1988 Massacre

MEK: U.N. Urged to Investigate 1988 Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran

1988 Massacre

The 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, 90 percent of whom belonged to the (PMOI / MEK Iran).

The United Nations, currently convened for a General Assembly, has been urged by survivors of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran to investigate what happened.

In 1988, the Supreme Leader at the time, Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa or religious death sentence against opposition supporters and members. Thousands of Iranians were rounded up and tried by “death commissions.” Although no one knows the full horrifying picture, it has been estimated that 30,000 or more, mainly members of the main opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran), were killed and buried at night in secret, mass graves.

Speakers at a webinar organized by survivors of this massacre have stressed that the executions represented one of the worst crimes against humanity in recent times. As Giulio Terzi, a former foreign minister from Italy said at the event” “There is no doubt that the 1988 murders were crimes against humanity: the clear beginning of a vast political and ethnic genocide, which is still the true ‘work in progress’ for the Iranian theocracy against all opposition groups and religious and national minorities. any of the massacre leaders currently occupy key positions: the head of the Iranian judiciary- Ebrahim Raisi, and the Minister of Justice-Alireza Avaei, were both members of the ‘Commissions of Death’. Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi was also a member of the ‘Commission of Death’ and is now a close adviser to President Hassan Rouhani.”

The online conference was also addressed by David Jones, a British MP. He said that he had written to the British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, and said that “the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is aware that, three decades ago, about 30,000 political prisoners were executed out of court in prisons across Iran over a few weeks period during that summer”. Jones also told the conference that he thought that the international community had let ordinary Iranians down by ignoring atrocities like the 1988 massacre in Iran, and by doing so allowing the regime in Iran to get away with what they were doing.

A member of the British House of Lords (upper chamber), Baroness Verma,  said at the conference that “if we look at the developments in Iran since the beginning of 2019, the human rights situation is further worsening as the regime has resorted to brutal crackdowns to quell protests and silence the growing popular dissent in the country.

“We had at least 1,500 protesters killed and thousands of others arrested during the protests in November 2019 according to the report by (PMOI / MEK Iran). Reuters confirmed in a special report on December 23, 2019. We had a Ukrainian plane shot down over Tehran in January 2020 which sparked other popular protests and in recent months we have had death sentences and even the execution of people who took part in the protests in recent years.

“One of the reasons for this deterioration is the decades-long impunity enjoyed by regime officials at home and abroad. Not only that, regime officials are rewarded based on their participation in human rights atrocities. Take the judiciary system for example, where both current and former leaders are known to have been members of ‘Death Commissions’ that carried out and supervised the 1988 massacre of thousands of political prisoners in Iran. The same is true for the current Minister of Justice in Iran.”

Tahar Boumedra, a representative of the Victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran (JVMI), based in London and a former U.N. human rights official, said that the human rights abuses in Iran should stop. “After 32 years of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners, it is clear that Iranian leaders are unwilling to respond to UN calls to investigate and reveal the truth,” he said.

“As most Iranian suspects in the commission of crimes against humanity have already been listed for terrorist and other crimes under international law by EU member states, the US, Canada, and other states, it is possible that a national court in these states will accept jurisdiction over an act classified as a crime against humanity. Although political considerations are generally taken into account in accepting or rejecting such jurisdiction, it is the responsibility of human rights defenders to insist on and facilitate legal proceedings and to have them carried out by researching, documenting evidence and making it available to the jurisdictions that intend to proceed,” Boumedra continued.

Boumedra stated that one option would be for the International Criminal Court to investigate the crimes committed in 1988. The chief prosecutor, under persuasion from human rights defenders, could ask the Chamber of the Court for permission to carry out an initial investigation. Boumedra had previously acted as a human rights officer in Iraq for the U.N.

A call for an independent commission of inquiry into the historic abuse of human rights committed in Iran had already been made by professor Alfred de Zayas, the former UN independent expert.

Struan Stevenson, a British Conservative party member, and former MEP said that “the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran is an example of both a crime against humanity and genocide, according to international conventions.” “It is certainly the duty of the international community and above all the United Nations to respond by supporting its appeal for justice,” he went on to say.

There were 13 people at the conference who testified who had survived the 1988 massacre, lending an authentic element to the event.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI): The experience of the past 40 years of the clerical regime’s rule in Iran has shown that it has continued its rule by committing 120,000 executions on political grounds, including the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, 90 percent of whom belonged to the (PMOI / MEK Iran). The regime has been condemned 66 times so far by the UN General Assembly as well as in the Human Rights Commission and Council for its gross human rights violations.

MEK Iran (follow them on Twitter and Facebook)

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