Posts Tagged ‘1988 Massacre’

#FreeIran2018,1988 Massacre,Free Iran 2018,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Second round of strikes by truck drivers in Iran

The Regime’s End is Near but What Comes After?

Truck Drivers' strike in Iran Continues

Archive Photo: Truck Drivers continue on strike on their 10th day, due to high prices and Iranian regime’s extensive corruption.

The mullahs are staring down the barrel of a revolution, a similar barrel the Shah faced in 1979. A wave of protests, which began with a nationwide uprising in December 2017 and January 2018, has shown no sign of abating.

The most recent truck driver’s protest has run for more than 18 consecutive days, despite vicious threats against the strikers from the regime.

The strike demonstrated the full extent of the regime’s weakened position in power. Not only did the mullahs’ repressive and violent strategies for dealing with the protests fail to curb the dissent, but the truck drivers drew support from the Iranian people, both at home and abroad.

Even Regime Insiders Acknowledge Their Position is Weakening

“The severe downfall in the national currency value and skyrocketing prices for basic necessities indicate that the country is not being governed properly”, said Golamreza Heydari a member of the Iranian regime’s parliament.

Heydari added, “the way the country is running is that all the power is in one place and others are held accountable”.

The international press is reporting water shortages, corruption, a media crackdown, executions, the arrest of political opponents and extensive economic mismanagement from the clerical regime.

Concern from within the regime, a breakdown of effective governance and rising determination to change the status quo from the Iranian people all suggest that the regime’s end is near.

What Comes Next?

The answer to the question of what comes after the fall of the regime lies in the viable alternative to the mullahs. The People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) and the President-elect of the Iranian resistance, Maryam Rajavi, have a cohesive ten-point plan to bring democracy and tolerance to Iran.

The MEK grew out of the Iranian people’s resistance to the regime’s human rights violations. It refused to legitimize a ruthless dictatorship shrouded in religious rule.

This steadfast refusal to live under a religious dictatorship made the MEK a beacon for Iran’s youth. The group rapidly expanded and has drawn support from politicians and journalists from across the globe.

For nearly 40 years, the MEK has worked to establish itself as a viable and organized alternative to the arbitrary rule of the clerical regime. It has embraced democratic values of religious tolerance and an independent judiciary, drawing support from human rights groups and supporters of freedom.

One of the strongest indicators that the MEK and Maryam Rajavi represent a very real alternative to the regime is that the regime itself feels threatened by the opposition group.

Former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani recently asked, “Who has the best conditions of seeking to overthrow [the regime] and the ability to turn this potential into a reality?” The answer, he said, is “the MEK and this is something that the Iranian regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has stressed upon repeatedly. So, it is necessary that we identify them, raise awareness about them”.

Furthering the MEK’s Political Goals

The regime perpetuates the idea that in Iran there are only two possible choices. One is to accept their clerical regime at face value, acknowledging its existence and tolerating its violence and dangerous behavior.

The other option, it argues, is a full-scale military conflict (likely involving the assistance or presence of a foreign military in Iran), whereby if the opposition groups win, they can usher in a new period of democracy.

But this is not the reality. The MEK and Maryam Rajavi do not stand for a war with the regime. They do not want to see a further conflict in Iran.

Instead, the MEK has worked tirelessly to explore other ways to further their political goals. Over the last 20 years, Maryam Rajavi and the MEK have spread their message across the world, drawing support from the international community including MPs, former ministers, and military commanders.

Initially, the group worked on reversing the unjustified labeling of the MEK as terrorists, a regime-concocted lie disseminated through its official mouthpieces and backchannels.

The MEK secured its removal from several countries’ blacklists between 2008 and 2012. It is now working with the international community to fight the regime’s support of international terrorism.

It is also one of the loudest voices calling for justice for the families of victims who were executed in the 1988 massacre. In the summer of 1988, the regime executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK activists. Those responsible have never been brought to justice, and several hold senior positions in the regime leadership today.

Despite what the regime touts, there are not merely two options for Iran. A third option exists and is increasingly looking like the most likely outcome.

The third option sees the Iranian people rise up against their oppressors in a wave of protests. This wave of discontent combined with international economic and political sanctions erodes the mullahs’ positions of power and sees their ultimate overthrow.

Then Iran can be free. The MEK will oversee the implementation of democracy and free and fair elections. Only then, when a democratically elected government sits in the office in Tehran, can Iran make strides towards its brighter, better future.

