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Tribunal declares Iran committed “crimes against humanity” during crackdown of 2019 protests

As protests continue to sweep across Iran, a who’s who of legal experts announced in London on Friday that the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and the current President Ebrahim Raisi, carried out a lethal plan to “commit crimes against humanity,” resulting in the mass murder of 1,500 protestors.

The Iran Atrocities Tribunal — also known as the Aban Tribunal for the Iranian calendar month in which the elimination of regime opponents took place — has been meeting in London and conducted an exhaustive investigation into the clerical regime’s violent crackdown on Iranian protestors during waves of demonstrations against rising fuel prices and the legitimacy of the regime in November 2019. The tribunal is not legally binding, but organizers hope the evidence and findings contained in it will lead to a United Nations inquiry.

The panel implicated Raisi, who was head of Iran’s opaque judiciary at the time, and the so-called “moderate” former president of the theocratic regime, Hassan Rouhani, for crimes against humanity. The non-binding legal finding raises a new dimension of criticism against the existence of the reportedly totalitarian regime in Tehran.

According to the 24-page “Judgment Summary” authored by the tribunal, the panel of lawyers unanimously determined “the Iranian government and security forces (including Ministry of Interior, Supreme Council of National Security, Provincial Security Councils, police forces (NAJA), the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps], the paramilitary Basij, Ministry of Intelligence, other plainclothes forces and the Ministry of Justice) designed and implemented a plan to commit crimes against humanity of murder, imprisonment, enforces disappearances, torture and sexual violence in order to quell the protests and conceal the crimes committed.”

The Iran Atrocities Tribunal recently met in London to investigate the killings of some 1500 protesters in 2019. Iran's current president was sanctioned by the U.S. for his role in the violent crackdown.

The Iran Atrocities Tribunal recently met in London to investigate the killings of some 1500 protesters in 2019. Iran’s current president was sanctioned by the U.S. for his role in the violent crackdown.
(Courtesy: Brian Erfani/The Iran Atrocities Tribunal)

IRAN REGIME LEADERS ACCUSED OF MASS MURDER IN 2019 PROTESTS

The tribunal’s sweeping indictment of the Islamic Republic’s autocratic government and its pervasive security apparatus provides news evidence for opponents of the Biden administration’s nuclear negotiations with Tehran.

Biden and other world powers seek to provide Iran’s regime with more than $100 billion in sanctions relief in exchange for temporary restrictions on the Islamic Republic’s alleged plan to build a nuclear weapon. 

When asked about the tribunal report before its official release, a U.S. State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital “While we cannot comment on a report that has not been made public, the United States welcomes efforts by civil society organizations to promote justice and accountability for Iran’s long history of using violence as a means to suppress peaceful dissent, which we are seeing yet again in the Iranian government’s violent and repressive response to the ongoing protests today.”

A Reuters news agency investigation determined that the Islamic Republic of Iran murdered about 1,500 people during the November 2019 nation-wide protests.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, center, reviews an honor guard during his official departure ceremony as he leaves Tehran's Mehrabad airport to New York to attend annual UN General Assembly meeting, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, center, reviews an honor guard during his official departure ceremony as he leaves Tehran’s Mehrabad airport to New York to attend annual UN General Assembly meeting, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

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Alireza Nader, an Iran expert, told Fox News Digital “The U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic regime is inherently contradictory. U.S. officials like Jake Sullivan [National Security Advisor] condemn the regime’s brutal treatment of protestors but at the same time are negotiating an agreement with the regime to provide the regime with tens of billions of dollars to crush the same protestors.”

Amin Ansarifard, the father of the victim Farzad Ansarifard, said about the tribunal that “This result does not bring peace for those of us who lost family members in 2019 to the government’s indiscriminate killing of protestors, but it is the necessary step to getting justice for those we lost.”

Wayne Jordan, an international lawyer and the tribunal chair, said “This could not come at a more urgent time. Once again, the people of Iran are taking to the streets to demand accountability and justice for a government that has shown, time and time again, their willingness to violate human rights to quell the voice of the people. The judgment of the Iran Atrocities (Aban) Committee is a vital step to establishing an accurate record to bring the perpetrators to justice through international law, so that we do not see a repeat of 2019.”

A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of a young woman who had been detained for violating the country's conservative dress code, in downtown Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo)

A police motorcycle burns during a protest over the death of a young woman who had been detained for violating the country’s conservative dress code, in downtown Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo)

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The tribunal held public session in November 2012 and in February 2022 to collect evidence from 55 witnesses, including protestors and individuals who were allegedly tortured and arrested by the regime. The panel received written statements from 169 witnesses.

Iran’s regime lashed out at the proceedings and declined to appear at the tribunal to refute the allegations. Fox News Digital reached out to Iran’s foreign ministry and its U.N. mission for a comment.

Shadi Sadr, a prominent Iranian human rights lawyer and co- organizer of the tribunal, said “We must prevent this happening again. This judgment establishes beyond doubt the culpability of named individuals who are directly accountable for human rights abuses in the 2019 protests. The result of this tribunal ought to trigger a UN-led independent review. There must be a coordinated response by the international community to hold those responsible for crimes against humanity to account under international law.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the United Nations for comment.

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