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Iran Tribunal - closing statement at The Hague


Source: Iran Tribunal

27th October, 2012 THE HAGUE: Today, on the completion of its three day Iran Tribunal hearing, the Court has released a statement at the close of the session ahead of the full judgement in November.

The Iran Tribunal heard statements from expert and fact witnesses about the crimes committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran against the country’s political, religious and ethnic minority prisoners during the 1980s, when approximately 20,000 citizens were executed. Some 5,000 political prisoners were executed persuant to Khomeini’s Fatwa in 1988 soley because of their beliefs.

Professor John Cooper QC, Chairman of the Legal Steering Committee and member of the prosecuting team, said today: “We have heard the accounts of many who had crimes committed against them by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The experienced panel of judges will now adjourn to consider the wealth of information that witnesses have provided about their experiences of the Iranian prisons and the treatment of political as well as religious and ethnic minority prisoners between 1980 - 1988. It is a real credit to the wives, sisters, and mothers of those who were executed and victims of atrocities who have persevered for twenty five years to have their voices heard in a court for the first time. The Tribunal will be issuing its verdict on the Islamic Republic of Iran and the crimes against humanity that have been described here shortly.”

Professor Payam Akhavan the Chief Prosecutor said, ”This is an important step forward in the struggle of the Iranian people for justice. There can be no democratic future in Iran without addressing the horrific crimes of the past.

Since neither the courts of Iran nor the international courts are available the survivors and families of the victims have established this People’s Tribunal with the most distinguished judges, who will base their judgment on the evidence and international law.

Those responsible for Crimes Against Humanity must understand that their deeds will never be forgotten and that they will one day be held accountable for what they have done.

About the Iran Tribunal Movement
The Iran Tribunal is an apolitical movement, particularly focused on the decade of human rights abuses perpetrated against political prisoners throughout the 1980s, culminating in the political massacres in the summer of 1988. The stated aim of the Tribunal is to hold the Islamic Republic of Iran to account for these massacres. This campaign is the culmination of a grassroots movement in Iran over the past 25 years, originated by the mothers, wives and sisters of victims.

The Tribunal will compromise of two stages: a ‘Truth Commission’ and the ‘Tribunal’. The Commission (June 2012) collected statements, witness documents and dossiers and produced a report on extensive executions in the early years of 1980s as well as mass execution of political prisoners in 1988. Subsequently, the Iran Tribunal will investigate the findings of the Truth Commission and will issue a judgements based on this and will take place in The Hague on 25-27 October 2012 at the Peace Palace. The Peace Palace houses the International Court of Justice, a body of the United Nations, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the Hague Academy of International Law.

The Iran Tribunal website contains the Truth Commission Report in full:

About Payam Akhavan, the Chief Prosecutor: Payam Akhavan is an internationally renowned human rights lawyer and scholar. He was born in Tehran, Iran, and is currently Professor of International Law at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He previously served as the first Legal Advisor to the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague (1994-2000). He also served as Special Advisor to the United Nations in Cambodia, Guatemala, East Timor, and Rwanda, and represented governments in leading cases before international courts and tribunals. He is currently counsel to Libya in the Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi Case before the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

About Professor John Cooper QC
John Cooper is one of the leading QC's in the United Kingdom and specialises in Criminal Law and Human Rights. Practicing from 25 Bedford Row in London he has been involved in many of the seminal cases of the last decade, including a specialisation in the representation of bereaved families, which have earned him recognition in 2012 in The Times list of the top 100 most influential Lawyers in the UK. In 2010 he was shortlisted by the Law Society, Liberty and Justice as Human Rights Barrister of the Year and he regularly broadcasts on television and radio. Presently a Master of the Bench at Middle Temple, further details about him can be obtained from his entry in Whos Who and Debretts People of Today.

Related Article: Iran Tribunal: Opening submission at The Hague

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