Source: X

Torontonians danced in the street to celebrate a helicopter crash that killed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s leadership including its appointed president Ebrahim Raisi. Still, some Iranian Canadians demand justice for the death and torture “the butcher of Tehran” is responsible for.

Salman Sima a former political prisoner and survivor of torture at the hands of the Islamic Republic in Iran helped organize the celebration at Mel Lastman Square in Toronto, Ont., on Monday.

“Any member of the regime that goes to hell is, good news for us to celebrate,” Sima told True North. “Iranians are happy, Iranian, Israeli, Jewish brothers and sisters from many different backgrounds, Canadians.”

Videos shared online of the celebration, show revellers waving Israeli, pre-revolution Iranian, and Canadian flags.

“We danced together and celebrated peace,” Sima said. “The world without Ebrahim Raisi is a safer place”

Ardeshir Zarezadeh is the executive director of the International Centre for Human Rights in Canada. Though the death of Raisi was cause to celebrate for him, Zarezadeh and his organization continue to call for an investigation into Raisi and those connected to him for their crimes against the Iranian people and beyond.

“President Raisi was responsible for the executions and murder of thousands of political prisoners. And recently during a Woman, Life, Freedom movement. he ordered the killing of so many girls in the streets of Tehran, and they shot them, directly during the protests,” Zarezadeh told True North in an interview.

“His appointment wasn’t an election we (ICHR) call it selection. it’s an undemocratic and unfair process to appoint someone as president with the (appearance of) election.”

Zarezadeh told True North that he was a political prisoner in several secret detention centres across Iran. He spent two years in solitary confinement and was a prisoner at Evin Prison, which has been accused of many “serious human rights abuses” by the U.S.

Raisi kickstarted his career in the regime as a judge on a panel at Evin Prison. He became known as “the hanging judge” over the amount of executions he ordered against the political rivals of the regime.

The ICHR advocates for the prosecution of the regime including the recently deceased Raisi through international and criminal courts to “hold him accountable for his crimes and crimes against humanity.”

The non-profit group wants to collect all the evidence it can about Raisi’s human rights abuses as both a prison judge and president.

“Putting him on trial is not just about Raisi. It’s also about his colleagues, the top clerics of the Islamic Republic and also about the supreme leader’s crimes,” he said. “They are all connected. You expose one. You’re exposing every single one of them, who have important roles in killing political prisoners, innocent people and those innocent passengers of PS752.”

In 2021 The Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down in an act of terrorism by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Tehran on Jan 8, 2020.

The families of the victims of the flight had their legal fees funded by ICHR.

Zarezaeh said he was one of three people over the last 15 years to consistently organize mass protests in Canada against the Islamic regime in Iran.

His organization also “heavily lobbies” against Iranian policies in Canada, the US and less frequently in European countries.

Because of his work against the regime, he believes he is a target of the IRGC while living in Canada.

He wants the Canadian government to list the IRGC as a terrorist group so former political prisoners such as himself can feel safe by getting rid of the alleged agents of the regime who operate freely in Canada.

“I don’t feel safe in Canada because they still operate here. They still live here. And this is a huge threat to our security. Not only for us as former political prisoners, activists, and leaders of the movement but also for Canada’s safety and security, it’s a threat,” he said.

He said agents of the regime in Iran threaten political and human rights activists including himself in Canada.

“I received messages from them during the movement. I heard from my friends that they were contacted by the IRGC intelligence people, looking for my address, information, and whereabouts” he said.

Zarezadeh said one agent went to his office. Concerned for his life, Zarezadeh contacted the RCMP and FBI, who confirmed that the man was an agent.

“They can come to Canada, Interfere easily, they operate here and do whatever they want,” he said. “They’re trying to, intimidate, threaten, harass and contact our families in Iran to stop us fighting or possibly eliminate us.”