A letter has been issued to Oberlin College demanding the removal of a known accomplice of human rights abuse with strong evidence linking him to the coverup of the massacre of thousands.
The letter, sent on April 12th, 2021, detailed the crimes of Mohammad Jafar Mahallati during his position as Iran’s permanent representative to the UK in New York and raised concern about the College’s failure to carry out appropriate due diligence.
Justice for Iran has asked Oberlin College president, Carmen Ambar, to take immediate action, remove Mahallati and apologise for the College’s lacking hiring policies.
“We have yet to see your appropriate action that is not less than expelling him and making an apology to the survivors and the victims’ families for not conducting a thorough due diligence in the process of hiring and promoting Mr Mahallati,” Shadi Sadr, co-director of Justice for Iran, says in the letter.
So far, survivors and families of victims have asked for the expulsion of Mahallati from Oberlin College, as well as a formal apology to those affected by the 1988 massacre, to be taken in lieu of the lack of due diligence.
Mahallati is an accomplice to the international coverup of the massacre and enforced disappearances of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 while in his former role.
In a joint report with Amnesty International between 2016-2018, Justice for Iran detailed evidence of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s secret mass graves of political prisoners, hence concealing what amounts to crime against humanity. At the time, Mohammad Jafar Mahallati was one of the most vital figures of the international coverup campaign as Iran’s permanent representative to the UN in New York.
Though Mahallati’s knowledge of the coverup is evident, he has denied the extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances, claiming that UN reports of the massacre are propaganda. He has further dismissed any evidence of the crime, therefore continuing to be an accomplice and denying the victims, survivors and their families any respect or remorse.
Enforced disappearance is a crime under international law. The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has recognised Iranian political prisoners who were subjected to the mass executions in the summer of 1988 as forcibly disappeared persons, thus making the coverup campaign and Mahallati’s involvement in it an international crime.
Mahallati had also been accused of making anti-Semitic and anti-Baha’i statements in the UN fora in 1980s, for which the Ohio-based college has launched a review.