Posts Tagged ‘1988 Massacre’

1988 Massacre,Committee of Parliamentarians for a Free Iran (CPID),Disinformation by MOIS,Human Rights,Iran Diplomat Terrorist,Iran Protests,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI

Conference "Future of Iran in 2019"

French Committee of Parliamentarians for a Free Iran Holds a Conference Discussing Future Policy Towards Iran

Conference "Future of Iran in 2019"

Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the Iranian opposition (NCRI), addressing a conference at Colbert Hall at the French Parliament -February 21, 2019

On Thursday, the Committee of Parliamentarians for a Free Iran (CPID) organized a meeting in the Colbert Hall at the French Parliament on the Iranian people’s fight for freedom. The meeting’s purpose was to chart Iranian human rights abuses and the role the clerical regime plays in state-sponsored terror and explore the role the French Government can play in the Iranian people’s journey towards a democratic Iran.

A Dire Situation in Iran

Andre Chassaigne opened the speeches with a scathing review of the Iranian regime’s human rights record. “The human rights situation in Iran is catastrophic,” he said, “between 2013 and 2019 more than 3,600 people were executed.”

He lamented the fate of Iran’s lorry drivers. “During last year, at least 268 lorry drivers were arrested in Iran,” he said, referring to the string of lorry drivers’ strikes that saw protestors arrested and threatened with death sentences for their involvement in the protests.

When Member of the French Parliament, Mr. Herve Saulignac took the floor, he outlined the regime’s involvement in murders on European soil. “It’s necessary to have a demanding approach to the regime,” in the wake of the regime’s violent and nefarious schemes on French soil. “But the strength of France is to stand alongside the Iranian people and their aspirations for a free Iran”, he stressed.

In June last year, the Iranian regime plotted to detonate a car bomb in Paris at the annual Grand Gathering of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), a prominent Iranian opposition pro-democracy group. The would-be assassins, a Belgian-Iranian couple traveling to the event in an explosive-laden vehicle, were apprehended by European authorities en-route to Paris.

The Need for Firm Action

The President-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, addressed the French Parliamentarians at the conference on Thursday. She had a message for the French government in the wake of the failed attack. “I urge the French government to initiate a bold policy in the EU,” she said.

She argued that the regime today is in a vulnerable state. “The mullahs are badly in need of political and commercial relations with Europe. Nonetheless, they cannot forgo terrorist operations in the heart of Europe… they are much weaker than is conceived,” she said.

She described how MEK resistance units are mobilizing the Iranian people and Iran’s “younger and freedom-loving generation.” She added they “have spread their anti-regime activities to dozens of cities across the country.”

“The policy of appeasement must be terminated,” Maryam Rajavi said, adding, “tying hopes to investments in and commercial deals with Iran is an illusion.” Pursuing a policy of appeasement, she argued, “is not only to the detriment of the people of Iran but also to the detriment of the Middle East and the world.”

Member of the Parliament, Frederic Reiss followed Maryam Rajavi at the podium and pledged his support to the Iranian people’s cause. “You have our support,” he said. “The Iranian people deserve Freedom and Democracy,” he added.

Two Types of Terrorism

Ingrid Betancourt, the Columbian politician, accused the regime in Iran of “practicing two kinds of terrorism”. “Hard terrorism,” she said,” to kill, and mild terrorism, to dis-inform and slander the NCRI and the resistance(The MEK).”

Tahar Boumedra echoed Ingrid Betancourt’s sentiments. He denounced the regime’s use of the Western media to spread lies and disinformation. “The media should apologize for their wrongdoings,” he added.

Boumedra went on to call for a UN investigation into the regime’s crimes against humanity, including its execution of 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988.

Madame Vaucouleurs, the president of the CPID, closed out the speeches. She concluded the event by welcoming the committee’s progress, particularly its decision to meet with victims of repression at the hands of the Iranian regime. Her final words were to reiterate that the goal of the MEK and its allies, “is not to monopolize power in Iran, but to hand it over to the people for that it has been structured and has a program.”

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1988 Massacre,Human Rights,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,Iran Uprising,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI),NCRI,PMOI,Warsaw Conference,Warsaw Ministerial Conference

MEK rally demanding the NCRI to be recognized as the viable democratic alternative to the religious dictatorship in Iran

MEK Holds Rally in Warsaw to Mark Four Decades of Regime Atrocities Prior to Warsaw Summit

MEK rally demanding the NCRI to be recognized as the viable democratic alternative to the religious dictatorship in Iran

Simultaneous to Warsaw Summit, the MEK supporters gathered near where the conference will be held to express the Iranian people’s devotion to freedom and democracy and demand an end to the policy of appeasement-February 13, 2019

On February 13, 2019, the Iranian opposition came together with communities in Europe and held a rally in Warsaw in solidarity with the Iranian people of Iran.

The event marked four decades since the Iranian Revolution in 1979 that ousted the Shah and brought Khomeini to power. Under the mullahs and Khomeini, the Iranian state derided religious plurality, shunned secularism, and abandoned any commitment to upholding human rights.

Instead, the Iranian state embraced repression, violence, torture, capital punishment, terrorism and war.

A Regime on the Brink of Collapse

Now, forty years later, the regime is creaking under the same weight that ousted the Iranian monarchy; the will and determination of the Iranian people.

In 2018, a wave of popular protests swept across Iran, igniting unrest in all 31 of Iran’s provinces and 142 cities, and towns. Like in 1979, these protests drew support from all walks of Iranian life, including the working classes that the clerical regime has relied on for support.

Teachers, farmers, factory workers, students, investors, pensioners, and bazaar merchants have all turned out to vent their frustrations and participate in anti-regime protests.

