Ebrahim Raisi was the victor of the Iranian presidential election last Friday, rather predictably given that he was the favorite of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Given his new role, we’ve decided to look back at his history with the mullahs.
Judiciary chief: 2019-2021
In just two years, Raisi has become infamous for his crackdown on protesters, particularly those who took part in the November 2019 uprising. Some 1,500 protesters were shot dead in a few days, while many thousands more still languish in prisons under torture. For this, Raisi was sanctioned by the US Treasury.
There is much evidence that women suffered much harsher punishments under Raisi, with at least 30 women being executed and 24 being sentenced to hundreds of lashes each. One of the women being lashed was 80-year-old Salbi Marandi, who had merely been inquiring about the status of her imprisoned child, who was left paralyzed.
In addition, physical and psychological torture of political prisoners increased under Raisi, with Lamia Hamadi burned with electric prods and Massoumeh Senobari beaten savagely resulting in many broken bones. They are denied medical treatment and subjected to long periods of interrogation, in order to extract confessions.
Furthermore, the judiciary has been keeping political prisoners behind bars following their sentences by filing new cases against them, as was the case with Golrokh Iraee Ebrahimi, initially arrested for writing a fictional story about the evils of stoning that was never published, and Atena Daemi who was sentenced to a further two years in prison.
While Raisi has been targeting protesters, he’s also been abusing the families of martyrs who gather to remember their loved ones. This includes the families of at least four martyrs of the November 2019 uprising – Shabnam Dayani, Azadeh Zarbi, Ali Tamimi, and Farzad Ansarifar – killed by security forces. Human Rights Watch reported that plainclothes officials attended public and private memorial services for martyrs and didn’t allow relatives to see their relatives’ bodies.
1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners
As a member of the Tehran “death commission”, Raisi personally sent thousands to their deaths for political crimes after one-minute show trials. Like many of those who sat on the commission with him, he has expressed pride in his role.
Other roles within the regime that Raisi held between the massacre and 2019, included:
- Tehran’s Revolutionary Prosecutor
- Head of the National Inspectorate
- First Deputy of the Judiciary
- Special Prosecutor for the Clergy, Chairman of the State Television Supervisory Council
- Attorney General
- Custodian of Astan Quds Razavi
- Head of the Judiciary