ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 138

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Iranian president targeted with ‘crimes against humanity’ complaint ahead of Swiss visit

A handout picture provided by Iran's presidency on October 28, 2023, shows Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during an interview with the Qatari state-owned television network Al-Jazeera, in Tehran. (Handout/ Iranian Presidency/ AFP)
A handout picture provided by Iran's presidency on October 28, 2023, shows Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi during an interview with the Qatari state-owned television network Al-Jazeera, in Tehran. (Handout/ Iranian Presidency/ AFP)

Iran’s president should be arrested when he lands in Switzerland this week and charged with crimes against humanity connected to a 1988 purge of dissidents, according to a legal complaint filed today.

The complaint asks Swiss federal public prosecutor Andreas Muller to ensure the arrest and prosecution of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi “over his participation in acts of genocide, torture, extrajudicial executions and other crimes against humanity.”

Raisi is expected to come to Switzerland to participate in the United Nations Global Refugee Forum, which kicks off in Geneva on Wednesday.

The legal complaint against him was filed by three alleged victims during Iran’s crackdown on dissidents in the 1980s.

Rights groups have long campaigned for justice over alleged extrajudicial executions of thousands of mainly young people across Iranian prisons within a few months in the summer of 1988, just as the war with Iraq was ending. Those killed were mainly supporters of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK or PMOI), a group banned in Iran that had backed Baghdad during the conflict.

The petitioners behind Monday’s complaint say they can personally identify Raisi as figuring on a commission that sent thousands of jailed opponents to their deaths during the crackdown.

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