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Gérard Deprez MEP, speaking at a meeting on the occasion of the World Day Against Death Penalty

Friends of a Free Iran Releases Statement on World Day Against the Death Penalty

Gérard Deprez MEP, speaking at a meeting on the occasion of the World Day Against Death Penalty

MEP Gérard Deprez, Chair of the Friends of a Free Iran Inter-Parliamentary group speaking at a meeting on the occasion of the World Day Against Death Penalty, October 10, 2018

The 10th of October was the 16th World Day Against the Death Penalty. To mark the occasion, Friends of a Free Iran issued a press statement expressing their concern over the current use of capital punishment in Iran.

A Violent and Barbaric Regime

The clerical regime carries out more executions per capita than any other regime or government on earth. The mullahs’ regime accounted for more than half of all the executions in the world in 2017.

In 2018 so far, the regime has executed more than 230 Iranian citizens, among them, were political prisoners, women, and juvenile offenders.

In just a month of September alone, Friends of a Free Iran report, 33 Iranians were hanged, including nine political prisoners, whose only crime was disagreeing with the hard-line, dogmatic ideology of the clerical regime.

Remembering 1988 Massacre of MEK Activists

2018’s World Day Against the Death Penalty holds a special significance. It marks the 30th anniversary of one of the darkest chapters of Iran’s history.

In the summer of 1988, the regime rounded up more than 30,000 members of the Iranian opposition, the majority of which came from the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). The men and women were detained, then executed on the orders of the regime’s leadership.

The most difficult part for the families of the victims, as well as MEK members today, is that those responsible for the crimes have escaped punishment. Many hold senior positions in Rouhani’s cabinet today.

The Friends of a Free Iran press release mentions Rouhani’s Justice Minister, Alireza Avaei. Avaei played a central role in the 1988 massacre. He was a member of the “death squad” that ordered and carried out many of the arrests and executions that summer.

State-Sponsored Terrorism

Friends of a Free Iran also took the opportunity to denounce the Iranian regime’s engagement in state-sponsored terrorism. 2018 has seen the clerical regime plot two plots on European soil against the MEK, both of which were foiled in the late stages.

In June, an Iranian diplomat working at the Iranian embassy in Vienna provided a Belgian-Iranian couple with explosive material. The pair were going to attack the MEK’s Grand Gathering event in Paris with an explosive-laden vehicle.

The terrorist plots, according to Friends of a Free Iran, represent the violent nature of the clerical regime. Its statement condemned the regime for “attacking its own people inside Iran and… planning terrorism on the [sic] European soil”.

Friends of a Free Iran lamented the silence from the European community. It urged the European heads of state to take a harder approach towards Iran.

The statement read, “we must tell Iran that any acts of terror in Europe is absolutely unacceptable and will have serious consequences”, adding, “we are disappointed that our European governments and the EU [are] still trying to be nice with this brutal regime”.

Finally, the statement implored the international community to “be on the side of the people of Iran and not with the mullahs”. Only then can Iran make progress on human rights.

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Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras Speaks at Geneva conference on 1988Massacre of political prisoners in Iran

Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras Speaks at Geneva Conference Commemorating 1988 Massacre

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras Speaks at Geneva conference on 1988Massacre of political prisoners in Iran

Dr Alejo Vidal Quadras, Former Vice President of the European Parliament, speaks at a conference on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners (mainly MEK activists) in Iran- September 2018

On September 14th, Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras gave a speech at a conference in Geneva, Switzerland commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1988 execution of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. The prisoners, who were mostly members or supporters of the MEK, were executed over the course of a single summer after refusing to renounce their support for the MEK.

The conference was attended by a group of human rights activists, politicians, and dignitaries who seek an independent investigation into the crimes against humanity. Dr. Vidal-Quadras was a co-organizer of the event and is president of the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ), an organization whose goal is to see that the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre are brought to justice and tried in international court.

In his speech, Dr. Vidal-Quadras called the 1988 massacre “probably the worst crime in Iran’s modern history. Vidal-Quadras noted that none of the perpetrators have ever been arrested for the executions. Instead, many “who have even admitted their role in this crime, have been rewarded and hold senior or ministerial positions in Iran today. Two of them are the previous and the present minister of Justice. Appointing the perpetrator of a crime against humanity as minister of Justice is really a world record of Evil.”

