Iran People’s Tribunal (Iran Tribunal), is a grassroots initiative inspired by the irresistible demands for justice by the so-called Mothers of Khavaran, mourning the loss of their children in the 1980s mass-executions. A remarkable expression of legal pluralism, it was an occupation of a normative lacuna by a sizeable individuals composed of families of political prisoners executed in 1980s, survivors of this human tragedy, political, labour and student activists, women’s rights activists, lawyers, Children’s rights activists, writers, artists and human right activists, taking justice into their own hands.
For the first time in the contemporary history of Iran, the families of political execution victims, along with the survivors have initiated an International People´s Tribunal in order to investigate the mass execution of Iran’s political prisoners.
The proceedings has a clear historical precedent and is modelled on the tribunals set up by Bertrand Russell and Jean Paul Sartre in their 1965-1967 world campaign against the American atrocities in the Vietnam War.
Iran Tribunal is much more significant. Unlike Russell Tribunal which was established by prominent writers, philosophers and political activists, Iran Tribunal is true people´s tribunal because it has been established by the families of victims and political prisoners of the mass atrocities in 1980s. Actually, Iran Tribunal is the first and unprecedented court in human history held by the people who have been subjected to mass atrocities of a state.
The campaign had a clear objective from the start: to investigate the mass executions and massacre of Iran’s political prisoners during the 1980s and to hold the Islamic Republic of Iran accountable for its crimes against humanity.
“Iran Tribunal” also aimed to raise the awareness of the international community and the civil societies by exposing the horrific magnitude of this human tragedy. Almost one billion people worldwide followed the both stages of the court through high profile press. This Tribunal brought this human tragedy, which has been concealed and undisclosed for so long, onto the world stage.