The driving force behind these protests has been the unrelenting determination of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK). Led by president-elect Maryam Rajavi, MEK members have risked their freedom and their lives to coordinate protests, counter the mullahs’ propaganda and disinformation, and stand up for Iranian human rights both within Iran and abroad.

In a statement ahead of the Warsaw rally, Iranian Communities in Europe called the MEK a “pivotal force of the political alternative for future Iran”.

A Rally to Recognize the Iranian People’s Right to Resist

The Warsaw rally takes place ahead of the anticipated Warsaw conference, in which governments from around the globe will meet in Warsaw to discuss strategies to deal with the Iranian threat.

For Iranian Communities in Europe and the MEK, the rally in Warsaw ahead of the conference was necessary to demonstrate to the international community the importance of recognizing the Iranian people’s right to resist and overthrow the regime’s tyrannical brand of religious fascism.

The statement from rally organizers read, “it is time to put an end to four decades of political and social repression, massacres, plunder of Iran’s wealth by the regime’s cronies, and misery and war forced upon the region by this regime.”

“We call on the West to impose sanctions on the regime and include the Iranian regime’s IRGC and MOIS and perpetrators of crimes against the Iranian people on the EU terror list.”

The statement concluded, “It’s time for European countries to align their voices with the voice of the Iranian people and resistance, and to end the nightmare of four decades of the Iranian regime’s atrocities in Iran, the region and the world.”

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Remembering the Victims of 1988 on February 8th

A call for stopping executions in Iran

A demonstration by supporters of MEK in Paris, calling for an end to executions in Iran-February 2018

Elham Zajani of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) published a piece for the Scoop calling for the mullahs’ crimes of 1988 to be thoroughly investigated and those responsible held to account.

The member of the NCRI’s Woman’s Committee quoted Anne Frank, “what is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it from happening again.” For Zajani, these lauded words from one of the Holocausts best-known victims evoke memories of atrocities carried out in Iran in the four decades of regime rule.

“In the summer of 1988,” she says, “the Iranian regime launched a nationwide massacre in its prisons throughout the country against political prisoners.” Ignited by Khomeini’s fatwa against the Iranian opposition and the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), regime agents rounded up and executed more than 30,000 members of the political opposition.

The operation was so brutal and vicious that Geoffrey Robinson, a human rights barrister who oversaw the appeal at the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone, called the atrocity the worst crime against humanity the globe has witnessed in the post-world war era.

Words Carved on Prison Walls

The mullahs have worked tirelessly to cover up their involvement in the executions. Most within the regime have avoided speaking on the subject and much of what is known about the massacre has been pieced together through witness testimonies and family members who were called to collect the bodies of their loved ones.

The victims themselves were unaware of what was about to happen. They were not offered the chance to say goodbye to their families. In many cases, their last words were hastily carved on prison walls. Their families were only notified once they had been executed.

Even young girls and pregnant women were not exempt, many of whom were raped before being dragged to the gallows.

Voices of Resistance from Within

Alireza Avaei, the current “Justice” Minister of Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, and a member of the “Death Committee” responsible for the 1988 Massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners in Iran

The crimes were so abhorrent that some elements within the clerical regime spoke out against Khomeini. Hossein Ali Montazeri, the highest successor to the Supreme Leader and second in command of the regime warned those taking part in the executions that they were committing “the biggest crime under the Islamic Republic for which we will be condemned by history.”

However, his voice was alone, and his opposition to the massacre would ultimately lead to his removal from positions of power.

An Ongoing Crime

 

The fact that more than 30 years later, the regime still refuses to acknowledge the crimes it committed or provide any further information on how many victims’ lives it claimed makes the nature of the human rights abuses ongoing.

Members of Khomeini’s death squads who undertook the executions are still in positions of power in Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet today.

Additionally, the regime has not learned its lesson. Human rights abuses and executions continue abated today. It is because of this that in a few weeks’ time, on Friday, February 8th, the Iranian opposition across Europe and their supporters will gather in Paris to protest the 40-years of regime rule. They will be calling for an end to executions and human rights abuses and support new democratic dawn for Iran.

Zanjani concludes, “it is finally time to hear their call.”

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No to torture Banner

Report Marks 40 Years of Torture

No to torture Banner

The sign held in MEK supporters’ rally in Canada, protesting the violations of human rights in Iran.

Iran News Wire recently published a report on the Iranian regime’s widespread use of torture in its four decades in power.

Despite the regime adamantly denying using torture methods, the report highlighted the role flogging plays in the Iranian penal code. The clerical regime has made flogging a punishment for more than 100 offenses. The punishment method has been entrenched in the regime’s justice system and dished out in a multitude of cases.

Torture as an Interrogation Method

Iran News Wire reported that torture has been used in interrogations since the 1980s. Reports have consistently shown that regime agents routinely use physical torture methods to force confessions from prisoners.

The Iranian public also has limited legal protections and recourses available should they receive torture at the hands of the regime. They are unable to take their complaints to any legal authority and the regime is free to carry out torture without ramification.

Esmail Bakshi, a labor activist who recently recounted the torture he experienced in regime custody, is now facing charges from the regime for publicly reporting his ordeal. The activist told the world in an Instagram post that regime agents tortured him “to the brink of death,” over a period of thirty days.

Torture and Execution in the 1980s

In the early days of the Islamic Republic, the regime adopted violent and abusive torture methods. In 1988, the regime tortured and executed more than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly supporters of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), a political opposition group.

In a recent report from Amnesty International, investigators concluded, “by concealing the fate and whereabouts of thousands of political dissidents who were forcibly disappeared and secretly executed in prison 30 years ago, Iranian authorities are continuing to commit crimes against humanity.”

