End the Impunity for Those Who Carried Out 1988 Iran Massacre
In the summer of 1988, 30,000 political prisoners were summarily executed in Iran on the Fatwa of Regime Founder Ruhollah Khomeini for their support of the opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK). For over 30 years, the families of the victims have sought answers, but were routinely silenced by the Regime, even executed themselves on some occasions, and ignored by the world.
In 2016, a justice-seeking movement was established to end the mullahs’ impunity and prevent something like this from happening again. The movement is demanding the names of the victims, the locations of their graves, identification of perpetrators, and prosecution of those responsible for this crime against humanity.
Now, there has been some condemnation of the massacre by governing bodies, after survivors and witnesses testified and especially following the release of a 1988 audio file of then Khomeini’s heir Hossein Ali Montazeri criticizing the massacre as “the greatest crime committed in the Islamic Republic [for which] history will condemn us”. But still, the perpetrators remain free, with many still serving in the Regime, including head of the judiciary Ebrahim Raisi, minister of justice Alireza Avaei, head of the Supreme Disciplinary Court for Judges Hossein Ali Nayyeri, and member of the Assembly of Experts Mohammad Hossein Ahmadi.
These officials have openly defended the massacre, with former justice minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi even claiming he was “proud” to carry out the massacre and would do so again. The Regime has also seen fit to destroy evidence, like mass graves, in order to evade international investigations, should one ever come to pass.
It is clear that there should be international action to hold the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre responsible and end their impunity for what human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson QC described as
“one of the biggest human carnages since World War II”.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) wrote:
“In light of the new evidence and information surfaced since 2016 when the Call-for-Justice movement emerged, and the admissions made by the clerical regime’s officials defending the massacre, the time has come for the international community to break its 30-year silence and end three decades of impunity for the clerical regime leaders in Iran.”
They advised that it is time for the United Nations to launch an independent investigation into this crime against humanity and for the dossier of human rights violations in Iran, particularly the executions of the 1980s, to be referred to the UN Security Council.