Extremely-conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi is topping the polls forward of Iran’s presidential election on June 18, 2021. © Morteza Fakhri Nezhad, AFP

Ebrahim Raisi, the favorite in Iran’s presidential election, has used his place on the coronary heart of the judiciary for rights violations, together with mass executions of political prisoners, activists say.

They are saying Raisi — who now has victory in his sights on Friday after even conservative rivals have been disqualified in vetting — ought to face worldwide justice reasonably than lead his nation.

At 60, the mid-ranking cleric remains to be comparatively younger for a determine who has held a succession of key positions, beginning virtually instantly after the autumn of the shah within the Islamic revolution of 1979.

At simply 20, he was appointed prosecutor for the district of Karaj after which for Hamadan province, earlier than in 1985 being promoted to deputy Tehran prosecutor.

It was on this position, campaigners allege, that Raisi performed a key half within the executions of 1000’s of opposition prisoners — largely suspected members of the proscribed Individuals’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) — when, activists say, he was a part of a four-man “Dying Committee” that despatched convicts to their dying with out a shred of due course of.

Raisi, seen by some Iranian media retailers as a attainable successor to supreme chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has denied private involvement within the 1988 killings, but in addition praised the choice to go forward with the executions.

He subsequently turned chief Tehran prosecutor in 1989, after which in 2004, deputy judiciary chief, a place he held for 10 years.

Since 2019, he has served as head of the judiciary.

“Raisi´s solely place is within the dock, not the presidency,” mentioned Shadi Sadr, government director of London-based Justice for Iran, which campaigns towards impunity for crimes in Iran.

“The mere truth he’s presently the pinnacle of the judiciary and operating for president demonstrates the extent of impunity that the perpetrators of the heinous crimes get pleasure from within the Islamic Republic of Iran,” she mentioned.

No mercy

The 1988 killings, which occurred from July to September that yr allegedly on the direct orders of revolutionary chief Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, stay a close to taboo in fashionable Iran.

Most rights teams and historians say between 4,000 and 5,000 have been killed, however the political wing of the MEK, the Nationwide Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), places the determine at nearer to 30,000.

Final yr, seven particular UN rapporteurs informed the Iranian authorities that “the state of affairs might quantity to crimes towards humanity” and urged a world probe if Tehran didn’t present full accountability.

Amnesty Worldwide got here to the same conclusion in a 2018 report, which recognized Raisi as a member of the Tehran “dying fee” that secretly despatched 1000’s to their deaths in Evin jail in Tehran and Gohardasht jail in Karaj.

The overwhelming majority of the our bodies have been buried in unmarked mass graves and Iran continues to hide the destiny of the victims and the whereabouts of their stays, it charged.

The rights group´s Iran researcher Raha Bahreini informed AFP that Raisi must be “criminally investigated for the crimes towards humanity of homicide, enforced disappearance and torture”, together with by international nations beneath the precept of common jurisdiction.

Based on an audio recording that emerged in 2016, Hossein Ali Montazeri, as soon as Khomeini´s probably successor however later pushed apart, in August 1988 informed members of the “dying fee” together with Raisi that the killings have been the “best crime within the historical past of the Islamic Republic”.

Hossein Abedini, a member of the international affairs committee of the NCRI, described Raisi as a “stone-hearted killer” with a “40-year monitor report of repression”.

Former prisoners, now dwelling in exile who mentioned that they had survived the massacres, testified in a convention organised by the NCRI final week that that they had personally seen Raisi working as a member of the fee.

“Once I entered the dying fee I noticed Raisi… a white shirt and Revolutionary Guards uniform,” Reza Shemirani, who was imprisoned for 10 years and now lives in Switzerland, informed the convention.

Raisi, he mentioned, was essentially the most “energetic member of the fee”, whereas Mahmoud Royaei, who was jailed from 1981 till 1991, mentioned Raisi “made the utmost effort to execute everybody”.

Royaei added: “He had no mercy.”

Pillar of a system

When the US Treasury in November 2019 included Raisi in sanctions towards members of Khamenei´s interior circle, it mentioned he had taken half within the 1988 dying fee and in addition was concerned in “the brutal crackdown” on protests that adopted the disputed 2009 presidential election.

Below Raisi, based on Amnesty´s Bahreini, the judiciary ensured that these accountable for a bloody 2019 November crackdown towards protesters that left a whole bunch useless have been “granted whole impunity”.

“Raisi is a pillar of a system that jails, tortures, and kills individuals for daring to criticise state insurance policies,” mentioned the manager director of the New-York primarily based Centre for Human Rights in Iran, Hadi Ghaemi.

“As a substitute of operating for president, he must be tried in an neutral courtroom,” he mentioned.

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