Documentary: “Those Who Said No”

Survivors of Iranian regime crimes in the 1980s bring their stories to a so-called “People’s Court”

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After 25 years of silence, for the first time in history, survivors and relatives of the victims of a mass atrocity establish a People’s Court. They do this while the accused continue to rule in Iran, holding high positions in the government. It took five years of hard work before the first court hearing could be held in London, in 2012. Later on, the main trial is held in The Hague.

The judges and prosecutors are well known and have experience in international criminal courts of “crimes against humanity.” The prosecution team includes Judge Johann Kriegler from South Africa, involved in his country’s liberation from apartheid, and Sir Geoffrey Nice, the former prosecutor in the Milosevic case.

Twenty five key witnesses will give testimonies during three days in The Hague. Prior to this another 100 witnesses have given testimonies that wereassembled in a Truth Commission Report – made public during the three days in The Hague. Together they are documenting, in horrendous details, the torture and mass executions in Iran during the darkest era of modern Iranian history.

This came about as a reaction against the lack of commitment from the international community; which has not acknowledged or investigated crimes against young political prisoners in Iran during the 1980s.

“Those Who Said No” is a film about people who fight for the right to tell their story in court. The documentary will be aired on Al Arabiya News Channel in two parts: Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 at 20.00 GMT.

The film’s protagonists are Iraj and Mehdi, who are witnesses and victims of crimes. They were on death row in Iran's most notorious prison. Tortured and facing execution, they did not expect to survive. Like the thousands who were executed, there were no charges laid against them and they were never taken to court. Yet in 1988, they faced execution. Today, they face world’s indifference. Yet, they refuse to be silenced. Not a day goes by without their working to bring the perpetrators of the murders to account, through a People’s Tribunal. In 2013, they finally succeed in convening an international tribunal, the Iran Tribunal, in The Hague Court of Justice. Now is their chance to put Iran on trial for alleged crimes against humanity.

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