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Prime Minister Janez Janša receives massive support from the Iranian opposition for condemning the massacre of Iranian political prisoners

“For almost 33 years, the world has forgotten about the victims of the massacre. That must change,” said Prime Minister Janez Janša in his address at Saturday’s event organised by the Iranian Diaspora Free Iran World Summit. Hossein Abedini, a member of the Iranian parliament in exile, stressed that millions of Iranians rejoice to see the great and determined defender of democracy and human rights, the Prime Minister, the Honourable Janez Janša, speak at the top of the Iranian Diaspora. “Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister,” he thanked him. While the Iranian opposition thanks our Prime Minister for covering these topics, however, EU Representative Josep Borrell has unequivocally assured that Janša’s statements do not express the position of the European Union. Our majority media reacted similarly, emphasising that Janša had stir up an Iranian hornet’s nest.

At a Saturday event organised by the Iranian diaspora, Prime Minister Janez Janša called for an independent investigation into the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran in 1988. He also drew attention to the role of newly elected Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in the massacre. Due to his statements, the Iranian Foreign Ministry called the Slovenian ambassador, Kristina Radej, to Tehran for talks, the Iranian ministry announced. In a video address he posted on Twitter, he supported the establishment of an independent United Nations commission on the massacre, which was recently called for by UN human rights investigator in Iran Jawaid Rehman. The latter also called for an examination of the role of newly elected Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in these killings. In his address, Janša said that the commission of inquiry was important in shedding light on the massacre more than 30 years ago and in helping the families of the victims to achieve justice. “This is especially important given the fact that the future President Ebrahim Raisi is accused of crimes against humanity by Amnesty International for his role in the massacre,” the Prime Minister added. “The Iranian regime must be held accountable for human rights violations, and the international community must be more resolute in doing so,” he said, adding that Iranians can always count on his understanding and support and deserve democracy, freedom and human rights, and that they must be supported by the international community.

The newly elected Iranian president also took part in the massacres
At this year’s forum, they wanted to draw attention to the events at the end of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war, when tens of thousands of political prisoners disappeared in Iranian prisons. Newly elected President Raisi, who was then deputy prosecutor in Tehran, is also said to have played a role in the massacres. Iran has never officially acknowledged these massacres, and Raisi has never explained his role in them. Ebrahim Raisi, 60, will take over the country next month. He is a member of an extremely conservative camp that does not sympathise with the West. In August, he will succeed moderate Hassan Rohani. Both the United States and several Western NGOs have accused the newly elected president of human rights abuses during his long career in the judiciary, including the 1988 massacre. While Tehran demands an explanation from the Slovenian government, the Iranian opposition and many others thank Janša for shedding light on these topics. Alireza Jafarzadek, a media commentator who revealed the existence of secret nuclear facilities in Iran in 2002, described the Prime Minister’s address as brave, as did the Iranian Women’s National Resistance Council (NCRI). Firouz Mahvi, an Iranian human rights activist, also thanked our Prime Minister for his solidarity.

Raisi was part of the “death committee”
In 2017, when Iranian justice chief Ebrahim Raisi launched his first presidential campaign, Effat Mahbaz – the widow of a political prisoner who was murdered during mass executions in the 1980s – published an open letter to Raisi’s wife highlighting Raisi’s role in the UN investigation into crimes against humanity. Mahbaz, who was also a political prisoner herself, asked Raisi’s wife Jamila Alam al-Hoda in a letter if she knew hundreds of women like her had been destroyed because of her husband. “Do you sleep with a clear conscience, just like your husband,” she asked. In 1988, Raisi was appointed by the then Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini to the “death committee”, which, according to the committee’s opinion, allowed the execution and burial of at least 5,000 political prisoners in unmarked mass graves – as proof of allegiance to the newly established Islamic Republic. “Thousands of women have shed tears for the past 30 years,” she wrote in a letter, asking how she felt about wanting her husband, who is to blame for so many deaths, to be the president of the entire Iranian nation.-

Pompeo: The US administration should hold the new president accountable for crimes against humanity at the time
Kees de Vries
, a member of the German federal parliament, also stressed the importance of the fact that most Iranian friends confirmed the illegitimacy of this regime, even by abstaining from apparent elections. “I stand by you, the Iranian people, on this path to democracy,” he wrote. Maryam Rajavi, the elected president of Iran’s Paris-based National Resistance Council, which seeks to establish a democratic, secular and non-nuclear republic in Iran, said that any nuclear agreement that does not take into account human rights violations in Iran and it does not oblige Muslim clerics must stop torturing and killing young Iranians, it has no legitimacy. Iranians do not and will not accept such agreements. “Any agreement that does not bind the clerical regime to the withdrawal of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and Lebanon is unacceptable,” she said. In addition to Janša, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also a prominent speaker. He described the undemocratic nature of the last election and the major boycott of Iranians on election day. He clearly insisted on his political message that the US administration should hold the new president accountable for crimes against humanity at the time.

Sara Bertoncelj

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