Amnesty International Holds Press Conference Following its Landmark Report on 1988 Massacre

Those that were in regime custody in the 1980s have frequently called the period one of the darkest times in regime history. Torture was widespread and often brutal. Women reported being systematically raped before their execution.

Torture in the 21st Century

In the early 2000s, students became the object of much of the regime’s brutality and violence. Following a wave of student protests, many Iranian students were imprisoned and held in regime custody. Many have since shared their memories of torture and abuse at the hands of the regime’s agents.

In 2009, after protests erupted following contested elections, many activists and members of the Iranian resistance were arrested and taken to Kahrizak Detention Centre. There, many were raped, sexually abused, and physically and psychologically tortured.

At least 5 inmates died during torture sessions.

With a capacity of 50 prisoners, Kahrizak was filled with hundreds of inmates. Eyewitnesses report limited ventilation and toilet facilities. They recount that guards beat them with metal bars, electrocuted them, sexually abused them with batons, and forced them to urinate on other bound prisoners.

More recently, since 2010, the rise of technology has offered an even clearer glimpse into the regime’s use of torture. Those detained are able to write about their experiences in online blogs.

These blogs have indicated that the regime has focused its energies on psychological torture methods in recent years. It has routine employed sustained solitary confinement as a torture method, as well as the harassment of families of those imprisoned.

Agents have withheld medical treatment, including for those suffering from cancer. Rape is also still widely used as an intimidation and torture method.

Following the nationwide uprising in December 2017 and January 2018, dozens of prisoners perished in regime custody while undergoing torture. The regime attempted to hide their murders by claiming the prisoners were drug addicts and had committed suicide in prison, however, few have been persuaded by this narrative.

After 40 years, Iran’s citizens are tired of the regime’s rampant use of torture and human rights abuses. They are making their voices heard and standing up to this brutal and abhorrent regime.

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1988 Massacre,A Little Prince in the Land of the Mullahs,Ahmad Raouf-Basharidoust,MEK,MEK Support,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Book cover for “A Little Prince in the Land of the Mullahs”

“A Little Prince in the Land of the Mullahs” Tells the Story of a Victim of the 1988 Massacre

Book cover for “A Little Prince in the Land of the Mullahs”

The book cover for “A Little Prince in the Land of the Mullahs”, the Story of Ahmad Raouf-Basharidoust, a young MEK activist who was one of the Victims of the 1988 Massacre of Policital Prisoners in Iran

Sister of Political Prisoner Writes Graphic Novel about His Life and Death

The story of the 1988 Massacre in Iran is not an easy subject for a book. There is no happy ending and no resolution for those who were involved. It is not a topic one would usually consider for a graphic novel. But “A Little Prince in the Land of the Mullahs” manages to tackle this difficult subject matter through the eyes of a young man and his struggle for freedom in the midst of oppression.

The book, published by Société des écrivains, is written as a graphic novel, which allows the story of Ahmad Raouf-Basharidoust to come to life on the pages. Ahmad was one of the victims of the 1988 Massacre, in which 30,000 political prisoners, most of them MEK members or supporters, were executed by the Iranian regime over the course of a single summer.

Families of Victims of 1988 Massacre Still Seek Justice

Ahmad’s story is told by his sister, Massoumeh Raouf Basharidoust. In Ingrid Betancourt’s preface, she writes: “Telling the story of your little brother is a need, of course, but it is above all a right. It must honor Ahmad’s heroism, the majesty of his spirit, his beauty, his charisma. That is why she draws him for us and makes him speak because she knows that he alone can be his best spokesperson.”

Ahmad’s Story

Ahmad was born in 1964 to a middle-class family in northern Iran. The story of his childhood is also the story of the final years of the Shah’s rule in Iran, the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and Khomeini’s rise to power. Ahmad began to seek an alternative to the mullahs’ rule as a young man and became an active sympathizer of the MEK.

Ingrid Betancourt writes in her preface: “And in this suffocating and misogynistic world of the mullahs, his heroes are his mother and sister: a sister who manages to escape from prison, a mother who dies under the persecution of the regime’s executioners.”

Ahmad was later imprisoned for his political beliefs and, in 1988 he was rounded up along with 30,000 other political prisoners and executed.

A Story of Strength

Ahmad’s story tells an important story about one of the largest mass executions in modern history. This atrocity by the Iranian regime has never been investigated and its perpetrators have yet to be brought to justice. But “A Little Prince in the Land of the Mullahs” is also a story of strength in the face of oppression. An entire generation of Iranians rose up in opposition of Khomeini in 1988, despite the consequences. They spoke out for freedom until the very end. In this time of protest and turmoil in Iran, their message of resistance is more important than ever.

The book is on sale at the following addresses:

The English version published by Centre Litteraire Provancale, here; and the French translation of the book can be found here and here.

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1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran

Lack of Investigation into 1988 Massacre is an ‘Abject Failure’ and Emboldened Mullahs to Commit Further Human Rights Abuses

1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran

More than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK activists were slain during the summer of 1988, a crime against humanity that has yet to be accounted for.

On Wednesday, December 26th, International Policy Digest published a piece from Reza Shafiee, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). In the piece, Shafiee urges the UN and the international community to investigate the atrocities committed by the Iranian regime in the summer of 1988.

Shaifee uses a recent 200-page Amnesty International report on the massacre of 1988 as his point of departure. In the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime slaughtered over 30,000 members of the political opposition in regime custody, the vast majority were members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

“Khomeini hastily put together a committee to exterminate the prisoners”, Shaifee wrote. To give the executions religious legitimacy, Khomeini issued a fatwa which gave the green light to “one of the most heinous crimes against humanity the world had seen in the 20th century”.

