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Blog Posted in avatar   Johnny Simpson's Blog

The World v. Ahmadinejad and Khamenei et al

By Johnny Simpson
Posted Feb 14, 2011 in World
On January 29, 2011, the Islamist extremist regime in Iran executed by hanging Dutch-Iranian citizen Zahra Bahrami, even while Ms. Bahrami's two Dutch government-appointed lawyers were investigating her case for appeal. As a result of Ms. Bahrami's execution the Dutch recalled their ambassador to Iran, broke off relations with the Islamist regime and established the anti-regime website Holland Calling. Perhaps most noteworthy of all was the measure approved by the Dutch Parliament to officially bring charges of murder against the regime before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
If the Dutch do succeed in bringing their case against the regime to the ICC, it could open up a whole can of human rights worms the regime would rather keep sealed shut, and could eventually lead to a full-blown Nuremberg-like trial for regime leaders when it finally falls from power. There are many other nations and individuals who could and should bring charges against the regime in Iran on any number of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In point of fact, many current leaders in Iran are now wanted by Interpol for their involvement in the devastating terror attacks in Argentina in 1992 and 1994 which killed dozens and wounded hundreds more. The regime in Iran has to date refused to respond to or comply with the Interpol warrants as recently as November 2010.
And that's just Argentina. There is also the Khobar Tower bombings in Saudi Arabia in 1996, for which the regime in Iran just lost a civil suit to the tune of $10,150,000.00 in a Washington, D.C. court. The judge overseeing that case stated that the acts of the IRI regime and IRGC were "nothing short of extreme, outrageous, and beyond all bounds of civil decency.” The regime is also responsible for hundreds dead and thousands wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, as they attempt to destabilize both nascent democracies by training and supplying both the Sunni Taliban and Shiite Hizb'ullah in Iraq with heavy weaponry and devastating EFP-laden IEDs. By any sane definition, the Islamist regime in Iran is repeatedly committing acts of war and crimes against humanity in both countries, as many civilians have died as well as NATO and US soldiers.
The list of possible charges against the regime is endless, and that's just outside Iran's borders. Since the Islamic Revolution, it is estimated that over 100,000 Iranian citizens have been murdered by the regime. An estimated 6000 alone have been jailed, tortured and executed merely for the crime of being gay, which became a capital offense with the Islamist takeover in 1979 under the severe Khomeinist law of Lavat. The remainder are political opponents, dissidents, students, defiant women, young girls who had the misfortune of being raped in misogynist Iran, and anyone who even showed the least of resistance to the regime or its arbitrary and capricious laws. Innocent Iranians can be unjustly jailed, tortured, raped and even executed merely for complaining about all the unjust jailings, torture, rapes and executions the regime commits on a daily basis.
Such was the case with Canadian-Iranian journalist Zahra Kazemi, who was beaten, raped, tortured and her fingernails pulled out before a brutal assault that shattered her skull resulted in her death in Evin. Her crime? She was taking pictures of family members of political prisoners protesting outside Evin. The horrors that the world is now witnessing as the regime jails, rapes, tortures and murders even children in the name of God are nothing new. The crushed student uprising in 1999. The mass graves that litter the Iranian landscape. The discovery of one such mass grave landed French-Iranian documentarian Mehrnoushe Soluoki in the hellhole of Evin prison. Ms. Solouki was filming a documentary on the burial rites of religious minorities at the time, and had a regime permit to do so.
Ms. Solouki still has nightmares from the tortured screams of Iranians in the shadows of Evin, who did not enjoy the luxury of dual citizenship or keen world attention as Ms. Solouki. Larger point being, the regime in Iran is unquestionably guilty of some of the foulest crimes against humanity both at home and abroad, and have been found so many times in international courts. It seems to me that even as the regime continues its bloody, evil and unholy reign of terror, perhaps it is time for the world to build its case. The problem won't be a shortage of criminal evidence to prosecute. The problem will be sifting through a thirty-two-year Mount Everest of sickening atrocities and crimes against humanity and deciding which to prosecute. For the record, recent estimates are the regime is executing one person every eight hours now.
Nations and individuals around the world, which have legitimate cases against the Islamist regime in Tehran, should join the Dutch in filing their own charges against Iran at the ICC and other legal venues. In fact, last November the UN spoke out loud and clear and in one voice on the matter of regime human rights abuses. It also might be very wise for Iranian citizens to begin documenting their own testimony and witness via affidavits and video to seek redress and justice outside Iran, as none is to be found within its borders. Since the regime has now lost popular support, history tells us that no government can survive that precarious situation for very long. When the Islamists in Iran do finally fall from power (and they will), they will find themselves both domestic and international fugitives. When that happens, regime leaders should consider themselves most lucky if they face justice in The Hague and not at the hands of their own righteously angered people.
Since we opened with the case of Zahra Bahrami, it is only fitting we close with her because of the odd circumstances following her execution. As the Huffington Post reported on February 7, the regime buried Zahra's body in secret, as it does many of its victims. Though an affront to the Islamic practice of returning a family member's body for proper burial, the regime often buries its victims in secret to avoid exposing incriminating evidence of brutality that may have led to violent death even before the executions could be carried out. Many such dark secrets are buried en masse across Iran. It is the duty of the world to see that justice is done for the victims someday.
It all begs a stark question: where do borders end and human rights begin? And how long do we in the outside world just stand by and allow our fellow human beings in Iran to be unjustly jailed, tortured, raped and slaughtered with wanton and reckless disregard for human life by psychotic Islamist extremists, and all in the name of God? I am not suggesting the world invade Iran. But I do suggest we act in concert with the Iranians themselves on bringing the curtain down on this long-running human rights horrorshow in Iran. Thirty-two years is far too long. Time for justice.

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