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Human Rights Violator: Ali Mohammad Besharati Jahromi

By September 9, 2014 No Comments

 

Full Name:

Ali Mohammad Besharati-Jahromi


Biography:

Ali Mohammad Besharati-Jahromi was born in Jahrom around 1944. He received a doctorate degree in international relations and was a political prisoner during the Pahlavi era.


Positions:

Co-founder and Member of the First Council of the IRGC[1]

Head of the Intelligence and Investigations Unit of the IRGC[2]

Member of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Welcoming Task Force and among the first interrogators of anti-revolutionaries[3]

Member of the Torture “Allegations” Parliamentary Investigation Task Force[4]

Co-founder and Member of the Qanat Group

Member of the Parliament[5] from 1980 to 1984

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1984 to 1993

Interior Minister from 1993 to 1997

Security Consultant to Chair of the Expediency Council[6] from 1997 to 2001

Political Consultant to the Expediency Council[7] from 2001 until present


Human Rights Violations (in chronological order) :

Since before the Islamic Republic’s inception, Ali Mohammad Besharati-Jahromi has used his various positions of authority to perpetrate serious human rights violations.

 

  • The Qanat Group

 

As a founding[8] member of the Qanat Group (named for the underground aqueducts they used as mass grave sites,) Ali Mohammad Besharati-Jahromi spearheaded the kidnapping, torture and murder of dissidents around the city of Jahrom, shortly after the 1979 revolution.

He acted as a consultant[9] to the city’s leading Friday Prayer Iman, Hossein Ayatollahi[10], and together they identified and torturously murdered[11] citizens, often throwing their remains or leaving them to die in underground aqueducts around the outskirts of Jahrom. According to witness statements he was involved in or incited harassment, severe and inhumane torture including acid attacks, burning, cutting, maiming, and violent murders of Baha’is, political activists, leftists, homosexuals, and Mujahedin members, among others[12] in Jahrom.

 

  • Torture in Prisons

 

During the early months of 1981 and following repeated complaints and appeals by survivors and family members of political prisoners, Ayatollah Khomeini appointed a task force to conduct an investigation in Tehran’s prisons. Besharati-Jahromi, then Jahrom’s Representative to the Parliament, represented the judiciary in this body.

In clear contradiction to testimonies of survivors and family members of victims, as well as investigative reports by Amnesty International[13] the body concluded: “The interrogation and investigation system of the judiciary in our courts and prisons are not based on torture, and if few cases have come to light, they are exceptions to the rule and a result of actions on the part of individuals who are not among the officials. [Therefore,] accusations on the part of one of the authorities regarding investigation and interrogation procedures are in no way accurate.”[14]

 

  • Islamic Dress Codes

 

In August 1996, while Besharati-Jahromi acted as the Interior Minister, the Ministry approved “Regulations for illegal clothing and make-up”. This document and its articles ban clothing that bear images and art work such as musical instruments, embroidery, cartoons, or terms of endearment. These regulations have been used as justification for many cases of human rights abuse and infringement on citizens’ freedom, all of which Besharati-Jahromi must be held accountable for.[15]

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[1] Fars News: http://farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13920421000579

[2] Hamshahri Online: http://archive.hamshahrionline.ir/hamnews/1384/840203/world/_siasatw.htm

[3] Entekhab: http://www.entekhab.ir/fa/news/51243

[4]  Kayhan Newspaper dated 30 Farvardin 1360 (20 April 1981), pp. 1, 2

[5]  Majles Research Centre: http://rc.majlis.ir/fa/parliament_member/show/762319

[6] Tasnim News: http://www.tasnimnews.com/Home/Single/234326

[7] Ibid.

[8] Bidaran site: http://www.bidaran.net/spip.php?article146

[9] Ibid.

[10] In addition to aforementioned witness statements regarding Hossein Ayatollahi, the Friday Prayer leader in Jahrom during the early years of the revolution, Esmat Vatandost’s testimony at Iran Tribunal session in June 2012 in London, UK, refers to his role in crimes committed in Jahrom.  Ayatollahi dies in 2000. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hEMOR-QAo4&list=UUTCdtS22yOLDTRtgNNd949g&index=100&feature=plcp

[11] Mitra Lagar’s testimony:  http://www.iranhrdc.org/persian/permalink/3280.html?p=3#.ULeXovWboW8

[12] Witness statements on file at Justice for Iran

[13] “Torture in the Eighties”, AI Index: ACT 04/01/84

[14] Ettela’at Newspaper dated 30 Farvardin 1360, Number 164

[15] National website on laws: http://law.hijabportal.com/?p=461