Special Court To Be Established for Iranians Abroad - Why cannot we reciprocate?


Special Court To Be Established for Iranians Abroad - Why cannot we reciprocate?
by MM

There was a short commentary in a site called Persian Letters (Notes of an Iranian Watcher) on April 5th, 2010 titled “Special Court To Be Established for Iranians Abroadby Golnaz Esfandiari (will be enclosed as a comment). In it, the Iranian officials announced the formation of a special court to deal with the Iranian ex-pats who speak or act against IRI outside of Iran, out of Iran’s jurisdiction. This announcement was thought to be a reaction to the tremendous support by various groups outside Iran against IRI in light of the June 12th, 2009 election (or rather selection) fiasco. My reaction is “Why cannot we reciprocate?”

While not being a lawyer, I know that the International Court of Law in The Hague can deal with the criminal politicians who commit acts of violence against humanity, but my guess is that it will happen when IRI falls, mainly due to the laws governing sovereign immunity (am I right?). Nonetheless, countries like Argentina are able to issue arrest warrants to Iranian officials alleged to have bombed the Jewish center in Argentina in 1994. But, the act in Argentina was allegedly committed by IRI agents in another sovereign state. A more close case is Zahra Kazemi’s murder trial in Canada, ongoing now. The case was filed by her son, Stephan Hachemi, to bring justice to his beloved mother who was ruthlessly tortured, murdered and buried in a hurry in Iran to hide the evidence.

As the community of Iranians-Americans and Iranian- European and others in Australia and elsewhere, if we had more unity, we could have supported the formation of law centers that looked into these murders/tortures/rapes to bring lawsuits against responsible officials who unfortunately travel in and out of Iran with freaking impunity now. Maybe they would think twice about their atrocities, or at least not embrace them as they do now as a sign of Islamic justice, etc., and at best they would remain in Iran if they think that they will be tied in a lawsuit.

But, unfortunately, as someone said, all we can utter is I am against this or for that and everything else is wrong. When we learn to set a common goal as the binding agent amongst us, I am sure we will be more successful. Until then, name-calling, making fun of others or putting wedges…… as Mehrban called it, will just put a smile on IRI officials and their cronies here at IC.

Any comments from lawyers out there on “why cannot we reciprocate”?


more from MM

Table is turned - the tribunals for IRI crimes have started

by MM on

It looks like attempts at tribunals by hundreds of families/friends/groups of the victims of Iranian murders are starting outside Iran, See, e.g.,

