In a joint statement released today, nine human rights organizations, including Justice for Iran, urged governments negotiating a resumption of the nuclear deal with Iran not to lift any human rights sanctions, which include sanctions on Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi for his egregious human rights violations.

Following is the statement and list of signatories.

We, the undersigned human rights and civil society organizations, call on the governments engaged in nuclear negotiations with Iran not to lift human rights sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran. These sanctions were imposed because of the Iranian government’s egregious rights violations. These abuses include the criminalization of peaceful dissent, the imprisonment, torture and execution of peaceful dissidents, activists and other human rights defenders, and the killing of peaceful protesters, among many other human rights violations.

Similarly, human rights sanctions on Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi should not be lifted. He is the perpetrator of severe human rights violations that span decades, including those that rise to the level of crimes against humanity. He personally participated in “Death Commissions” that sent thousands of prisoners already tried and serving their prison sentences to their deaths by extrajudicial mass executions.

Given the crisis of impunity prevailing in Iran for grave human rights violations and crimes under international law, allowing human rights sanctions to be lifted for political expediency would send a dangerous message to autocratic and repressive governments everywhere that the international community will turn a blind eye to human rights abuses when other interests are at stake. Lifting human rights sanctions on President Raisi, meanwhile, would signal that heads of state can commit such crimes with impunity.

As the negotiations over a resumption of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) move toward a decisive phase, we urge all parties negotiating with the Islamic Republic to continue to defend human rights and international human rights law, as an equally prioritized area of concern independent of political exigencies.

Center for Human Rights in Iran

Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran

Justice for Iran

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

Human Rights Activists in Iran

United for Iran

Siamak Pourzand Foundation

Association for the Human Rights of the Azerbaijani People in Iran

The Kurdistan Human Rights Association-Geneva