MEK Iran:1988 Massacre Eyewitness Asghar Mehdizadeh
The People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI / MEK Iran) as the most significant challenge to the theocratic regime was the main focus of the fatwa issued by the then Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, that declared dissenters guilty of “enmity against God” and deserving of execution. Death commissions were Tehran established in prisons and within months, they were responsible for an estimated 30,000 executions.
Ebrahim Raisi, protecting the corrupt regime at all costs
Newly inaugurated president Ebrahim Raisi is considered to be one of the main perpetrators of the 1988 massacre. In the summer of 1988, Raisi became a prominent member of the “death commission” that oversaw the execution of political detainees. The majority of them were members of MEK.
According to a first-hand report from a political prisoner, his expertise was his unwavering commitment to protecting the Supreme Leader and his corrupt regime at all costs.
Asghar Mehdizadeh, gave his testimony as a relative of victims of the regime during that time: “Years before the massacre began in earnest, I bore witness to the death by torture of a fellow activist who was with me at the time of my arrest in 1982. Others died by similar means in the ensuing years, and officials threatened to have me killed by firing squad in absence of a capital sentence. In retrospect, such threats and actual killings were previews of the massacre that was then looming – a massacre that was initiated by a 1988 fatwa targeting the MEK.”
(PMOI / MEK Iran) and (NCRI): In the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini.
MEK supporters were subjected to severe torture
“There are countless stories just like mine, as well as other stories that will never be told. Certain prison facilities and political wards were emptied of their entire population during the 1988 massacre, leaving no one to give an account of either the scale of the killings there or the brutality of the proceedings that underlay them.” Mehdizadeh said.
The Mojahedin organization maintained its structure after the leadership and hierarchy of all Islamic Republic opposition groups were dissolved, making it the most serious threat to the clerical regime. As a result of this, inmates claiming to be MEK supporters were subjected to severe torture and were held in deplorable conditions.
“At the height of the massacre, I personally witness 15 groups of between 10 and 15 prisoners being taken to the Gohardasht death hall. When I myself was taken in, I fainted at the sight of a dozen prisoners being hanged simultaneously upon an elevated platform.” He continued.
Burial sites of the massacre have been identified in at least 36 cities, and it is unknown how many have been destroyed since their discovery. It is also unknown, however, how many were destroyed prior to discovery.
“The chances of accountability have been somewhat diminished by the Iranian regime’s efforts to destroy the sites of secret mass graves where many of the 1988 massacre’s victims are interred,” Mehdizadeh added. “Amnesty International and other human rights groups have repeatedly warned about this phenomenon, noting that with each passing year it becomes more difficult to develop a full picture of the massacre.
For far too long, the Iranian leadership has operated with impunity in this regard. If the Raisi administration’s impunity continues, it will undoubtedly be seen as an encouragement for Raisi’s government to continue its record of human rights violations and attempt to obliterate the MEK and any other opposition to the regime.
(PMOI / MEK Iran) and (NCRI): The 1988 Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran: Eyewitness Accounts, Asghar Mehdizadeh
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