How History will judge us


Join the THE IRAN TRIBUNAL on Facebook - join the facebook efforts


So far, the following familis/groups are in the tribunal

•A group of families of execution victims during 1980s - Tehran
•A group of mothers of execution victims known as “Khavaran Mothers”
•A group of mothers of execution victims during 1970s and 1980s
•Mother Salahi, mother of execution victims Salahi and Babak Mahmoudi
•Esmat Vatan Parast(Mother of execution victims Jalileh and Azam Sayadi, sister of execution victims Mahmoud, Ali and Manoucher Vatan Parast, aunt of execution victim Javad Rahmani).
•Mani Yousefi (Family member of execution victims, father and two uncles)
•Iman Shirali (son of execution victim Iraj Shirali, political activist)
•Shahnaz Kaydpour (Sister of execution victim Dariush Kaydpour)
•Shokoofeh Montazeri (Daughter of execution victim Hamid Montazeri)
•Rakhshandeh Hussainpour Roodsari (Wife of execution victim Ali Mehdizadeh velojerdi and sister of execution victims Hamid and Rahim Hussainpour Roodsari)
•Heydar Jahangiri (Family member of execution victims Mahin, Mohammadgholi, Allahgholi and Jafar Jahangiri, former political prisoner)
•Zarir Jahangiri (Family member of execution victims Mahin, Mohammadgholi, Allahgholi and Jafar Jahangiri, former political prisoner)
•Mohammadali Zand Karimi (Brother of execution victim Raouf Zare-ei)
•Saeed Montazeri (Brother of execution victim Hamid Montazeri, political activist)
•Shahla Talebi (Wife of execution victim Hamid Heydari, former political prisoner)
•Sohrab Khoshbouyee ( Brother of execution victims Cyrus, Gholamali and Sasan Khoshbouyee)
•Zari Erfani (Sister of execution victim Mohammadhussain Erfani)
•Mina Lebadi (Wife of execution victim AliasgharZeyghami)
•Nahid Sarvestani (Sister of execution victim Rostam Akbarpour, film maker)
•Cyrus Azari (Brother of execution victim Khosro Dastaran, political activist)
•Zargham Asadi (Brother of execution victim Ghazanfar Asadi and nephew of execution victim Massoud Asadi, political activist)
•Nima Sarvestani (Brother of execution victim Rostam Akbarpour, film maker)
•Hassan Makaremi (Husband of execution victim Fatemeh Zare, Painting Artist and Calligraphy Artisti)
•Laleh Bazargan (Sister of execution victim Bijan Bazargan)
•Nashmil Hendoush (Sister of execution victim Naser Hendoush)
•Maryam Nouri (Wife of execution victim Rahmat Fathi, former political prisoner)
•Shahla Molavi (Wife of execution victim Javad Bahariyan Sharghi, Former political prisoner)
•Hussein Zalzadeh (Brother of execution victim Ebrahim Zalzadeh, Political activist)
•Nehzat Ashtarani (Daughter of execution victim Soltanali Ashtarani)
•Bijan AlKanan (Brother of execution victim Sasan AlKanan, former political prisoner)
•Hussein Husseinjani Moghaddam (Brother of execution victim Farzaneh husseinjani Moghaddam, former political prisoner)
•Soheila Niknejad(Family member of Execution victims Ali Akbar and Ali Ashraf Moradi and Ali Pasha-ei)
•Banou Saberi (Wife of execution victim Abbasali Monshi Roudsari)
•Reza Kaabi(Brother of execution victms Shahla and Nasrin Kaabi)
•Raof Kaabi(Brother of execution victms Shahla and Nasrin Kaabi)
•Akram Biranwand(Member of Execution victims Mahmoud and Nosrat Birawand)
•Roya Jahrumi(Sister of Execution victims Bijan, Behnam, Kavoos and Manoochehr Rezaei Jahrumi)
•Vida, Sima and Gita Rostamalipoor(Family members of execution victims Parvis Rostamalipoor, Majid Ivani and Mohammad Nabi Jaddidi)
•Khatereh Moeini(Sister of execution victim Heybatulleh Moeini)
•Azar AlKanan (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Mohammad Javad Mohebi (Former political prisoner, political Activist)
•Ramin Abdollahi (Former political prisoner, founding member of West Tehran Council Institution)
•Shakib Moheb (Former political prisoner, political activist,)
•Peyman Piran (Former political prisoner, student activist)
•Mansoureh Bashkandi ( Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Ahmad Mousavi (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Hazhir Palaschi (Journalist, writer)
•Jafar Moradi (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Salah Bakhtiyar (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Ali Ashnagar (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Mohammad Khoshzogh (Former political prisoner)
•Majid Mirzayee (Former political prisoner)
•Mansour Kooshan (Writer)
•Iraj Jannati Attayee (Playwrite, theatre director and poet)
•Hussein Mohammadi (Former political prisoner)
•Manouchehr Safarali (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Saeed Arab (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Abbas Samakar (Poet, writer)
•Zhila Mosaed (Poet, writer)
•Behrooz Partow (Political activist)
•Ahmad Nabavi (Law practitioner)
•Sadigheh Mohammadi (Political activist, women’s rights activist)
•Ahmad Eskandari (Kurdish scholar)
•Nemat Azarm (Former political prisoner during the Shah’s regime, Poet, Persian language and literature scholar, founding member of Iran writers’ Society)
•Babak Rahimi (Journalist, political activist)
•Vahid Valizadeh (Journalist, writer)
•Babak Emad (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Shahin Pouya (Political activist, women’s rights activist)
•Esfandiar Monfaredzadeh (Musician)
•Elnaz Mahjoob (Journalist, women’s rights activist)
•A group of former political prisoners in Tehran, Gilan and Kurdistan
•Shain Najafi (Artist, singer)
•Pooyan Daneshian (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Siavosh Soltani (Former political prisoner)
•Jamshid Paydari (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Mehrnoush Shafi-ie (Former political prisoner)
•Esmaeil Haghshenas (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Masoud Baluch Human rights activist, director of Radio Baloochi)
•Banafshe Izadi (Former political prisoner)
•Mitra Lagar (Former political prisoner)
•Mehrdad Ahangar (Political activist)
•Masooud Raouf (Film director, painting artist)
•Reza Azad (Former political prisoner, painting artist)
•Iraj Mesdaghi (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Dariosh Afshar (Human rights activist)
•Ardavan Zeybaram (former political prisoner, political activist)
•Farman Siabi (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Pantea Bahrami (Former political prisoner, filmmaker)
•Shokoufeh Sakhi (Former political prisoner, political science PhD/ABD)
•Hussein Mahini (Cinematographer, photographer)
•Susan Bahar (Director of Ban Child Labour Foundation and chief editor of Children’s and Youth publication, DARVAG)
•Roya Sadeghi (Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Zaman Masoudi (Political activist, speaker of German Left Party, Hamburg)
•Nosrat Teymourzadeh (Political activist)
•Shida Jahanbeen (Journalist, student activist)
•Hamid Kamali (Former political prisoner during the Shah’s and the Islamic Republic regimes, political activist)
•Bijan Hedayat(Editorial board of theory e-journal Negah
•Mahnaz Ghezeloo(Former political prisoner, blogger)
•Farzaneh Zolfi(Former political prisoner, political activist)
•Bahram Rahmani(Writer, political activist)
•Jalal Mohammadnejad(Political activist)
•Shadi Sader(Lawyer, women´s right activist)
•Raha Bahreini(Law student)
•Sayeh Sijani(Legal adviser)
•Borhan Azimi(Political and worker activist)
•Kiuomars Goodarzi(Former political prisoner)
•Hassan Jafari(political activist)
•Salah Irandost(Iran Tribun editorial member)
•Nasser Tahri(Former political prisoner)
•Josef Akrami(Film maker)
•Pam Shime(Lawyer)