Reza Shafiee argues that it was the lack of a formal investigation into these crimes that emboldened the mullahs and created the regime of today that frequently runs roughshod over the basic human rights of Iran’s citizens.

“Impunity for crimes in those days emboldened the regime over the years to the extent that it is leveling the graves of the same victims all over Iran”, he writes.

There was an early whistle-blower, Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, who publicly objected to the massacre. For his objections, he was placed under house arrest by the Iranian regime. In 2016, his son leaked an audiotape in which Montazeri can clearly be heard discussing the massacre with Khomeini’s “Death Commission” in 1988.

In the tape, Montazeri tells warns them of the severity of the crimes they are committing. He said, “the greatest crime committed during the reign of the Islamic Republic, for which history will condemn us, has been committed by you. Your names will in the future be etched in the annals of history as criminals”.

Shafiee goes on to echo the Amnesty International report’s recommendations that the perpetrators for the 1988 massacre be identified and hauled in front of the international criminal court for crimes against humanity.

The president-elect of the Iranian opposition, Maryam Rajavi, has also echoed these calls. On the eve of the 28th anniversary of the massacre, she led the Iranian opposition in a campaign called the “Movement for Justice”. The campaign’s goal was to initiate a UN Security Council investigation into the massacre and hold the mullahs responsible to account.

 

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of the 1988 massacre, is that many responsible for the atrocities have been rewarded by the Iranian regime and now hold positions of power. Ebrahim Raisi was part of the Death Commission in 1988. He now runs Astan Quds Razavi, one of the wealthiest charities in Iran and is a close confidant of the current Supreme Leader.

Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi was also part of the Death Commission. He went on to hold the position of Justice Minister in President Hassan Rouhani’s first cabinet. Pour-Mohammadi has boasted of his role in the massacre, even stating that he was proud “to carry out God’s will”.

Pour-Mohammadi’s successor, Alireza Avaie was also a member of the Death Commission.

Phillip Luther, Amnesty International’s Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, called the lack of investigation into the 1988 massacre “an abject failure” which has had “catastrophic consequences not only on survivors and victim’s families but also on the rule of law and respect for human rights in the country”.

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1988 Massacre,Alejo Vidal-Quadras,Human Rights,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,PMOI

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras former VP of the European Parliament

Former Head of the European Parliament Calls for an Investigation into 1988 Massacre

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras former VP of the European Parliament

Dr. Alejo Vidal Quadras, former vice president of the European Parliament speaking at a conference at the presence of Maryam Rajavi, the leader of Iran opposition, held at the European Parliament-April 2014

UPI published an opinion piece on Tuesday, December 18th, written by the former Vice President of the European Parliament, Alejo Vidal-Quadras. The article calls for a full investigation into the 1988 massacre carried out against the Iranian opposition by the clerical regime. It also urges the international community to take steps to bring those responsible within the regime to justice.

A recent report from Amnesty International, entitled “Blood Soaked Secrets- Why Iran’s 1988 Prison Massacres are Ongoing Crimes Against Humanity”, provided a damning assessment of the scale of the 1988 massacre and the role the mullahs have played in covering up the massacre since.

Crimes Against Humanity

Between July and September 1988, the Iranian regime arbitrarily executed more than 30,000 political prisoners. The vast majority were from the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), a pro-democracy group that opposes the regime in Iran and across the world.

The orders for the barbaric and brutal murders came from the Supreme Leader Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini. Vidal-Quadras writes, “all throughout the country, political prisoners were taken to ‘death committees’ that would ask them about their political and religious loyalties. Those who manifested continuing loyalty to the PMOI [MEK]… were summarily executed and in most cases buried in anonymous mass graves”.

The fact that many families were not informed of their loved one’s death, and to this day, many victims’ families do not know where their loved one was buried, makes the nature of the crimes ongoing.

“Since 1988 the Iranian regime not only has harassed and attacked the families of the victims searching for justice but has denied that the massacre took place”, Vidal-Quadras writes.

The Amnesty International report highlights the fact that some of the officials involved in the killings still occupy senior positions within the Iranian leadership today. The current Minister for Justice, Alireza Avaei, for example, was involved in the violent and brutal execution campaign.

The report concluded that the Iranian regime had carried out forced disappearances, torture, murder, and extermination to such a degree that they amounted to crimes against humanity.

The International Community Has an Obligation

Following the report, Vidal-Quadras concludes that the responsibility now lies with the international community to ensure the culprits are brought to justice. “As we very well know that the Islamic Republic’s institutions won’t ever guarantee a fair and thorough investigation”, he says, “we ask international bodies such as the United Nations and the International Criminal Court to ensure independent criminal investigations”.

Vidal-Quadras concludes, “We, in Europe, know that bringing justice to the victims of a crime against humanity not only means justice for those affected but a lesson of history for all to remember”, adding, “we bring justice not only to close a case but also to remind us and the next generations that crimes against humanity cannot be under any circumstances left unpunished”.

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1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran

The UN Must Investigate the 1988 Massacre

1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran

More than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK activists were slain during the summer of 1988, a crime against humanity that has yet to be accounted for.

Patrick Goodenough published an opinion piece on CNS news on Friday, December 7th. The piece, entitled, “New Report: UN Should Investigate Secret Execution of Thousands of Iranian Dissidents 30 Years Ago”, referred to Amnesty International’s latest report on the 1988 massacre.

