Statement by Prof. Lord Alton of Liverpool on behalf of the British Committee for Iran Freedom on the International People’s Tribunal in London, also known as Aban Tribunal in Iran:
The International People’s Tribunal in London on the second anniversary of the November 2019 crackdown on nationwide protests in Iran is a welcome and significant step to ensure ending the systematic impunity that regime leaders and officials have enjoyed for committing atrocities.
The Tribunal also addresses the concerns over “persistent impunity for serious violations of human rights law at the highest level of public office” raised by the UN Special Rapporteur for Iran, Javaid Rehman in his report to the General Assembly’s Third Committee.
This systemic impunity is the main reason for the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran and regime resorting to deadly crack down, mass arrests and executions to crush popular protests and silence the Iranian society that is demanding improvements and its basic rights and freedoms.
The international community has seen the tragic event of November 2019 repeat itself during these past months as the regime shut down the internet and dispatched its repressive forces like the IRGC to violently suppress protests over water shortages in Isfahan, Shahrehkurd and other Iranian cities.
Where the international community fails the victims and their families, the International People’s Tribunal in London, also known as the Aban Tribunal, gives them a small hope of justice and accountability.
The UK Government must support this International People’s Tribunal and work with the EU and allies at the UN to refer the tribunal’s findings and judgement to the UN Human Rights Council and the Security Council in order to prosecute the identified perpetrators in an international tribunal.
The UK Government should also heed the call by organisers to impose human rights sanctions against the identified perpetrators under the UK’s Global Human Rights Sanctions regime, a call that is also recommended by the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in its fifth report on the UK’s relationship with Iran titled, “No prosperity without justice”.
Professor the Lord Alton of Liverpool
Independent Crossbench Member of the House of Lords
8 December 2021