In a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Chrystia Freeland, a group of representatives from Italy have made their concerns about the deteriorating situation of human rights in Iran. The letter stated: “On the occasion of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, that has on its agenda the situation of human rights in Iran, since the Canadian Government prepared a preamble to the resolution on Human Rights in Iran with the support of the USA and of some of the most important European countries, we, the signatory parties of this letter, want to express our strong concern for the tragic situation of human rights in Iran, for the increase in the number of hangings and for the perpetrated violations of the most basic human rights.”
The representatives from Italy said that they wanted to draw Freeland’s attention to the 1988 massacre that occurred in Iran. During the summer of 1988, around 30,000 political prisoners were executed following the issuance of a fatwa by the country’s Supreme Leader at that time. He basically ordered the execution of all members of the opposition. Last year, an audio recording was released in which Ayatollah Montazeri told judicial authorities that the crime they were to commit would go down in history. They noted that the international community and the people of Iran have been “shaken” by the emergence of this new evidence last year and described it as “one of the most heinous crimes after the 2nd World War”. The representatives also pointed out: “All the ones responsible for this terrible crime are now serving in the highest positions of the Iranian regime.”
The letter continued: “The killings of the political prisoners started after Khomeini’s declaration of a fatwa in July 1988, which ordered to eliminate all the dissidents in the prisons. Several among those executed had already been ‘condemned’ and were already serving the sentence or had concluded their detention period. Following the fatwa of Khomeini, many dissidents previously released from prison were newly detained and then hanged. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and some other international organization for human rights have already condemned the massacre as a crime against humanity. Moreover, hundreds of European MPs defined it a crime against humanity in an appeal sent to Strasbourg on 7th October 2016 and they requested to ‘the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights, to the Council on Human rights, to the UN General Assembly and to the UN Security Council to urgently set up an international committee to investigate on the genocide of 1988’.”
The representatives also drew Freeland’s attention to the UN Special Rapporteur on the state of Human Rights in Iran’s report. It was released on 14th August 2017 to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and states “several reports testify that after 1988 thousands of people have been hanged and their relatives have the right to know the truth about the genocide and the fate of their beloved ones”.
They urged the Minister of Foreign Affairs to act: “The Iranian regime must put an end to the violations of Human Rights. For this reason, we ask you to put in place all the necessary actions to set up an independent international committee to investigate on the massacre of political prisoners in the Iranian prisons during the summer of 1988.”