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Prof. Kazem Rajavi, Iran’s great defender of human rights

Dr. Kazem Rajavi, renowned jurist and first Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva after the 1979 revolution
Dr. Kazem Rajavi, renowned jurist and first Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva after the 1979 revolution

Analysis by PMOI/MEK

August 29, 2020—Dr. Kazem Rajavi, the older brother of the Iranian Resistance Leader Massoud Rajavi, was a renowned jurist and Iran’s first ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva after the 1979 revolution.

He was the representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in Switzerland a respected human rights defender.

Dr. Rajavi was assassinated by the Iranian regime’s terrorists on April 24, 1990, near his home in Geneva.

On August 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of State issued visa restrictions for 14 Iranian regime terrorists, including 13 so-called diplomats involved in the assassination of Dr. Kazem Rajavi.

 

Early years and education

Kazem Rajavi was born on February 18, 1934, in Mashhad. He went to France in 1959 as a law student to continue his study where he received his doctorate in political science from the Paris School of Law and Economics in 1961 and his doctorate in public law in 1963.

In 1964, he passed the doctoral exam in economics and was accepted as an assistant professor in the Faculty of Law and Economics in Paris in 1965. In 1973, he completed his dissertation at the University Institute of International Studies in Geneva.

Kazem Rajavi holds a total of six doctoral degrees in law and political science from universities in France and Switzerland. He also taught law and political science at various Swiss universities.

Kazem’s campaign to halt the execution of Massoud Rajavi

In August 1971, Shah’s secret police, the Savak arrested and incarcerated more than 80 percent of the members and leaders of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

Kazem Rajavi, holding a picture of his brother Massoud, who was sentenced to death by the Shah

Kazem Rajavi, holding a picture of his brother Massoud, who was sentenced to death by the Shah

The Shah regime gave death sentences to the MEK’s founders and key members, including Massoud Rajavi, Kazem’s younger brother.

Kazem, who at the time was a renowned jurist and politician in Switzerland, rallied several organizations and politicians to intervene and pressurize the Shah regime to revoke Massoud’s death sentence and to the release of political prisoners. Among those politicians was Francois Mitterrand, the leader of the French Socialist Party and the future-to-be President of France.

A few days after the announcement of Massoud Rajavi’s death sentence, when at the time UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim arrived in Switzerland, Kazem persuaded him to demand the Shah to overturn the death sentences.

In 1976, Kazem Rajavi created the international association of Families of the Political Prisoners in Iran. Kazem's extensive campaign to overturn his brother's death sentence included sending hundreds of telegrams, calls on international commissions of jurists, councils, churches, and various human rights organizations, all of which demanded the Shah to suspend the death sentences of political prisoners. Under these pressure, the Shah's regime agreed to allow two Swiss lawyers to be present in the MEK’s court for defense.

Eventually, as a result of Dr. Kazem Rajavi's activities, Massoud Rajavi's death sentence was converted to life in prison.

Ambassador to the U.N.

Following the 1979 anti-monarchist revolution, Kazem Rajavi returned to Iran. Due to his reputation, he was appointed as Iran's ambassador to the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva in 1979. In 1980 he was appointed as Iran’s ambassador to Senegal and head of political delegation to seven West African countries. In 1981, following Khomeini’s brutal repression against the opposition groups he withdrew from his position.

Exposing human rights violations in Iran

In 1983, as the special envoy of the President of the NCRI, Kazem went to the U.N. General Assembly. Following his efforts, a special envoy was appointed to follow up on human rights violations in Iran.

Dr. Rajavi played a significant role in the U.N. in revealing the Iranian regime’s human rights violations in the 1980s. Through his tireless efforts, hard work and deep political knowledge, he succeeded for the first time in 1985 to condemn the Iranian regime’s human rights violations at the UN.

He became the voice of thousands of executed and tortured political prisoners. Kazem Rajavi has famously said, “We write the history of human rights with our blood.”

Dr. Kazem Rajavi’s assassination

Due to Kazem’s efforts in exposing the regime’s human rights abuses, regime supreme leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa for his assassination. The government of Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani made the assassination of Dr. Kazem a priority. Finally, on April 24, 1990, near his home in Geneva, Dr. Kazem Rajavi was assassinated by agents of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

The car in which Kazem Rajavi was assassinated on 24 April 1990 near his home in Coppet, Switzerland.

The car in which Kazem Rajavi was assassinated on 24 April 1990 near his home in Coppet, Switzerland

The passports of 13 diplomat-terrorists and MOIS agents involved in the assassination of Dr. Rajavi were stamped “on mission” in one day. They returned after their mission was completed with pre-booked tickets to Tehran. The Iranian Resistance provided the full details of the operation, the perpetrators, and their commander to the Swiss judiciary. But Switzerland refused to follow up the case seriously and a Swiss judge explicitly said, “We do not want to put our hands in the snake's nest.” Switzerland was afraid that investigating the case would further provoke the regime to commit terrorism.

In June 2020, the Prosecutor for Vaud Province in Switzerland announced the “future closure” of Dr. Rajavi’s file because of the “statute of limitation.” The Iranian Resistance objected to the decision, leading the Swiss government to retrace its steps and keep the case open.

Two years after Dr. Rajavi’s Assassination, two of his murderers were arrested in France, but the Government of Jacques Chirac extradited them to Iran as part of its policy to appease the mullahs.

An avenue in Geneva honoring Kazem Rajavi.

An avenue in Geneva honoring Kazem Rajavi.

On August 21, 2020, the U.S. State Department issued visa restrictions for the 13 terrorist diplomats and another regime official.

NCRI President-elect Mrs. Maryam Rajavi welcomed the designation of 14 regime officials and described it as an essential and effective step to combat terrorism and to safeguard the security of European countries. She also underscored that the delay of designation, prosecution, and punishment of the assassins of Dr. Rajavi by European countries emboldened the regime in shedding blood and engaging in terrorism and has cost many more lives and prolonged mullahs’ rule.

NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi and Mrs. Monika Kryemadhi, leader of the Albanian Socialist Movement, standing before the portrait of Kazem Rajavi in Ashraf 3

NCRI President-elect Maryam Rajavi and Mrs. Monika Kryemadhi, leader of the Albanian Socialist Movement, standing before the portrait of Kazem Rajavi in Ashraf 3

Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian Resistance

Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian Resistance

Following the designation, Massoud Rajavi said in a message, “In addition to the assassins of my brother, Kazem, the perpetrators and the masterminds of all assassinations and crimes committed inside and outside Iran by the ruling religious fascism must be sanctioned and punished for their actions. They include the assassins of Qassemlou in Vienna, Bakhtiar, and Boroumand in Paris, Fereydoun Farrokhzad in Bonn, Akbar Ghorbani in Istanbul, Sharafkandi in Berlin, Naghdi in Rome, Zahra Rajabi and Ali Moradi in Istanbul, Mohammad Hassan Arbab in Karachi, and dozens of others. These crimes are in addition to hundreds of other terrorist crimes perpetrated by Iran’s ruling theocracy against the Iranian Resistance, the Peshmergas, and our Kurdish brothers in Iraqi territory and Iraqi Kurdistan.”