Cop26: Ex-MEP calls for Iran’s president to be banned over mass murder claims

Struan Stevenson said Ebrahim Raisi should not be allowed to set foot in Scotland because of his links to the killing of political prisoners.

The SECC campus in Glasgow
The SECC campus in Glasgow

A former MEP has called on Scotland’s First Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the Home Secretary to ban Iran’s president from attending the Cop26 global climate summit in Glasgow, accusing him of “mass murder”.

Ebrahim Raisi is believed to be considering attending the UN climate change conference, which starts later this month, as his first overseas visit.

Struan Stevenson, a former Conservative MEP, is calling on Nicola Sturgeon, Liz Truss and Priti Patel to take action.

Speaking at a press conference in Glasgow on Wednesday, he said he has sent a formal request to the head of Police Scotland, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone, calling for the force to launch a criminal investigation into Mr Raisi under universal jurisdiction into accusations of alleged genocide and crimes against humanity.

Mr Stevenson said: “This man must not be allowed to set foot in Scotland.

“Scotland does not take well to mass murderers coming here and if this man dares to attend Cop26 he should be immediately arrested by the police.

“I would urge the First Minister and Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, and the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to get their heads together and discuss this matter and ensure there is a political initiative taken that there is no way this man must be allowed to come to the United Kingdom, or indeed set foot in any other civilised nation.”

He said the letter to Mr Livingstone was submitted with a letter from five people behind the action who are former political prisoners in Iran and their relatives, as well as a dossier of more than 100 pages of evidence.

Among those speaking at the press conference, organised by the UK Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), were signatories to the letter, who told of witnessing a massacre of political prisoners in 1988.

A parallel action has been raised with the Metropolitan Police.

Mr Stevenson said he was told the Deputy Chief Constable, Malcolm Graham, has been assigned the case but when he contacted the force last week, in the hope that those involved in the action who attended the press conference would be interviewed, he was told the case is being “reviewed”.

He added: “We trust that the police will now accelerate their activities and ensure a full investigation is carried out.”

The NCRI said: “Ebrahim Raisi, the current president of the Iranian regime, was a member of the “Death Commission” of Tehran in 1988, a commission established in implementation of a fatwa by the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the Supreme Leader of the Iranian regime, calling for the annihilation of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI).

“The Death Commissions set up throughout Iran ordered the summary and extrajudicial execution of more than 30,000 political prisoners, the vast majority of them were PMOI’s members and supporters.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “As organisers of Cop26, the UK Government and UNFCCC are responsible for inviting state delegations. The Scottish Government has no plans to meet with representatives from Iran during Cop26.

“We wholeheartedly condemn human rights abuses and call on all states to uphold fundamental international standards – including the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil human rights.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We have received information which is being assessed.”

The UK Government has been contacted for comment.

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