Amnesty International collected witness testimonies, audio and video evidence, as well as extensive documentation on the extra-judicial killings that took place in the summer of 1988. The report found that the Iranian regime systematically rounded up and killed members of the Iranian opposition, including members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

Around 30,000 dissidents were executed during the summer of 1988. The regime dumped their bodies in mass graves. The mullahs then worked tirelessly destroy evidence of their atrocities. To this day, they have refused to come clean about the events that took place that summer and refused to reveal the locations of the mass graves.

Ongoing Crimes Against Humanity

Patrick Goodenough quoted Amnesty International’s Middle East and Africa research and advocacy director, Philip Luther, who said, “until Iran’s authorities come clean and publicly reveal the fate and whereabouts of the victims, these crimes against humanity are ongoing”.

Amnesty International is calling for a UN investigation into the forced disappearances and killings.

The report, Goodenough says, suggests that there may have been 32 execution locations used in the killings, spread out across Iran. Prisons during the period were placed on “lockdown” and family visits were suspended, leaving many victim’s families unsure whether their loved one was dead or alive.

Many of Those Responsible Hold Positions of Authority Today

Goodenough laments that many of the regime’s “death commissions” responsible for the abduction and execution of political dissidents in 1988 still hold positions in the regime’s political leadership.

The Justice Minister, Alireza Avaei, has strong links to the 1988 atrocities. As does, the former Justice Minister, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, Hossein-Ali Nayyeri, the head of a supreme disciplinary court for judges, and Ebrahim Raeesi, Iran’s former prosecutor general.

All three men where present at a “death commission” meeting in 1988, of which secret recordings were leaked to the public in 2016. During the meeting, Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montarezi is clearly heard warning those in attendance that the extra-judicial killings would bring international criticism. He called the crime, “the biggest crime in the history of the Islamic Republic”.

Montazeri’s defiance of the regime and criticism of its crimes led to his house arrest before he died in 2009.

Goodenough’s report acknowledged that it will take significant public pressure to bring about the opening of a UN investigation into the matter. He quoted Safavi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), who said that it would take “a major public pressure campaign, perhaps a strong push at the UN by the United States to call on the UN secretary general to initiate an independent inquiry into the massacre”.

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What we are not seeing in Iran

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition, joins the general election of the MEK Secretary-General, September 2017. After her election as PMOI/MEK Secretary General, Zahra Merrikhi pledges to bring freedom to Iran

The wind of change blows in Iran. A lot of people feel it. A few people try to ignore it, not daring to face the consequences. But generally, it seems to be a proven fact that change is on its way. There are however important factors which are being ignored in the process…

In its bid to survive, the ruling regime seems to be eking out every last drop out of its legitimacy and is on the verge of an internal conflict of power among its warring factions. Public support is shrinking to new depths. Political unrest calling for regime change is now an everyday phenomenon.

The regime’s intervention in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere have bled the regime financially. Demonstrators in Iran are calling for their money invested in banks related to the Pasdaran Army (Revolutionary Guards Corps), but the institutions are bankrupt because of the continuous funding of extraterritorial military projects.

Politically, different political clans within the regime are at each other’s throats on specific issues such as the defunct nuclear deal with the West and the rejected FATF agreements on monetary transactions, among others.

The regime’s popularity, limited to a very thin social circle consisting of families of those under arms and the feared paramilitary Bassij (popular mobilization) force, is at its lowest point. Some two hundred towns across the country have experienced unrest against oppressive measures undertaken by the regime.

The international situation has never been so bad. Donald Trump seems convinced to go to the very end with the rejection of the nuclear deal, while European and other support seems unable to balance the American rejection.

This is not the first time the regime has faced grave difficulty. In 2009, Iran came close to social chaos following presidential elections leading to a second presidential term for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But at that time, the stakes were only political and limited to Tehran, the capital. The opposition movement was led by dissident elements from the power’s inner circle. Also, on an international level, a reluctant Barak Obama was far from today’s Donald Trump who supports the popular movement in Iran.

The current unrest has lasted ten months. It stems from an unprecedented political and economic situation with no way out and with too many victims. Demonstrators do not hesitate to call for regime change, and a large number of towns now engaged in political unrest marks a significant break from 2009. Oppressive forces have to control vast territory and numerous cities, above all, they cannot afford to give an inch in Tehran.

Additionally, an important internal element is playing a role in the regime’s latest existential crisis. Organized groups are coordinating political unrest in cities across Iran. Social media is allowing for the grassroots mobilization of the Iranian opposition.

In February, the regime’s president Hassan Rohani called Emmanuel Macron, the French president, to ask for his support in muzzling the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization, or the MEK. Rohani claimed the MEK was engaging in planning and organizing activities in France. MEK’s umbrella organization, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, NCRI, is based in the French town of Auvers-sur-Oise. In any case, the French did not bother to answer Rohani’s call.

Later in June, a mass assassination plan was defused in Belgium. The attack targeted a huge meeting organized by the NCRI in Villepinte, north of Paris. An Iranian diplomat based in Vienna was arrested with three other individuals found with 500 grams of a powerful explosive and detonation mechanism. The four will go on trial in Belgium on premeditated murder charges.

Youth Vow to Make a Free Iran Possible At NCRI Gathering

In the meantime, Iranian leaders including the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have not hesitated to point to MEK as the main instigator of the domestic unrest in Iran. The MEK’s leadership is the making the real difference between the current opposition movement in Iran and its previous ones.

Massoud Rajavi, the historical leader of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/ MEK)

Founded in 1965, MEK spent a dozen years fighting the Shah’s regime. MEK’s historical leader, Massoud Rajavi spent eight years in the Shah’s prisons before being liberated by the people’s uprising a few days before the Shah left Iran, for good.

