Amid Iran Uprising, Regime’s Judiciary Thrives on Injustice

Written by
Moussa Afshar

A few days into the execution of two arrested protesters, the Iranian regime’s Judiciary Chief, Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, rushed to boost the morale of the demoralized forces amid public and international backlash to their recent crimes against humanity.

“The judges are free to determine the consequences of Moharebeh. Don’t fear the accusations of foes,” he said, defending the regime’s inhuman law of Moharebeh or waging war against God. The arrested protesters are mostly condemned to death after being labeled as Mohareb.

The so-called Islamic penal code allows the ruling theocracy to punish dissidents by labeling them as Mohareb.

According to the regime’s constitution, any group or individual that “wages armed rebellion against the state” or “draws a weapon on the life, property or chastity of people or to cause terror as it creates the atmosphere of insecurity” is branded as Mohareb and thereby automatically sentenced to death.

But following Mohsen Shekari’s execution last week, many regime insiders, namely clerics, argued that “the defendant’s accusations,” including blocking the street or injuring another individual with a knife, wouldn’t amount to a death sentence.

“In dealing with the rioters’ cases, you shouldn’t show mercy. These are not isolated cases. It is naïve to think they are not connected,” Ejei told the so-called Revolution Courts’ judges on Tuesday, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

In his remarks, Ejei underlined a principle the clerical regime has been implementing in the past four decades: contrary to all legal standards, any collective action and popular movement for freedom are punished, regardless of individual’s deeds.

In other words, Ejei once again reminded judiciary officials that their regime is founded on human rights violations, executions, and tortures.

A few months after usurping power, Ruhollah Khomeini, the ruling theocracy’s founder, said: “I wish we had broken the journalists’ pen, clamped down newspapers, set up firing squads in public squares, and eradicated our opponents the very first day we came to power.” Soon he implemented his inhumane doctrine of murder and preserving the regime “at any cost” by sending tens of thousands of brave Iranians to the gallows in the 1980s. Many legal experts later described Khomeini’s crimes as the “largest state-organized crime against humanity” in the 20th century.

Khomeini’s henchmen called for the “immediate” execution of dissidents and arrested protesters in the 1980s. They called for “crucifixion” and “killing of the wounded” of those affiliated with Iran’s principal opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

“They didn’t have to be tried. They were fighting us. Imam Khomeini repeatedly warned about the MEK,” Ali Fallahian, a former Minister of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), told the state-run Aparat website on July 15, 2017.

Whereas the MEK’s sole crime was asking for freedom and relentlessly paying the price for it.

A case study in Iran’s criminal judiciary system: The trial and execution of Majid Reza Rahnavard
The regime’s current president, Ebrahim Raisi, who was a senior judiciary official, also repeated the same remark following the nationwide uprising in 2009. “Anyone who helps the MEK in any way, since it is an organized dissident group, is considered a Moharebeh,” he said, as aired on the state TV on December 31, 2009. “Besides, whoever stands against the Islamic State is a Mohareb; using stones to fight back the [fully armed] forces should be hanged.”

Hence, these remarks should forestall any hallucination of justice existing in the ruling theocracy. The regime’s judiciary system is a part of its oppressing apparatus and is completely illegitimate. The entire judiciary system is designed to stifle any voice of dissent and intimidate the public in a bid to preserve the clerical regime in power.

The so-called courts consist of several clerics or members of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), who are bereft of the minimum legal knowledge. Their task is simple: punishing those daring to speak the truth and ask for their rights.

The recent sham trials of the arrested protesters, their forced confessions extracted under torture, and some so-called “plaintiffs” de facto regime officials, were not only tasked to send a message of fear to the restive society but also manipulate the international community that there is “justice” in Iran under the ruling theocracy.

The recent calls on the regime to halt the protesters’ executions without taking any practical measures or limiting their actions to verbal condemnations wouldn’t stop the bloodthirsty dictator in Iran from letting go of what is their survival strategy.

Unlike in other nations, the judicial system in this regime is not built to establish justice and bring order. Rather it is created to preserve the integrity and security of the clerical dictatorship.

Among many reasons for their ongoing revolution and demand, the Iranian people want to complete the elimination of the corrupted judiciary system. They want a country based on the rule of law and a constitution that values human rights and dignity. The Iranian people are paying the price for their demand by staging protests and resisting the regime.

The regime’s judiciary is indeed a stain of shame on the world’s legal process and human rights standards. The international community should get rid of it by calling it illegitimate and conducting an independent inquiry into the ongoing human rights violations in Iran. Failure to do so only allows the regime to continue with its killing spree and enjoy systematic impunity.

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