MEK: victim of 1988 Massacre
What happened in Iranian prisons 33 years ago
In early 2021, Hamid Noury, one of the massacre’s perpetrators, was brought to trial by the Swedish judiciary, and survivors have given shocking testimonies about what happened. Much of the world is learning for the first time through them about what happened in Iranian prisons 33 years ago.
In the summer of 1988, Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini sealed the fate of thousands of Iranians. This fatwa was carried out by “death committees” set up particularly to target supporters and members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran). What occurred was not an act of indiscriminate vengeance or insanity. Rather, it is genocide based on the criterion of steadfastness, which is unequivocal, definite, apparent, and mandated.
Thousands of Iranians have been killed innocently
Some writers and analysts have compared an interrogation from a “death commission,” on the eve of the massacre, to a trial, pointing out its contradiction with judicial procedures. The defendants, according to these experts, did not have counsel, they were denied the right to file an appeal and they were already serving their sentences. The death commission’s objective was to find people who were “steadfast” in their views. Their mission was to find idealistic people who were adamant in their fight for independence.
Since 1988, the brutality towards dissidents has never stopped. Thousands of Iranians have been killed for standing up for their rights. The anniversary of the major Iran protests is November 15. People flocked to the streets on that day to demand their basic rights. Over 1,500 protestors were killed by regime forces, and 12,000 people were arrested. The regime’s judiciary, led by Raisi at the time, oversaw the widespread torture of protest detainees for months.
The regime accountable in the first place
The international community’s failure to hold the regime accountable in the first place is substantially to blame for the regime’s impunity.
Seven United Nations experts denounced the delay to act in a letter published in December 2020, claiming that it “had a devastating impact on the survivors and families, as well as on the general situation of human rights in Iran.” This delay “emboldened Iran to continue to conceal the fate of the victims and to maintain a strategy of deflection and denial that continues to this day,” they added.
Raisi must be accountable for His crimes
The prosecution of Hamid Noury is now viewed as a long-overdue challenge to the regime’s impunity, but it is far from sufficient on its own. Whether through a United Nations Security Council resolution or unilateral application of the principle of universal jurisdiction, the international community should hold regime leaders like Raisi accountable for their crimes.
Tehran should be aware that its breaches of human rights would no longer be accepted. However,
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