Exiled Iranian activists are conducting several campaigns calling on European countries to arrest and prosecute a notorious Islamic Republic judge and prosecutor who has fled his country and is now residing in Europe.
Iranian officials have stated that Gholamreza Mansouri, a judge and prosecutor known for arbitrary arrest, imprisonment, torture and prosecution of journalists and activists has fled Iran and might be in Germany.
Prior to leaving his home country, Mansouri has taken over 500,000 Euros worth in bribe money – Iranian Judiciary official’s stated in court proceedings in which Mansouri is an absentee defendant.
Gholamreza Mansouri, along with more than twenty other high ranking Judiciary officials is currently being tried inside Iran on charges of financial corruption and abuse of power. The IRI Judiciary stated that Mansouri is the 9th defendant in a high profile trial in Iran involving Akbar Tabari – the Deputy Chief of the former head of Judiciary.
Sadeq Amoli Larijani is the former head of Judiciary who was rumored to be a candidate in the succession of the IRI Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei. In a reshuffling of Sadeq Amoli Larijani’s office, Akbar Tabari, his Deputy Chief was arrested in June 2019 right after Ebrahim Raisi replaced Amoli Larijani.
Khamenei appointing Raisi to the chief of the Judiciary replacing Sadeq Amoli Larijani was seen as part of an ongoing but silent succession conflict. The official narrative of Judiciary under Ebrahim Raisi however, is that they are fighting corruption within the walls of this office.
Around the same time that the former Deputy Chief of the Chief of Judiciary was arrested, some persecutors and judges close to Akbar Tabari’s were also arrested, among them was Gholamreza Mansouri whose arrest warrant was issued but he was never arrested. He ended up fleeing Iran under unknown circumstances.
Mostafa Niaz Azari is another judiciary official who is being tried in absentee because he has fled Iran in the same corruption case and less is known about him and his flight.
Iranian human rights lawyers, groups and activists have organized several campaigns to have Gholamreza Mansouri arrested while he is in Europe. These campaigns are mostly related to Mansouri’s involvement with arbitrary arrest and persecution of journalists and political prisoners.
With Iranian officials stating that Mansouri has been residing in Germany since Aug 2019, Iraj Mesdaghi human rights activist and a former political prisoner has started a campaign as well as a petition on the platform Daadkhast, asking German Judiciary to arrest Mansouri.
The petition is addressed to Public Prosecutor General of the Federal Court of Justice, Dr. Peter Frank and the Attorney General of Lower Saxony, Dr. Frank Lüttig and Mesdaghi and signatories are asking them to facilitate the arrest and prosecution of Gholamreza Mansouri.
Mesdaghi spoke to Zamaneh Media about his efforts and said that many journalists and activists have signed the petition he has initiated which now stands with 4219 signatures:
“The petition is addressed to the German judiciary officials and in the past 24 hours, a large number of journalists and human rights activists outside of Iran have signed it, demanding that Gholamreza Mansouri be prosecuted and tried.”
Mesdaghi says that Gholamreza Mansouri had come to Germany to get cancer treatment at a Hanover-based medical facility. Mina Ahadi, a human rights activist based in Hanover has already organized a local protest for Sat 13 June, to ask German authorities to look into the case of Mansouri.
Reporters without Borders (RSF also announced on 11 June 2010, that the organization has filed an action with Germany’s Federal Public Prosecutor against Gholamreza Mansouri. RSF is basing its legal action on this IRI persecutor’s record of ordering the arrest of at least 20 journalists in the winter of 2013.
RFS tweets that they have taken legal action against Mansouri:
#گزارشگران_بدون_مرز @Rsf_inter شکایت خود را از قاضی #غلامرضا_منصوری برای سرکوب و زندانی کردن #روزنامهنگاران در #ایران از این میان ۲۰ تن از آنها در بهمن و اسفند ۱۳۹۱، تسلیم دادستان فدرال آلمان کرد. دادستان نباید بگذارد او از دست عدالت فرار کند. نه به بخشودگی از مجازات. pic.twitter.com/i5vr1p1J7s
— گزارشگران بدون مرز (@RSF_persan) June 11, 2020
Many of the journalists who stood trial in Gholamreza Mansouri’s court have taken to twitter writing about their encounters with the notorious judge. Mehdi Mahdavi Azad – a journalist now working from the outside of Iran – has written that in 2009 after the IRGC intelligence forces cut him loose, Gholamreza Mansouri in the Judiciary would not let go of him. Mahdavi Azad writes on twitter:
“Gholamreza Mansouri was one of the three people who ruined my life. I don’t forget his voice saying: ‘You drew your sword against the Supreme Leader, and your spoiled blood will be spilled.'”
Mahdavi Azad talks about showing Mansouri bruises attained during arrest and imprisonment and Mansouri saying that he deserved the physical violence he endured.
Kaveh Mousavi – human rights lawyer and Justice for Iran, human rights organization, have asked anyone with information that can incriminate or lead to the prosecution of Mansouri to contact them.
After the news of the judiciary corruption trials in Iran went viral, Gholamreza Mansouri published a video of himself on social media on 8 June 2020. In this video, he states that he has left Iran to receive medical treatment and he plans to return.
Mansouri states in the video that he “will never turn his back against the Islamic Republic of Iran and IRI’s leader.” He explains that after he left Iran to receive medical treatment, the borders of the country closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He pledges his devotions to IRI and states that he plans to return to Iran upon the opening of borders.
Iran borders are not exactly closed because of COVID-19 related restrictions and there is regular weekly air traffic between Iran and some major European cities. Iranian citizens are also allowed to return home if they are traveling outside of Iran. Gholamhossein Esmaili – a spokesperson for the IRI Judiciary, has welcomed Mansouri’s gesture asking him to come back and stand trial.
The current whereabouts of Mansouri are unknown. Iranian media have reported that he has entered Europe on a multiple entry Schengen area visa through Italy.
To Sign Iraj Mesdaghi’s petition go to Daadkhast: