The U.N.’s human rights investigator in Iran on Monday told Reuters he supports an independent probe into alleged state-ordered executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, and President-elect Ebrahim Raisi’s role as Tehran deputy prosecutor.
The big picture: Javaid Rehman, a U.N. investigator, said that his office has received testimonies and evidence over the years relating to the mass executions that took place under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
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“The scale of executions that we hear imply that it was a part of a policy that was being pursued … It was not just one person,” Rehman told Reuters.
Amnesty International earlier this month called for Raisi to be investigated for his alleged role in “crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture.”
Driving the news: Raisi is under U.S. sanctions for a past that the U.S. says includes involvement as one of four judges who oversaw the 1988 killings, per Reuters.
When asked about allegations Raisi said: “If a judge, a prosecutor has defended the security of the people, he should be praised … I am proud to have defended human rights in every position I have held so far.”
Rehman is expected to be sworn in as president during the first week of August.
What they’re saying: “I think it is time and it’s very important now that Mr. Raisi is the president [-elect] that we start investigating what happened in 1988 and the role of individuals,” Rehman told Reuters.
“Otherwise, we will have very serious concerns about this president and the role, the reported role, he has played historically in those executions,” Rehman said.
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