Ideologically, the MEK is known for its modern, tolerant interpretation of Islam, its patriotism, and its social program calling for social justice and respect for Iran’s history and culture. The founding members were executed by the Shah in early 1970s. Their struggle for freedom and their tolerant Islam earned them much respect, even among religious circles close to the actual ruling clique.

Many of Iran’s current officials sympathized with the MEK at the time when the organization was bravely fighting the Shah. Clerics currently ruling the country kept a low profile under the Shah to avoid persecution by the feared SAVAK, the Shah’s oppressive secret police. Meanwhile, MEK members were being tortured and executed in the SAVAK’s prisons.

After their rise to power, the mullahs had a single serious opponent; the MEK. The organization underwent the most severe oppression in Iran’s modern history. More than a hundred thousand of its members and sympathizers were eliminated.

Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras Speaks at Geneva Conference Commemorating 1988 Massacre

In 1988, following the Iran-Iraq war, some thirty thousand members were massacred while serving time in the regime’s prisons. But the organization managed to keep many of its cadres out of the regime’s reach. It formed a National Liberation Army during the Iran-Iraq war in Iraq and finally evacuated its members in a spectacular operation in 2016 when more than 3,000 members were relocated to Albania.

Thus, in the regime’s worst days currently unfolding, its sole political opponent is very much present on the political scene. At the MEK’s last great gathering in Villepinte in France, the one targeted by the regime’s terror operation, more than a hundred thousand members of the Iranian diaspora gathered, as well as political figures including Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and many other internationally known political figures.

The most important issue the MEK champions is a total regime change in the country. The never fading presence of MEK has had an important political effect on the regime. It has made any halfway or reformist bid to modify or moderate the same regime utterly meaningless.

Most revolutions have changed course, towards more moderate rules, with objectives diverging from those held at the beginning of their campaign. When faced with an absence of opposition, even well-meaning revolutionary groups can evolve into a brutal regime once in power.

The Iranian revolution was no exception. However, in the case of the clerical regime, brutal repression was not able to eliminate the real opposition. This has had a by-effect: there can be no transmutation towards a more moderate version of the same regime while a total opposition is still alive.

In other classical cases, a compromise can be found, some sort of provisional or long-lasting solution emerging from the national social demands. But this Iran is no classical case. In fact, no compromise is possible between the opposition and the regime in power in Iran. Regime change is an integral part of the founding declaration of the National Council of Resistance, the political umbrella for MEK’s struggle against the regime.

This is one of the essential elements that a great number of people interested in the Iranian problem ignore: the ever-growing role and effect of the MEK on the course of events in Iran. The continuous denial and suppression of any opposition movement in Iran are triggering a domestic backlash.

A smear campaign aiming to discredit the opposition movement by the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence, along with vast lobbying efforts by preachers forms part of this systematic denial effort. But the whole house of cards began to tremble when the most important authorities in the country, beginning with the supreme leader, pointed to the MEK as the main factor behind this year’s civil unrest in the country. In his speech on January 9, Ali Khamenei stated:

“The incidents were organized and carried out by the MEK (although he used a different pejorative term). They had prepared for this months ago, and their media outlets had called for it.”

Prior to this defining moment, the regime’s leadership had publicly ignored the MEK’s presence in Iran. Khamenei’s speech indicated that the regime has thus changed its policy. It can no longer afford to ignore the danger the MEK represents. It is now clearly identifying the real danger the MEK represents in order to direct its repressive forces against the group.

Regime Official: The Threat Knows No Bounds

The change is not limited to words. For years, the Iranian regime has shown self-restraint when it comes to the assassination of opponents abroad. The regime had initiated more than 400 assassination attempts against opposition members outside its borders until the late 1990s. Then, Iranian rulers were condemned in absentia, by European courts for having ordered opponents to be killed on European territory.

With the failed explosion attempt at Villepinte in France, the sleeping dragon seems to have been awakened. At least two other such attempts have been discovered since the failed Paris attack, and there remains little doubt that the tacit agreement not to take such action in the West has breathed its last breath.

The changing stance of the mullahs towards the MEK is an important indicator of the threat the regime now faces. For years, a line of appeasement has prevailed among international governments. However, this approach has proved fruitless.

Another approach is necessary, one which endorses total regime change as the solution. Those wishfully thinking that a moderate force will emerge within the regime and amend its behavior and policy are ignoring the real influential factors on the ground, particularly the MEK and the traction it is gaining both inside and outside Iran.

Iran State Media Acknowledges MEK Can Topple Regime

The MEK and the Iranian regime’s disinformation

The Iranian public has been protesting in ever greater numbers and in an expanding list of localities since December 2017. Iran’s people are making it clear that they seek a regime change. This is key to understanding the developments in the domestic situation in Iran.

MEK has enjoyed unrivaled success in undermining the regime’s actions and strategies by sustaining complex anti-government campaigns such as exposing the regime’s nuclear sites and terror networks in the Middle East and across the world. It is now exposing the corruption and repression carried out by the theocratic regime in Iran. Therefore, it is easy to understand why the mullahs are so desperate to demonize the MEK, especially at a time when they are rapidly losing their international appeasers and their string of terror plots to physically damage the MEK have been unsuccessful.

Three full pages in the Guardian, a British newspaper, is part of the Iranian regime’s desperate attempt to hit its strongest opposition group. Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, once said: “Tell a lie that’s big enough, and repeat it often enough, and the whole world will believe it.” But we say there is a limit to this. You cannot fool and trick the whole world forever just by repeating a very big lie in paid international media outlets.

The Guardian article “Terrorist, cultists – or champions of Iranian democracy?” written by Arron Reza Merat, a known anti MEK element of the Mullahs’ Intelligence Ministry who has infiltrated the Guardian, is an attempt to depict a violent, wild and power-thirsty picture of the MEK in a bid to evaporate Western sympathies to the Iranian opposition.