Vidal-Quadras spoke of the current human rights situation in Iran and the current number of executions. He rejected the idea that regime President Hassan Rouhani is a reformer, pointing out that more than 3,500 people have been executed in Iran since the start of Rouhani’s presidency.

Vidal-Quadras described the regime as a “killing machine,” saying that the regime has “responded brutally to the nationwide protests and uprisings which began in late December and have continued in different cities.” He added that more people have died under torture once in custody.

Dr. Vidal-Quadras urged the European community to “side with the people of Iran.” He said that the current policy of the EU and Federica Mogherini (High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy), “in closing their eyes to human rights violations and repression of women and just focusing on business and trade, is a disgrace.”

Vidal-Quadras stressed that Europe must make relations with Iran conditional on a halt in executions and significant progress in human rights. He emphasized that “Iran is not a normal country to do business with. There are no free elections in Iran. Iran is indeed a dictatorship but of an especially malignant type. It is a totalitarian theocracy which survives by the repression inside and instigation of war, terrorism and civil conflicts outside its borders.”

Vidal-Quadras stated that the Iranian regime is “very unstable and weak” and “has no future.” He reiterated his point that there are no moderates in Iran and that that the future “

We should tell them that contrary to what they think, this is a regime and e. So even for our long-term interests we should not count on the mullahs and have illusions about Rouhani or the so-called moderates, there are no real moderates in this religious dictatorship. The future “belongs to democracy and not these backward, brutal and murderous fanatics that oppress cruelly their own people and are the worst threat to peace and stability in the Middle East and in the whole world.”

Vidal-Quadras concluded by saying: “It is essential that the UN Security Council refer this case to the International Criminal Court to arrange for the prosecution of the regime’s leaders and those responsible for the massacre. I look forward to a more active role of the UN to prosecute the Iranian regime’s officials who took part in the mass killings in summer of 1988. We need urgently a commission of enquiry.  A crime of such magnitude must not remain unpunished.”

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Conference in Geneva HQ of the UN, calls for justice for 1988 Massacre

Geneva Conference Calls for Investigation into 1988 Massacre

Conference in Geneva HQ of the UN, calls for justice for 1988 Massacre

Human rights experts and activists call for justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners (mainly MEK) in Iran

On Friday, September 14th, a group of human rights activists, politicians, and dignitaries held a conference at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva. The conference was in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the execution of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran, most of whom were MEK members, over the course of a single summer in 1988.

Conference participants sought to increase public awareness of the 1988 massacre and to persuade the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to include a discussion of the massacre in the upcoming summit of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Ultimately, the conference’s goal is to see that the perpetrators of the massacre are brought to justice. To date, none of those responsible for the mass executions have been held accountable for their actions, and many of the perpetrators continue to hold positions of power within the Iranian regime.

The 1988 massacre occurred as a result of a fatwa issued by then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, who ordered the executions of all political prisoners associated with the MEK who did not renounce the MEK. Prisoners were sentenced to death after 15-minute trials and executed in groups. At the end of the summer, 30,000 prisoners had been executed.

The 1988 massacre has been described as one of the biggest crimes of humanity since World War II. There have been a number of calls for an independent investigation and international criminal prosecution of those responsible for the acts.

Conference participants spoke of the massacre and the need for an independent investigation into the crime against humanity. Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt describes the history of the mass executions, noting that the prisoners had already been sentenced and that “[some of them were about to be released.”

She also spoke about the regime’s efforts to cover up its crime. “The regime is covering the mass graves and prohibiting the families from speaking about it,” Betancourt said.

Betancourt stressed that the regime still poses a dire threat to the Iranian opposition, particularly the MEK, citing a foiled terror attack against an Iranian Resistance gathering in Paris in June of this year.

“The only chance we have to confront terrorism today is to help democracy get back to Iran,” she concluded.

Tahar Boumedra, distinguished jurist, former U.N. representative in Iraq, and the current head of Justice for the Victims of the 1988 (JVMI) emphasized the need for an independent investigation into the 1988 mass executions.

“As far as the United Nations is concerned, they’re still asking the government of Iran to investigate the event. They know they will never investigate,” said Boumedra.

Laurence Fehlmann Rielle, a member of the Swiss Federal Parliament, echoed the call for an investigation, calling the 1988 executions “one of the most atrocious crimes that haven’t been investigated by the international community.”

Juan Garcés, Spanish lawyer and former advisor of Chilean President Salvador Allende, spoke about the religious element to the mullahs’ crime.

