Mohammad Jafar Mahallati Covered Up Crimes Against Humanity. Kick Him Out of Oberlin.

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Dear President Ambar and the Oberlin Board of Trustees,

We the undersigned were shocked to learn that Mr. Mohammad Jafar Mahallati serves as the Nancy Schrom Dye Chair in Middle East and North African Studies at Oberlin College.  

As noted in the letter sent to you by over 600 victimes, families, and human rights experts on October 8, 2020, Mr. Mahallati served as Iran's UN Ambassador in 1988.  In that time, thousands of Iranian political prisoners were executed in a massacre widely recognized as constituting crimes against humanity.  

Mr. Mahallati denied these crimes on the international stage, calling the news of the killings "discredited information" and "political propaganda". 

The denials at the UN were part of the coverup of the crime.  Mr. Mahallati played an important role in helping Iranian officials avoid accountability for the largest killing in contemporary Iranian history.  

So, by signing below, we echo the demands of the signatories of the Oct. 8 letter.  We call upon Oberlin to:

(a)     review the process by which Mr. Mahallati was hired at Oberlin and the process by which he was granted tenure.  It is critical that we know what due diligence was conducted on Mr. Mahallati before his hiring, whether human rights organization were ever consulted on the role Iran’s former representative to the UN may have played in that country’s human rights crisis, and whether such widely-available information was ignored.

(b)   remove Mr. Mahallati from his position; and

(c)    provide an apology from Oberlin College to the victims of the 1988 massacre and their families for hiring and promoting a person who was involved in hiding the crimes against humanity perpetrated against them.