Iran: 1988 Massacre MEK Survivors Tell of the Horrors They Continue to Endure
British publication Daily Star has interviewed some of the members of the opposition to the Iranian regime and former political prisoners regarding the 1988 massacre – a major crime against humanity in which some 30,000 political opponents of the regime were killed. Most of these victims were members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK)
The Supreme Leader at that time issued a fatwa ordering the execution of political prisoners. So-called “death commissions” were set up overseeing the executions. Most of the 30,000 who died were members or supporters of the MEK. No one was spared – men and women old and young, and children and pregnant women were murdered.
They have executed en masse and were buried in unmarked gravesites. Families of the victims still have no idea where their loved ones remain lie.
The reporters spoke to the survivors of the massacre, mostly with the help of a translator – Omid, a 21-year-old Iranian that moved with his parents to the United Kingdom when he was a child. He said that he considers himself very fortunate to be alive and that the 1988 massacre touches him very deeply.
Hossein Fathi, former political prisoner:
I was in prison for seven years between 1981 and 1988. I was tortured severely during interrogations. One of My relatives was executed in 1988 without a court hearing or even being sentenced.#1988Massacre #MEK #WeSupportMEK pic.twitter.com/tMttg4huUt
— MEKIran (@MEK_Iran) October 17, 2019
Omid’s father Ahmad was imprisoned between the years 1981 and 1991 after being arrested because he supports the PMOI / MEK – the main opposition to the Iranian regime. His father was sentenced to suspended execution and had been tortured in prison.
He explained that his father and other prisoners were taken to a room and asked who they support. Ahmad said that those who declared support for the MEK were taken away and tortured or executed. Anyone who denounced their support for the opposition was allowed to live.
Ahmad was taken to a room with dozens of other prisoners and from morning until night names were called out and prisoners were led away. He was eventually taken away and was asked if he supported the PMOI, to which he replied he did not know.
Out of 150 prisoners in his section, 90 were killed. In another section, 194 out of 207 were killed.
His wife Farzaneh has also been deeply affected by the massacre too. Her 16-year-old brother was executed. The family learned of the news when IRGC agents came to the family home with a bag of clothes. They said: “These are your son’s clothes, we killed him and we want money for the bullet.”
Farzaneh’s mother was unable to manage her grief and did not speak for 3 years.
Another brother was tortured to such an extent that he lost control of parts of his body.
Other victims spoke about the beatings that they would get in jail, with one person explaining that they were forced to beat their own brother. When they refused, both of them were severely beaten. He was taken to the gallows twice and saw things that will haunt him for the rest of his life. For example, prisoners being lined up and shot – dozens at a time, and then bodies being dumped in a lorry with blood pouring from it.
The fact that these crimes have gone unpunished decades later is despicable, but what is even more horrifying is that the regime officials have been awarded high-level positions.
We will not give up until the details of this crime against humanity are clarified, all the graves are specified, the ruling executioners face justice, &the regime of #1988massacre is toppled by the people of #Iran, the resistance units &the Liberation Army. #NoImpunity4Mullahs pic.twitter.com/mJjkIyiEqE
— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) October 23, 2019
The Iranian Resistance is calling for an independent and international inquiry into the 1988 massacre and it is the responsibility of the international community to support it in any way it can.