“This massacre had a religious element because the victims were killed under the pretext of enmity with God. What can we do in this regard? 30 years have passed. These crimes that have a genocidal nature are usually committed by the state, and naturally, we can’t expect the state to serve justice… We must gather all possible evidence, including those of the victims and the perpetrators. One day, this can all be brought to the attention of an international court of law. Establishing a universal jurisdiction can pursue these cases,” Garcés emphasized.

Gilbert Mitterrand, President of Danielle Mitterand Foundation and one of the organizers of the conference, urged the international community to put politics aside and prioritize human rights in decisions about the 1988 massacre.

“How many more such sessions do we need to hold?… We would like to go further, not only the 1988 massacres but also the current situation in Iran, where human rights continue to be trampled. The international community shows that it has other priorities above human rights,” he said.

Mitterand continued: “Former UN special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Asma Jahangir, requested an independent inquiry into the 1988 massacre… The international community has condemned the Iranian regime for trying to erase the traces of this crime… The international community is the ally of the Iranian people. We shouldn’t play the game of the mullahs.”

Alejo Vidal-Quadras, former Vice-President of European Parliament (1999-2014) and the President of the international committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) called the 1988 executions “probably the worst crime in Iran’s modern history.”

Vidal-Quadras described the lack of accountability for the massacre, saying, “Many of the perpetrators who have admitted to their role in this crime, have not been brought to justice.” Instead, the criminals have been given ministerial positions within the regime, he said.

Vidal-Quadras said that the violation of human rights is still a problem under the current regime.
“During the presidency of Hassan Rouhani,” he said, “more than 3,500 people have been executed. His predecessor was not ‘moderate’ but he killed fewer people. The concept of moderation in the Iranian regime is quite original.”.

After reminding the audience that the current regime has killed more than 50 people in the streets since the beginning of the popular protests last December, Vidal-Quadras concluded by saying:

“It’s not an exaggeration if we call this regime a killing machine,” Vidal-Quadras said, criticizing European politicians and state for disregarding the Iranian regime’s abysmal human rights record.

“We must remind our European governments that Iran is not a normal government to do business with. It’s a totalitarian theocracy that survives by instigating civil conflict and terror outside their borders,” he went on. “This is a very unstable and weak regime, and it has no future. We should not count on the mullahs and have illusions about Rouhani and the so-called moderates. The future belongs to democracy.”

Finally, Sanobargh Zahedi, attorney, and Chair of the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) Justice Commission reiterated the call for an independent investigation, describing the regime’s past and current crimes against humanity and the need for accountability.

“The families of the victims still do not how & why their loved ones die, or where they were buried. This is an ongoing form of psychological torture designed to put fear into people. If anyone asks what happened in 1988 or speaks to U.N. mandate holders, they are persecuted, detained and tortured themselves… The people who have committed these murderous crimes have never been held accountable. They have been promoted by the regime for their actions… Iran still executes the most people per capita in the world. Then NCRI calls on the UN Human Rights Council, the General Assembly, the Special Representative, and all special mandate holders to cooperate. Together we can ensure there is accountability and an end to impunity in Iran. We need an international inquiry because the Iranian regime is never going to investigate itself.”

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Patrick Kennedy speaking at the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Massacre in Iran.

Patrick Kennedy Tells Iranian Community “Flames of Resistance” Going Strong

Patrick Kennedy speaking at the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Massacre in Iran.

Former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy, speaking at the gathering on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners (Mainly MEK members) in Iran-Paris, August 2018

On August 25th, the Iranian Communities commemorated the 30th anniversary of the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners by the Iranian regime. The victims, who were mostly MEK members and supporters, were executed over the course of a single summer. The Iranian Communities marked the anniversary with an interactive conference, which was held simultaneously in 20 major cities and world capitals across Europe and North America. Participants shared stories of the victims and survivors of the massacre and their families and expressed their support for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and the current uprising by the Iranian people which seeks to overthrow the Iranian regime.

 

Speakers included Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI; former U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy; several elected representatives from Europe, a number of political and religious dignitaries and jurists; and family members and survivors of the 1988 massacre.

