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Iran’s Dark History Could Repeat Itself — Unless the World Acts



Photo of scorched motorcycles in Iran
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Omid Memarian is a journalist, Iran analyst and the 2005 recipient of Human Rights Watch’s Human Rights Defender Award. Gissou Nia is a human rights lawyer, nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council and board chair of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.
In November, Swedish authorities arrested an Iranian suspect for his alleged role in the extrajudicial killings of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. The arrest gave new hope to survivors and families of victims, who have spent decades pushing for the perpetrators to be held responsible.
But enthusiasm over the prospect of justice was short-lived. Ironically, on the heels of this glimpse of accountability, Iranians now face the specter of further abuses and draconian sentences for prisoners. And the international community is failing to take the necessary steps to stop it.

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