But it is too little too late. Today, MEK is not an unknown name that can be adequately vilified in a Goebbels-style article by Reza Merat. Its history is already known to many Iranians who wholeheartedly support it, and it is widely renowned by many prominent international politicians who have offered it unfettered support for over 15 years.

MEK History

The 1950s and 1960s were marked by severe repression against dissidents in Iran. After conducting a coup in 1953 against Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, Iran’s popular Prime Minister who nationalized the country’s oil industry, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s monarch, forced all opposition groups and movements into silence and submission.

However, on September 6, 1965, three Iranian intellectuals, Mohammad HanifnejadSaeid Mohsen and Ali Asghar Badizadegan, founded a new opposition movement that later became the MEK. They were inspired by the authentic interpretation of Islam that rejects all forms of fundamentalism, which had previously been the dominant interpretation of the religion in Iran.

Since its founding, the MEK has been opposed to the atheist/Muslim conflict that the fundamentalist mullahs promote. Hanifnejad and the other founders of the MEK stressed that the real conflict was not between faiths but between the tyrants (the Shah regime) and the oppressed (the people of Iran, regardless of their faith and ethnicity).

In the first five years, the MEK’s founders concentrated on recruiting new members and creating a network of elite cadres that could lead the movement through the hard times that would come. They engaged in thorough studies of all doctrines to gather everything that could help in their struggle because they viewed the struggle for freedom as a science to be studied and acquired in order to succeed where their predecessors had failed. After thorough examination and studies, Hanifnejad and his comrades eventually chose democratic Islam as the ideology that could best serve the aspirations of the Iranian people.

Thus, the MEK founders embarked on a long journey to establish freedom and democracy in their country and they paid a heavy price to defend the rights of their people. Their conduct has set an example of persistence and loyalty that is still admired by Iranians to this day.

Massoud Rajavi, the popular candidate for the presidency in Iran in the wake of the 1979 revolution. Rouhollah Khomeini, the leader of Iran’s religious dictatorship prevented him from running, since he felt a big threat, given rajavi’s popularity among all sectors of the society, and religious and ethnic minorities. He was known as the candidate of the new generation.

The MEK’s founders also recruited people who were willing to dedicate every hour to help advance the organization’s goals. They concluded that the fight for freedom and democracy can’t be a part-time job. The first people to join the movement were young intellectuals and university students. Among them was Massoud Rajavi, a young student who later became pivotal in shaping the organization’s future.

In August 1971, while the Iranian monarchy was preparing for its much-advertised festivities to celebrate its longtime rule, more than 80 percent of MEK’s members, including all of its leaders were arrested. This was a hard strike against the nascent organization, but it also led to the widespread recognition and popularity of the MEK among the Iranian people.

Stories of the MEK’s resistance in the Shah’s prisons and courts circulated among Iranians by word of mouth. Soon the organization had managed to build a solid and widespread support base in Iranian society, with supporters from all walks of life.

The ruling mullahs of today, who themselves did nothing efficient against the Shah, are well aware of the history of popular support for the MEK in Iranian hearts and homes. But they disgracefully pretend the opposite is true in their demonization campaigns.

On May 25, 1972, the Shah’s regime executed the MEK’s founders and of all its leading members. Only Massoud Rajavi was spared. He was saved from imminent death thanks to an international campaign by his brother, Kazem Rajavi who was a renowned jurist and politician in Switzerland. Kazem managed to get Massoud’s death sentence revoked by rallying several international organizations and politicians in support of Massoud. Among those politicians was Francois Mitterrand, the leader of the French Socialist Party and the future President of France.

A failed coup within the ranks of the MEK

In September 1975, the MEK was still recovering from the execution of most of its leadership cadre. During this period, a separatist Maoist group tried to change the ideology of the MEK and hijack its name and emblem. They went as far as intimidating, oppressing and even killing the MEK members who remained loyal to the organization’s original mindset and ideology. This group was responsible for killing several Americans in Iran in those years, something which is mistakenly being attributed to the MEK members in the mullahs’ demonization campaign against the MEK, also repeatedly used by the Iran lobbies.

Thanks to the efforts of Massoud Rajavi, the organization was brought back from the brink. In the fall of 1976, while Massoud was in the Shah’s prison, he issued a 12-point declaration, in which he reasserted the true foundations of the MEK’s ideology and its principles. The declaration became the basis upon which all MEK members resist the world’s most brutal regime and number one executioner.

Since Khomeini’s rise to power, the MEK has constantly warned of the new regime’s human rights abuses, including the repression of women, minorities and all opposition forces. As the main defender of freedoms, the MEK quickly built up an expanding base of support across the Iranian population, especially among young people and intellectuals. In less than two years, MEK became the largest political movement in Iran.

Mek Political Platform

However, during these two years, Khomeini’s regime carried out a brutal and merciless crackdown that spared neither women, nor students, nor minorities. In the same period, Khomeini’s henchmen murdered 70 members and supporters of the MEK at peaceful rallies, meetings, and protests. The regime’s conduct in this period was deliberately deleted from all its state-published and affiliated media reports, including the Guardian article.

On June 20, 1981, the MEK tested Iran’s democratic environment a final time by launching a peaceful demonstration to remind the Khomeini regime of its responsibilities to respect the fundamental freedoms of the Iranian people. In Tehran, more than 500,000 attended. In response, Khomeini ordered the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), his personal army, to open fire on the unarmed and peaceful protesters.

