In an open letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, more than 150 former UN officials and human rights experts called for the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the 1988 mass extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances in Iran. The letter reiterates the devastating impact that the 1988 massacre has had on the families of the victims and the Iranian society. It reads in part, “We appeal to the UN Human Rights Council to end the culture of impunity that exists in Iran by establishing a Commission of Inquiry into the 1988 mass extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances. We urge High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to support the establishment of such a Commission.”

The letter refers to a September 2020 report by seven United Nations Rapporteurs which states that the extrajudicial killings of political prisoners in 1988 “may amount to crimes against humanity.”

Signatories include former UN High Commissioner and Irish President Mary Robinson, 28 former UN special rapporteurs on human rights, and the chairs of previous UN Commissions of Inquiry into human rights abuses in Eritrea and North Korea. Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, Geoffrey Robertson QC, and 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta also signed the letter

Another signatory, Tahar Boumedra, who is also a former UN human rights official in Iraq and member of the London-based organization Justice for the Victims of 1988 Massacre in Iran, said, “This marks the first time that such a distinguished array of former UN officials are appealing directly to High Commissioner Bachelet to hold the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre accountable. She can remedy the regrettable failure of the relevant UN bodies to investigate this horrific atrocity and hold those responsible in the years past and put an end to the ongoing torment of the victims’ families. They have a right to the truth and to justice through a UN-led investigation. The witnesses are still alive. The evidence is at hand. Justice delayed is justice denied. The failure to act now will only embolden the regime to continue its cover-up and evade accountability.”

Rouhani Executions
Execution of Juveniles
Under Rouhani