German authorities allowed a top Iranian cleric accused of mass murder to flee the country on Thursday. The decision came despite formal requests from leading exiled Iranian groups calling for the cleric to face justice.

Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi, the 69-year-old Mullah touted as the successor to Iran’s all-powerful theocratic dictator Ali Khamenei, came to Germany for treatment at the clinic of an Iranian-German neurosurgeon when exiled Iranian dissidents referred him to German prosecutors, citing his record of running Islamic courts, where he presided over the killing of thousands of Iranians. The leading German tabloid Bild Zeitung ran the headline “Death Judge In Iran, Luxury Patient In Germany,”  covering Shahroudi’s stay in the country.

Despite wide media coverage in Germany and mounting pressure from exiled Iranians, Shahroudi was allowed to take a flight back to Iran on Thursday — cutting short his stay, a German official confirmed.

Germany’s Bild Zeitung reported the details of Shahroudi’s escape in its English edition:

BILD has learned that, on Thursday morning, the Ayatollah left the clinic where he was supposed to be receiving treatment for a brain tumour.While authorities are still reviewing whether top Iranian cleric, Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi (69), should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity, the cleric has left Germany.

Shahroudi and his entourage went to Hamburg airport to fly to Tehran at 1.25 pm with the state-owned airline „Iran Air“. (…)

Shahroudi has been treated at a private hospital in Lower Saxony since December 21. This was confirmed by the German government. Since then, several charges have been filed against Shahroudi for crimes against humanity. Among them are victims of torture and relatives of executed prisoners.

Only an arrest warrant could have prevented Ayatollah Mahmoud Shahroudi from a sudden departure. The Attorney General’s office would have to press charges and a warrant would have to be granted by a judge. The federal prosecutor said to BILD: “We are going to continue examining whether Mr Shahroudi is guilty of crimes against humanity, regardless of his whereabouts.

Shahroudi is “responsible for the Islamic Revolutionary Courts that sent numerous human rights activists, defence lawyers, journalists, webloggers, political dissidents, and religious minorities, to Iran’s notorious prisons where they were subject to torture, rape, and murder,” the U.S.-based watchdog group ‘Center for Human Right in Iran’ said in a statement.

“The evidence provided to the German authorities includes several witness statements, including from those imprisoned and tortured at the infamous Kahrizak detention centre during the 2009 post-election protests in Iran,” the group added.

According to Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, “Shahroudi is directly responsible for the appointment of judges and prosecutors that have been responsible for persecutions and systematic violations of fundamental human rights. He must be held accountable.”

Iranian activists on social media used the hashtag #ShameonGermanGov to express their disappointment with the Merkel goverment. “European Foreign Policy towards Iran: Begging for the release of its innocent civilians from torture in Iran, meanwhile, providing best medical treatment to Ayatollahs who committed crime against humanity and escorting them back to Tehran,” an exiled Iranian-Kurdish activist wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile in Iran, the anti-regime protests that began in late December have spread throughout the country. The current U.S. administration has been outspoken about regime’s violent crackdown on the peaceful protests. “The Iranian regime is now on notice. The world will be watching what you do,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said earlier his month.

Last week, foreign ministers from Germany, UK, and France came together, not to show their solidarity with the courageous Iranian protesters locked in a hopeless battle against the armed-to-the-teeth troops loyal to the Islamic regime, but to salvage the Iran Nuclear deal.

“We agree on this approach, we want to protect (the deal) against every possible decision that might undermine it,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday standing next to his French and British counterparts and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Those fears were allayed the following day President Trump announced his decision to waive sanctions against Iran under the Obama-sponsored nuclear deal one last time, but with strings attached. President Trump told the European leaders to change the existing terms of the agreement within the next four months or he may scrap the deal.

“EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, has spent recent days being studiously silent on the uprisings in Iran,” the noted European commentator Douglas Murray wrote in the British weekly Spectator earlier this month. “Europe’s leading foreign affairs ideologue needs Iran’s governing status quo to stay in place so that nothing about her own deal, future cash prize or putative Nobel award is in any way disturbed.”

By circling wagons around the nuclear deal and shielding the mass murderer Shahroudi from facing justice, Merkel’s government is openly siding with the tyrannical Islamic regime of Iran.

Praising German government’s handling of the migrant crisis in 2016, President Obama had declared Chancellor Merkel as being on the “on the right side of history.” However, when it comes to choosing between the pro-democracy movement and the henchmen of Mullah regime, Merkel government evidently stands on the wrong side of the history.


[Cover image via YouTube]