January 16, 2019

Germany Protects Iranian Ayatollah

Germany protected one of Iran’s ayatollahs despite protests from people calling for the country to arrest the ayatollah.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Germany provided Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi with a visa so he could receive treatment in the country for a brain tumor. Shahroudi recently flew back to Iran without any intervention from the German government.

Around 80 Iranian dissidents formed a protest outside of Hamburg airport, where they called for Shahroudi’s arrest and cried, “Down with Khameini! Down with Rouhani!”

German politician Volker Beck, who filed a criminal complaint against Shahroudi, told the Jerusalem Post, “Germany should not be a sanctuary for such people, who in their country persecute people for political or religious reasons and threaten them with death. The Iranian regime persecutes women who were raped, homosexuals, Baha’is, Kurds and atheists.”

Stephan Hashemi, the son of Canadian photojournalist Zara Kashemi, who was murdered by the Iranian regime, told the Toronto Star, “My mother was unlawfully detained, brutally interrogated, tortured and killed by the Iranian regime. None of the individuals responsible for these unforgivable crimes have ever been held to account.”

Shahroudi’s record includes leading the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in 1982, which oversaw a couple of Shia militia during the Iran-Iraq War, and was Iran’s judiciary chief from 1999 to 2009. Despite his promises to reform the judiciary, numerous instances of human rights abuses occurred under Shahroudi’s reign.

“Shahroudi failed to end arbitrary arrests of political activists, journalists and human rights advocates,” Muhammad Sahimi wrote at the Huffington Post. “Cruel and inhumane treatment of prisoners, often accompanied by torture and biased, and often totally unlawful trials behind closed doors persisted. He did not attempt, or was unable to make progress on the arbitrary shuttering of hundreds of newspapers, weeklies and monthly publications.”

McGill University Professor Payam Akhavan told the Toronto Star, “Thousands of political dissidents, journalists, bloggers, human rights lawyers have gone through the revolutionary justice system and ended up in the torture chambers or on the gallows, and all under the direction of Mr. Shahroudi as head of the judiciary.”

Shahroudi is believed to be a mentor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini is a potential successor to Khameini.