Iranian-Canadians rejoice at the demise of “the butcher of Tehran” and call for justice

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Iranian-Canadians celebrate the death of “the butcher of Tehran” but demand justice



“Toronto streets were alive with jubilation as news of a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s leadership, including President Ebrahim Raisi, spread. While some Iranian Canadians rejoiced, others remained adamant about seeking justice for the atrocities committed by the ‘butcher of Tehran’.

Celebration Amidst Controversy:

Salman Sima, a former political prisoner who endured torture under the Islamic Republic in Iran, organized a celebratory gathering at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto. Witnessing the demise of any regime member was a cause for elation for Sima and many others of different cultural backgrounds, as they danced together waving flags of Israel, pre-revolution Iran, and Canada.

Following the revelry, Ardeshir Zarezadeh, the executive director of the International Centre for Human Rights in Canada, reiterated the need to delve deeper into the regime’s crimes. Despite the exultation over Raisi’s passing, Zarezadeh emphasized the importance of holding him and his associates accountable for their human rights violations and brutal crackdowns on dissidents.

Seeking Accountability and Justice:

Zarezadeh’s firsthand experience as a political prisoner in Iran sheds light on Raisi’s authoritarian past. Known as ‘the hanging judge’, Raisi was responsible for numerous executions and atrocities against political prisoners. The International Centre for Human Rights strives to gather evidence to prosecute Raisi posthumously, in hopes of exposing not just one individual but a system complicit in heinous acts.

While the organization’s efforts have seen legal victories, such as implicating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the downing of Flight 752, Zarezadeh continues to push for the listing of IRGC as a terrorist group in Canada.

Safety Concerns and Ongoing Struggles:

Zarezadeh’s advocacy work has made him a target for the IRGC, prompting concerns for his safety and that of other activists living in Canada. The ease with which regime agents operate poses a significant threat, not only to the Iranian diaspora but also to Canada’s national security.

Despite the challenges and risks involved in confronting the Iranian regime, Zarezadeh remains resolute in his mission to seek justice and accountability. His unwavering dedication to the cause serves as a reminder of the ongoing struggle for human rights and freedom in the face of oppressive regimes.

As we reflect on the complexities of celebrating the downfall of oppressive regimes, it becomes evident that true justice lies in holding perpetrators accountable and ensuring the safety of those who continue to resist tyranny. Zarezadeh’s courage serves as a beacon of hope in the fight for justice and human rights, reminding us that the pursuit of truth and accountability is a collective responsibility that transcends borders and ideologies.”



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