 

Patrick Kennedy gave a speech in support of the Iranian Resistance. The following is the text of his speech:

“So I’ve said in previous events when it came to standing up for those were trapped in Ashraf, when it came to other struggles, for human rights for Iran, that this is not an Iranian issue, this is a human rights issue. And it’s the reason why we have people from all over the world gathered to mark this 30th anniversary of 30,000 political prisoners being summarily executed by a totalitarian fascist regime. Because we must remember them. Because if it can happen in Iran, in a modern era, it can happen anywhere in the world, where people do not stand up and stand up for human rights and those who suffer.

“So Martin Niemöller, a famous writer about the Jewish Holocaust, once said about the Nazis, that ‘First they came for the gypsies but I was not a gypsy, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the trade unionists but I was not a trade unionist, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Catholics, then they came for the Jews, and I was not a Jew, so I did not speak out. And finally, they came for me and there was no one left to speak out.’

“We are here today to remember these 30,000 martyrs because it’s important for all of us to know that there but for the grace of God goes each and every one of us and our families. And that is why I say this is not just an Iranian cause, this is a universal human rights cause. And as I often say, it is for that reason that I proclaim how incredible it is that on this 30th anniversary of these martyrs dying for freedom in Iran, that we have a new generation of people in Iran willing to stand up and proclaim their support for a new Iran that is free and democratic and respects the freedom of religion and the role of women in society!

“As Maryam Rajavi just said, none of this would happen if it weren’t for an organization to support these resistance units.

“And I want to thank all of you who are watching this program, I want to thank the MEK and Madam Rajavi, because you are the ones who are keeping the flames of resistance going strong.

“You are the ones who are supporting the young people in Iran who are protesting. And you have the integrity of your beliefs because you were the ones who fought the Shah and the sadist regime of oppressors and you were the ones today fighting a new totalitarian dictatorship.

“So the MEK has been there on the side of freedom whether it was fighting the oppression of the Shah or today fighting the theocratic regime of the mullahs.

“Finally, as an indication of how effective you’ve been, Madam Rajavi, it is remarkable the courage of the young people today in Iran.

“They are in the streets across Tehran shouting ‘Down with Khamenei and Rouhani’, ‘Down with the dictator.’ They are rejecting both sides of the regime, saying, “Hardliners, reformists, the game is over!”

“They are no longer being confused by those who say they’re moderates. We know that all of them are on the side of oppression. All of them are on the side of dictatorship. And if you never felt that the MEK was making a difference, all you need to know is that the MEK is the target, the top target of these mullahs as they attempt to bomb both in Albania and in the Paris gathering. They are targeting the U.S. MEK activities.

“Why would the regime spend so much time and energy targeting the MEK if they did not know that the MEK was an existential threat to their continuing as a fascist dictatorship in Iran? A great pride in the fact that they are the number one target of this clerical fascist regime, because it’s a sign that their work trying to bring about change in Iran is a threat to them.

“So to the young protesters all across Tehran who are honoring the martyrs, 30,000 martyrs over 30 years ago: they are honoring their sacrifice by taking to the streets all across Iran. Let me just say a personal word. Today is also the anniversary of my father’s death, but I was very fortunate, my father lived a full life and he died of natural causes.

“I cannot imagine being any one of those family members who lost a loved one due to the fatwa. I cannot imagine having to live my life knowing that somewhere across Iran, my father, my mother, my sister or brother’s remains are scattered somewhere in a field that no one has yet located.

“So I will say this is why we all are here today, to re-pledge ourselves to the sacrifice that was made 30 years ago and to make good on that sacrifice by bringing back a new and free and democratic Iran.”

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The gathering of Iranian communities around the world marking the 30th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran.

Iranian Communities Demand Justice for Victims of 1988 Massacre

The gathering of Iranian communities around the world marking the 30th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran.

The Iranian communities gathered in dozens of interconnected locations around the world to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners by the religious dictatorship ruling Iran.

On Saturday, August 25th, the Iranian communities gathered for an interactive conference to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the mass execution of political prisoners, most of whom were MEK activists, in the summer of 1988 in Iran. Participants in 20 cities across Europe and North America gathered in simultaneous events, linked via Internet, in a unified call for justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre and support for the legacy of the Iranian Resistance.

 

The conference opened with a speech by Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), who honored the victims of the 1988 Massacre and spoke of the legacy of the martyrs of the mass executions. “They sacrificed their lives but spread the seeds of uprising and revolt,” Mrs. Rajavi said.

Rajavi went on to say, “The resistance units in Iran follow the footsteps of those men and women who said no to the regime and were massacred in 1988. The clerical regime is beleaguered by the eight-month-long uprisings, by the growing role of the PMOI and resistance units in organizing and leading the revolts, and by the consequences of a plummeting and drowning economy.”

