Iran appoints hardline cleric as first judge amid calls for investigation | Middle East News

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Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei will replace Ebrahim Raisi, who takes office in August as president after winning the June 18 election.

Iran’s supreme leader promoted a tough Muslim leader to serve as head of the judiciary amid international calls to investigate allegations of abuse.

Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei, now deputy director of justice, will replace Ebrahim Raisi, who takes office in August as president after winning the June 18 elections.

10 years ago, Ejei received blacklists from US and EU sanctions for his role in cracking down on a popular uprising when he served as intelligence minister during a disputed election.

Choosing someone with such a high and tough profile may draw more attention to allegations of past abuses by Iran at a time when the new US administration is trying to negotiate a thaw with Tehran. .

This week, a United Nations expert called for a new investigation into Raisi’s alleged role in the deaths of thousands of political prisoners when he was a judge in the 1980s. Raisi denies the misdeeds.

In a statement released by state media, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Ejei to “promote justice, restore public rights, guarantee legitimate freedoms and oversee the proper enforcement of laws. , prevent crime and fight corruption decisively “.

Defense groups have criticized Raisi’s election in a vote in which the presence of important rivals was banned.

In a statement, Khamenei urged Ejei to “promote justice, restore public rights, guarantee legitimate freedoms and monitor the proper implementation of laws, prevent crime and fight corruption decisively,” the state news agency reported. IRNA news.

UN human rights researcher in Iran Javaid Rehman said this week there should be an independent investigation into allegations of state-ordered executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 and Raisi’s role as Tehran’s deputy prosecutor at the time.

“As I have described in my reports, there is widespread and systemic impunity in the country for serious human rights violations, both historically in the past and in the present,” Rehman said.

“There are very few real avenues of accountability, according to international standards within national channels.”

Iran has repeatedly rejected criticism of its human rights record as unfounded and as a result of a lack of understanding of its Islamic laws. He says his legal system is independent and is not influenced by political interests.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch dit last month, Raisi ‘s election dealt a blow to human rights and demanded that he be investigated for his role in the 1988 executions.





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