onlyira - amen to that when it happens

by MM on




by Onlyiran on

If I'm not mistaken, that is a civil suit for monetary damages.  I'm talking more about cases that have been filed against Pinochet, Kissinger, etc.  This way, individual IRI figures can be brought up on charges, and they will be wanted men, not being able to leave the country or travel to certain countries.  


onlyiran - Zahra Kazemi's son has brought civil charges

by MM on

against IRI in Canada for the torture and murder of his beloved mother in Iran.  Many are waiting to see the result and I have a feeling more lawsuits will follow.



by Onlyiran on

I do not believe that establishing a court by Iranians outside of Iran is the solution, since it will obviously have no authority.  However, what I find really interesting is that there are many countries in the world, such as Spain, the UK, etc. which have laws on the books that would allow a person to bring charges of crimes against humanity against the offender regardless of which country the offense was committed in.  I am extremely surprised that no Iranian has ever brought charges against members of the IRI regime in one of those countries.  There are many Iranian human rights organizations in the West with brilliant lawyers.  I am just baffled that no one has initiated that kind of litigation.  Perhaps you should concentrate your efforts on that front.  


Thanks for the informative blog MM

by divaneh on

And thanks to Esther for the very useful information. I agree with you that we should help the existing Human Rights organisations that are following the events in Iran. I also would like to suggest that in doing so our own financial contribution is not enough and we need to help by spreading the awareness and campaigning on their part. There are many Iranian rich individuals and businesses that can even right off their contribution to such charitable organisations against their taxes.

I also suggest that we seek the help and advice of outstanding charities such as Amnesty International who are already showing unease with the situation in Iran. Would be good to get some ideas here.

In the end, as others suggested we are already doing more than many silently suffering Iranians by voicing our dissent here. If it was not important they would not prosecute it. But yes, now we need to do more.


amg - Maziar is right.

by MM on

Many of us cannot go back to Iran, but we have brought Iran here and enjoy the best of two worlds.


DK - we need a police dept w/ lots of Dirty Harries to clean up

by MM on

We need a police dept w/ lots of Dirty Harries to clean up the henchmen on the streets.  Without a police department to direct and recruit dirty harries as policemen, we are just a bunch of vigilantes. 


Esther - Thanks for the legal clarification

by MM on

Thanks for the legal clarification.

I agree with you on the sovereign immunity and that it will be difficult in the Hague, even thru the UN Security Council.  Once IRI is out, well, all gloves are off.

I did not know about the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.  and the other Iranian human rights organizations here and here.  Good to know.  There should be a way for us to support such organizations, info and financial.

The cases in the US are not that useful since there is hardly any visitations by politicians between Iran and the US, and the yealy pilgrimage by AN to the UN is untouchable, as far as I know.

However, Canada, Australia and Europe and maybe S. America are the places that the civilian lawsuits (similar to Z. Kazemi) should be directed at.  I am told that these are the places that the crooked Iranian politicians/henchmen are visiting back and forth or setting up shop as immigrants.  My point and hope is that we make it clear to these ruthless crooks that they cannot come and go with impunity, and there will be a good chance to catch them at the airport and tie them up in lawsuits.


Rostam - loved the video

by MM on



nice ;-)

by capt_ayhab on

Looks like I am hitting some shaky nerves with shaholahi crowd here.... They are all chasing me around demonstrating their civility I mean ShAaban Bimokhi attitude.

Deal with it children and do not troll people's blog.


Darius Kadivar

I have a Question for the IRI Thugs ... ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Do You Feel Lucky ? ...


Come and Get me ... I will wait for you patiently ...




For capt_ahyab, sargord, Q and the rest of the gang

by Rostam on

Another hypocrite and the proper thing to do with it:



Sargord Pirooz makes me puke

by cyclicforward on

Every article on the IC have a note of him with propaganda and lies. JJ I hope you ban this annoying character.