The conference featured speeches by survivors of the massacre and family members of the victims of the massacre. Speakers told stories of family members who had already completed their sentences when they were executed. Some spoke of family members who were arrested or even executed as teenagers.

Survivors of the mass executions told of being blindfolded and hearing political prisoners around them but being unable to see them. They spoke of fear and long sentences.

 

While the executions were going on, political prisoners were asked if they were MEK members and if they would renounce the organization. 30,000 people said no to their interrogators and were executed over the course of a single summer. One speaker said that many of those executed said in their last moments, “Give my regards to Massoud and Maryam.”

 

A large number of those who spoke at the conference were young people, and these youths were overwhelmingly in support of the MEK and the Iranian Resistance. A recurring theme during the conference was that the Iranian regime’s current actions are very similar to the atrocities committed by the regime in 1988. The speakers drew parallels to the regime’s human rights violations and current record of executions to the massacre and spoke of the importance of the resistance movement and the need for regime change.

 

Survivors and families of victims said repeatedly that they would be willing to testify if an investigation were to take place. Mrs. Rajavi has called for an international investigation into the mass executions by the Iranian regime. The perpetrators of the crime against humanity have never faced justice and occupy high-ranking positions within the Iranian regime. Amnesty International and a number of other human rights organizations have also called for an investigation into the massacre.

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The conference on the 30th anniversary of the political prisoners in Iran

Remembering Iran’s Biggest Massacre of Political Prisoners since World War II

The conference on the 30th anniversary of the political prisoners in Iran

Conference in Paris on the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Massacre in Iran

On August 25th 2018, Legal Insurrection published an article by Mary Chastain marking the 30th anniversary of the massacre of more than 30,000 Iranian political prisoners (mainly MEK). On August 25th 1988, Ayatollah Khamenei issued a fatwa that would prompt the execution of 30,000 political prisoners being held in regime custody.

Former director of Research and Survey for the Ministry of Intelligence, Reza Malek, said that more than 33,000 prisoners were killed in a span of just three months. Some of whom were young girls and pregnant women.

In her article, Chastain calls it, “the biggest massacre of political prisoners since World War II”. Anyone with links to the Iranian opposition and groups like the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), was swiftly and mercilessly executed.

The bodies were disposed of in unmarked graves without the notification of the victim’s families.

Waiting for Justice

Despite the heinousness of their crimes, nobody responsible for issuing or carrying out the fatwa has been brought to justice for their involvement in the executions. The families of the 30,000 victims have formed groups like the Justice for Victims of 1988 Massacre in Iran (JVNMI) to raise awareness and bring those accountable to justice.

The upper echelons of the Iranian regime are still occupied by many officials and leaders who were in positions of authority in 1988. The same people who ordered and carried out the executions of the 30,000 in 1988, still hold positions of power today. Rouhani himself, Iran’s current President, was Deputy of Iran’s Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1988. It is highly likely he was involved in the massacre and its cover-up.

An audio file of a conversation which took place between Khomeini’s former successor, Hossein-Ali-Montazeri and members of a “death commission” established to carry out the massacre was published in 2016. In the recording, Montazeri can be heard telling the commission, “in the future, your [names] will be etched in the annals of history as criminals.”

Among those he was addressing were Mostafa-Pour-Mohammadi, a representative of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the current Minister for Justice in Rouhani’s cabinet, and Hossein-Ali Nayeri, the current Head of the Supreme Disciplinary Court of Judges.

When Montazeri told the death commission to stop executing prisoners during the holy month of Moharram, one of the members of the commission replies with, “if we don’t deal with them now… this will create problems”.

After writing two letters to Khomeini in protest at his actions, Montazeri was removed of his position as Khomeini’s successor and lived out the rest of his days under house arrest.

Anti-MEK Sentiments are Still Rife Among the Regime Leadership

The mullahs continue to target the MEK through bloody campaigns of violence and repression. They still view the MEK as a threat to their rule and have pumped money into demonization campaigns across the globe.

At Khavaran Cemetery in Tehran many families of the victims of the 1988 massacre, who gather there to mourn their loved ones, have faced harassment and arrest. Some have even been executed for holding memorial services for the victims.

