and the whereabouts of their bodies are, to this day, systematically concealed by the Iranian authorities, amounting to ongoing crimes against humanity,” she added.
During his decades-long tenure in the judiciary, Amnesty accused Raisi of presiding over a “spiralling crackdown” on human rights.
On his watch, the charity said, the judiciary has granted blanket impunity to government officials and security forces responsible for “unlawfully killing hundreds of men, women and children and subjecting thousands of protesters to mass arrests...in the aftermath of the nationwide protests of November 2019.”
IranWire has recently published a comprehensive report detailing Raeesi’s role in the 1988 massacre and his prospects for conviction, as a serving head of state or afterward, in foreign courts under international law. You can read the full report here.