Why cannot we reciprocate?

by Esther on

MM, let me try to address some of your legal questions.

First, there are at least two international courts in the Hague: the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which has jurisdiction over disputes between states (like the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. case), and the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has jurisdiction over international crimes (like crimes against humanity).

The jurisdiction of both courts is based on state consent.  According to article 36 of the ICJ statute, the ICJ can decide a case only if states consent.  According to articles 12 and 13 of the ICC statute, the ICC can decide a case if either the state of which the accused is a national, or the state where the alleged crime took place, consents.

However, the ICC can also decide a case if the case (or "situation") is referred to it by the UN Security Council (like the situation in Darfur, where the ICC has indicted a sitting head of state).  At the ICC, sovereign immunity is a bar to the extent that the UN Security Council can't/won't refer (admittedly still a considerable extent).

The situation in domestic courts varies from country to country.  Canada has traditionally declined to prosecute or to entertain civil suits against foreign states/state officials (we will see what happens with the Kazemi case).  The United States has shown more openness to civil suits with the Alien Tort Claims Act and Torture Victims Protection Act, as have some countries in Europe and elsewhere.  There is at least one recent case related to the 1999 student protests.

The Iranian diaspora may not be as fragmented as you fear.  One organization I am aware of is the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.  There are lists of other Iranian human rights organizations here and here, some of which also appear to be legally-oriented.  As in any case, if or when sovereign immunity is not a bar, the success or failure of the case depends on the evidence.


Makes me puke

by jamshid on

It makes me puke at the hypocrisy when a person who flames division among non-reformists, and does so at every opportunity, writes this:

"There lies our problem as minority group abroad, lack of unity and cohesion."

A decadent and shameless hypocrisy that knows no boundaries of course. It is as though an an Evin interogator saying something like this:

"There lies our problem as a people, lack of tolerance and understanding..."

Sure, sure.

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

amg.... Are you talking to me ?

I don't have (kharchangi) passport and never will...

my last 1980 visit was with Iranian Imperial passport.

I'm breathing Iran 24/7 without being there.    Maziar


this is true - if u talk bad about Iran don't go back

by amgw4 on

you won't be able to enjoy Iran anymore. might as well change your ethnicity.

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

 coming to a theater near you!!!   rated R  

them criminals have to be finger printed and mug shots first given the chance IF they can obtain an American Entery visa.......

THEY HAVE NO AUTHORITY  in the united states or any other nation

the only place allowed to BARK and (pache giri ) unfortunatly is in IRAN for now.

vel kon baba inam ma ra film kardan tu inja.           Maziar


SP joon - IRI is shaking - why else set up courts for us?

by MM on

85% came out so that the chosen one could be selected!

Sargord Pirouz

There was an 85% voter

by Sargord Pirouz on

There was an 85% voter turnout during the 2009 presidential election. That sort of "unity" cannot be denied.

So what sort of unity of subversive elements are you trying to generate, in response? And how will you achieve any relevance beyond a half-dozen individuals hanging up a banner in front of a foreign embassy for a minute or so?

Alas, reason in this discussion is no match for the emotion and sentimentality maintained by various elements of subversion. That is plain for all to see.


capt - on second thought, we could not even support JJ

by MM on

It seems like many people are on IC almost 26 hours a day (ok, a little exaggeration) and we could not even support this site and forced JJ to take a day job in a different continent.

We are a long ways away from unity.


Dear MM

by capt_ayhab on

You articulated the main issue and problem with this sentence when you said[ As the community of Iranians-Americans and Iranian- European and others in Australia and elsewhere, if we had more unity, we could have supported the formation of law centers that looked into these murders/tortures/rapes to bring lawsuits against responsible officials who unfortunately travel in and out of Iran with freaking impunity now.]

There lies our problem as minority group abroad, lack of unity and cohesion.



P/S the word[if] is embolden by me to stress your point


Special Court To Be Established for Iranians Abroad: by Golnaz..

by MM on

Here is the full commentary by Golnaz:

Special Court To Be Established for Iranians Abroadby Golnaz Esfandiari

“Iranian Justice Minister Morteza Baktiari announced on April 3 that a special court will be established for Iranians living outside the country.

He didn’t give the reason for the move, but said that the head of Tehran’s Justice Department and the head of the Revolutionary Court have announced their preparations to create the court.

The timing of the move has led to speculation that it could be a reaction to the huge show of support and solidarity by Iranians living abroad for members of the opposition movement that took to the streets last summer to protest against the reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

By setting up the court, the Iranian government seems to be trying to send a warning to some of the Iranians based outside Iran who are actively campaigning and supporting the green movement.

Radio Farda reports that some Iranian officials have threatened to take judicial actions against Iranian expats for their show of solidarity with the opposition street protests in Tehran.