Montazeri predicted in 1988 that a campaign of violence and repression would be ineffective against a group like the MEK. He said, “the Mojahedin (MEK) aren’t just individuals. They represent an ideology and a school of thought… You can’t get rid of it through killings, in fact you will only propagate and spread it this way”.

His words echo across the two decades that have elapsed since he said them. Now, the MEK is as strong as ever, coordinating domestic protests across Iran and drawing support from international political figures across the globe.

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Maryam Rajavi's speech at the conference in Paris on the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Massacre in Iran

Maryam Rajavi Speaks at Conference Seeking Justice for 1988 Massacre Victims

Maryam Rajavi's speech at the conference in Paris on the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Massacre in Iran

Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition, speaking at a conference on the 30th anniversary of the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran (mainly MEK activists).

On Saturday, Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), gave a speech at a conference held by the Iranian communities commemorating the 30th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, most of them MEK members, in Iran. The interactive conference was the result of a call to action issued by Mrs. Rajavi demanding that the international community investigate the massacre. It brought together participants from 20 capitals and major cities throughout Europe and North America in a call for justice for the victims of the massacre.

Mrs. Rajavi spoke about the regime’s efforts to prevent the victim’s stories from being told. She said: “The location of the graves is not known, and the list of the names is a secret. Speaking of their stories is forbidden, and inquiring about their fate is a crime under the mullahs’ rule.”

 

Mrs. Rajavi also spoke about the mass executions, which took place in 110 cities over the course of a few months in summer of 1988, saying that those cities have since turned into “hotbeds of revolt against the mullahs’ regime.” Thus, the heroes who gave their lives laid the foundation for the current uprising.

“People still remember their cause and why they sacrifice their lives. They died defending their principles to the end,” said Mrs. Rajavi.

 

Later in her speech, she spoke about the reason the MEK members were executed. “The crime was standing up for the people of Iran. Standing up against the oppression of all freedoms. Standing up against the starvation of people, and standing up against the destruction of Iran. They executed the prisoners only for their beliefs. This is an incredible catastrophe, but this is what an inhuman clerical regime is all about. Their reaction to dissent, even inside prisons and torture chambers that they control, is mass execution.”

“They sacrificed their lives but spread the seeds of uprising and revolt,” she added.

 

Mrs. Rajavi also talked about the uprising currently taking place in Iran and its parallels to the 1988 massacre, saying: “The resistance units in Iran follow the footsteps of those men and women who said no to the regime and were massacred in 1988. The clerical regime is beleaguered by the eight-month-long uprisings, by the growing role of the PMOI and resistance units in organizing and leading the revolts, and by the consequences of a plummeting and drowning economy.”

She described the brutal methods by which the regime has attempted to suppress the protests: “Any legitimate protest or demonstration is repressed by the detention and torture of participants. In the uprisings last December and January, what were the protesters’ demands and what did they do wrong to be tortured to death? The bodies of a number of them were handed over to their families, telling them that they had committed suicide while in detention. The regime commits the crime and yet blames the victims of torture and massacre as culprits and criminals.”

 

Mrs. Rajavi described these as the actions of a tyrannical regime and encouraged the international community to shut down the regime’s embassies. She reiterated the call from the Iranian communities for international support in helping the Iranian people in their goal of regime change.

Staff Writer

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The photos of some of the victims of the 1988 massacre

Families of Victims of 1988 Massacre Still Seek Justice

The photos of some of the victims of the 1988 massacre

Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the victims of the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK activists.

This summer marks thirty years since the massacre in Iran. In 1988, the Supreme Leader of the Iranian regime issued a fatwa ordering the execution of political prisoners. Over the course of a single summer, 30,000 people, most of them MEK members, were summarily executed by the regime.

 

The mullahs see the MEK as a threat and have targeted the organization for decades. The Iranian regime has spent untold time, effort, and money demonizing the MEK and plotting attacks against the organization, all the while proclaiming that the MEK has no power or influence. It is clear that the regime sees the MEK as a threat to its very existence. In 1988 the regime attempted to erase this threat with a mass execution.

The 1988 Massacre was a tragedy and a crime against humanity. The perpetrators of this crime have never been brought to justice. Instead, they have risen through the ranks of the Iranian regime and remained unpunished for their horrific crime. The perpetrators have not gone unnamed, but they have not answered for their actions. Alireza Avaei, one of the men responsible for the mass execution of Iranian citizens has held the position of Justice Minister, an irony that would be laughable if it weren’t so disgusting.

