Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, considered to be a successor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, faces protests and possible criminal prosecutions in Germany for his widespread executions of Iranians, which took place while he was the country’s justice minister.
German Green Party politician Volker Beck filed a criminal complaint on Sunday against Shahroudi, who is residing in a neurological treatment center in Hanover, where 200 demonstrators showed up Saturday to protest his presence. Beck said that Shahroudi’s mass murder activity could be prosecuted under German law covering crimes against humanity.
“I filed a criminal complaint,” Beck 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.”
He added, “It would be a big mistake if the federal government provides diplomatic immunity here to the organizer of mass murders through Iran’s justice system. We should not be a health resort for human-rights violators, rather they should be held accountable.”
During his 1999 to 2009 tenure, Shahroudi implemented more than 2,000 executions, including for adolescents, despite Iran having signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibits such killings. He also allowed the arbitrary arrests of political and human-rights activists, the torture of prisoners and the closure of reformist newspapers.
He is a strict disciple of the anti-Western Khamenei and a former student of Khamenei’s predecessor, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the revolutionary founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran
In addition to Beck’s criminal complaint, Shahroudi is having his presence in Hanover investigated by the Lower Saxony state prosecutor, while the Kargah cultural center in Hanover has filed a second criminal complaint against him.
Saba Farzan, the German-Iranian executive director of the Foreign Policy Circle, a strategy think tank in Berlin, told the Post on Monday, “Now that this regime official is here in Germany, legal action against the crimes he’s committed is the absolutely right path to go. Justice must be served in light of all the grave human-rights violations this person is responsible for. It should be highlighted once again as well that this representative of the Islamic dictatorship shouldn’t be on European territory at all. Europe and Germany in particular should put, once and for all, an end to that open-door policy for all kinds of dictatorial figures. These human-rights violators must learn that they can’t deprive their own citizens of their inalienable rights and then receive luxurious treatment – medical as well as political – at the same time.”
Benjamin Weinthal is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @BenWeinthal.
Follow the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Twitter @FDD.