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Activists lament ‘impunity’of Iran’s Raisi after death

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PARIS—Human rights groups and exiled opposition factions expressed regret Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi’s death meant he never saw justice for crimes they say he committed during decades as a leading figure in the Islamic republic.

A man who rose quickly through the ranks after Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, Raisi was accused by activists of overseeing mass executions of prisoners in 1988 followed by a litany of human rights abuses as judiciary chief and later president.

“Ebrahim Raisi was a symbol of judicial impunity for criminals and the entrenched lack of accountability within the Islamic republic’s system,” Mahmood-Amiry Moghaddam, director of Norway-based group Iran Human Rights, said in a statement to AFP.

He “should have been prosecuted for crimes against humanity and held accountable in a fair trial for the countless atrocities he committed over these four decades,” Moghaddam added.

Shadi Sadr, co-founder of the Justice for Iran group, which campaigns for accountability for Iranian rights violations, condemned the condolences offered by some Western figures, including EU Council President Charles Michel, for the deaths of Raisi and his foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

“Such actions are perceived as a betrayal by the countless victims of human rights abuses, deepening the disappointment among the Iranian population towards the international community,” she told AFP.

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