The families of those who were executed continue to suffer to this day. These victims of the 1988 Massacre lost family members, were never given the chance to properly bury them, and must live with the knowledge that their killers walk free. Family members have had to listen helplessly as members of the regime bragged about their crime.

The regime has not yet repeated an act as daring as the execution of tens of thousands of dissidents in a single summer, but it still routinely conducts mass executions. Human rights abuses take place under the mullahs’ regime on a daily basis. The regime targets MEK members at home and abroad as a matter of policy.

In Iran, those who take to the streets to protest the clerical regime do so at grave personal risk, whether they are part of an organized resistance group or not. The consequences for speaking out against the regime are severe. Protesters may be arrested, fined, tortured, mistreated, or even executed. Even so, the Iran protests are now entering their ninth continuous month. An uprising that cannot be suppressed is a powerful weapon against tyranny.

 

The MEK has issued a call for an international investigation into the 1988 Massacre. On Saturday, August 25th, the Iranian communities are holding a simultaneous international conference in 20 capitals and major cities in Europe and North America to discuss this call to action. Survivors of the massacre and family members of the victims will speak live to audiences around the world. The event will be broadcast on social media and on the Internet.

It is imperative for anyone who values human rights to take action to seek justice for the victims of this atrocity by calling on our governments to first condemn the executions and then bring the perpetrators to justice.

 

The United States is currently increasing its focus on Iran and has announced the formation of an “Iran Action Group.” This is an opportunity to draw attention to human rights issues in Iran that can no longer be ignored.

Staff Writer

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Destroying mass graves of the 1988 massacre of MEK political prisoners

Maryam Rajavi Calls for End of Destruction of 1988 Massacre Victims’ Graves

Destroying mass graves of the 1988 massacre of MEK political prisoners

Mass graves of the 1988 Massacre of political prisoners being destroyed by the Iranian regime, in an attempt to hide the evidence

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), made a statement calling for urgent action to prevent the destruction of the graves of the victims of the 1988 massacre in Iran and the removal of all evidence of their existence.

Mrs. Rajavi specifically called upon the Secretary-General of the U.N., the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. Human Rights Council, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as international human rights organizations, to take action against the regime’s destruction of the victims of the 1988 massacre’s graves, particularly in Ahvaz. Mrs. Rajavi noted in her statement that the regime’s attempts to stop the Call-for-Justice movement from gaining traction have failed, as well as their hopes that the world would forget the massacred political prisoners. As a result, the mullahs have resorted to desperate attempts to destroy evidence of their genocide in order to evade the consequences of their crime against humanity.

Mrs. Rajavi warned that destroying the graves of the martyrs of the 1988 massacre, whether to torture the families of the victims or to destroy evidence, is a crime unto itself that must be answered for.

She warned that the destruction of the graves of the martyrs –whether aimed at inflicting a vicious psychological torture on their families or at removing the evidence of this crime against humanity– is a major crime in itself whose masterminds and perpetrators must face justice and be held accountable.

Over the past few weeks, the regime has demolished the graves of victims of the 1988 massacre (many, if not most of whom were MEK members) in Ahvaz and is building roads on their sites to cover the evidence of their existence.

 

The 1988 massacre occurred after the end of the Iran-Iraq war. Political prisoners, specifically MEK members were executed extra-judicially in groups and buried in mass graves. Some of those who were executed had been released and were re-arrested so they could be executed. MEK members were arrested for activities such as distributing leaflets and taking part in anti-government protests, according to Amnesty International.

 

A previous investigation by Amnesty International and Justice for Iran found that the regime poured concrete over half of a mass grave in Tabriz between 2016 and 2017, according to satellite images. Also according to Amnesty International, in 2016 in Qorveh, Kurdistan province, regime authorities bulldozed gravestones and memorial signs put up by grieving family members in 2016, saying the land had been designated for “agricultural” purposes.

 

In April, Amnesty International issued a press release discussing their 31-page report on the 1988 massacre and the regime’s attempt to cover up their crimes by destroying graves. The report, which was released in conjunction with Justice for Iran, estimated that there may be more than 120 graves where victims of the 1988 massacre are buried.

 

According to the press release, regime authorities have concealed the fate and location of the victims for almost three decades. Families have not been allowed to hold memorials or decorate the mass grave sites with flowers or messages, which prevents them from observing burial rites and customs. According to Amnesty International, families have faced prosecution for seeking the truth about the victims.

Staff Writer

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