The following day, the Iranian regime launched a ruthless crackdown against all opposition forces, especially the supporters and members of the MEK. The regime’s forces pursued and executed many of the Mojahedin’s members in the streets, and thousands were dragged into the regime’s prisons, where they were subjected to inhumane methods of torture and were later executed. Women, children, the elderly—no one was spared.

Following the ban of all opposition forces, the Khomeini regime executed and murdered some 120,000 people, most of whom were affiliated with the MEK. In Khomeini’s prisons, his guards and executioners resorted to the vilest and most brutal torture methods. Khomeini’s fatwas gave his torturers free rein to do anything they wanted to torment the MEK members and sympathizers, including rape, severing body organs, gouging eyes, and other deplorable and vile acts.

According to eyewitness accounts, the regime’s guards extracted blood from the MEK members before executing them, so they could use it for the medical needs of their own guards and soldiers. Pregnant women were tortured and executed. Young girls were raped before their execution. The imprisoned MEK members suffered a truly evil fate at the hands of the regime.

Under these circumstances, on July 21, 1981, a month after the beginning of Khomeini’s reign of terror, Massoud Rajavi founded the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a coalition of Iran’s opposition forces that aspired to replace the violent brand of religious fascism promoted by Khomeini with a democratic, pluralist and secular state. A week later, on July 29, the leaders of the MEK left Iran with help from the brave and freedom-loving officers of the Iranian Air Force. Rajavi took refuge in France, from where he continued to lead the struggle for freedom against the Iranian regime.

Iran-Iraq War

The regime has massaged the narrative of the Iran-Iraq war to hide its war-mongering activities. In 1980, when the Iraqi army occupied parts of Iran, the MEK was quick to take up arms and defend their homeland.

But as soon as the Iraqi army released its hold on Iranian land and retreated back behind international borders, the continuation of the war was no longer justified and the MEK was also quick to call for peace between the two countries. Meanwhile, Khomeini insisted on continuing the war until and pushed for the overthrow of the Iraqi government. The Iran-Iraq war went on to cause the avoidable deaths of millions on both sides, while peace was totally achievable.

The war provided Khomeini with the perfect pretext to suppress the demands of the people. He used the excuse of being at war as a pretext to crack down on all the regime’s political opponents, accusing them of weakening the government and colluding with foreign enemies.

On September 10, 1982, Massoud Rajavi met with the then Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz at the NCRI’s Paris headquarters and signed a peace agreement with the Iraqi government on behalf of the MEK and the Iranian people. The move proved that peace was achievable and that the Iranian regime was prolonging the Iran-Iraq war against the wishes of the Iranian public.

The MEK’s peace effort gained international recognition and support and was endorsed by 5,000 politicians from 57 countries worldwide.

The rise of women in leadership roles in MEK

In the six years that followed the 1979 revolution, female members of the MEK were active in their resistance against the religious and misogynous rule of Khomeini.

 

Eventually, on March 10, 1985, women found their true place in the leadership ranks of the MEK when Maryam Azdanlou (Rajavi) became the co-leader of the MEK. The event marked a turning point in the history of the MEK in its struggle against the Khomeini’s fundamentalist ideology, which had been particularly harsh towards Iranian women.

It was the MEK’s conviction that if women were the primary victims of the Iranian regime, then they should be given a privileged status in the MEK’s ranks which stands opposed to the mullahs’ rule in every way. This illustrated the MEK’s genuine commitment to equality between women and men.

MEK relocated to Iraq

On June 7, 1986, under pressure from the French government, which was deeply engaged in dealings with the Iranian regime, Massoud Rajavi left France for Iraq. There he founded the National Liberation Army (NLA) on June 20, 1987. The NLA became a major force in opposition to the Iranian regime.

The Iraqi government in Baghdad agreed it would not interfere in the politics and operations of the MEK and its NLA. The MEK predicated its presence in Iraq would preserve its independence.

On July 25, 1988, the NLA launched its largest operation, called “Eternal Light,” in which it targeted the entirety of the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime suffered 55,000 casualties, and on its part, the NLA lost 1,304 of its officers and soldiers, heroes who laid down their lives for the freedom of their country. MEK members who returned alive were more determined than ever to bring freedom to their homeland, Iran. There was no sign of defeat and failure in the minds of those who survived.

Middle East analysts and observers attributed Khomenei’s acceptance of the ceasefire with Iraq in 1988 to the efforts of the NLA.

The massacre of MEK members and supporters in Iran’s prisons

In the summer of 1988, the Iranian regime began a mass purge of its prisons from political prisoners, executing anyone who refused to repent for their opposition to the rule of Khomeini.

Families of Victims of 1988 Massacre Still Seek Justice

In the span of a few months, the regime’s executioners sent more than 30,000 prisoners to the gallows. This was a genocide, a crime against humanity without precedent, which became known as the “1988 massacre.”

Contrary to what has been said by regime mouthpieces in the demonization campaigns against the MEK, it was later revealed in summer 2016 in an audio tape of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the heir-apparent to Khomeini, that the regime leadership extensively planned the massacre.  Plans for the 1988 massacre began months earlier, as Khomeini became worried of the future of his regime and his tenuous hold on power and it was not the result of the MEK’s largest operation.

The 1990s and 2000s: The policy of appeasement

During the 1990s, western states engaged in a new drive of rapprochement towards the Iranian regime, hoping they could preserve their economic interests and avoid the obvious threats emanating from Tehran. Naturally, it was the Iranian people and the MEK that paid the price of this failed policy.

In 1997, the US administration, under the presidency of Bill Clinton, inserted the MEK into its list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTO) as a goodwill gesture to Mohammad Khatami, the newly appointed president of the Iranian regime, who presented himself as a “moderate” and “reformist.”

European states followed suit and classified the MEK as a terrorist organization in an effort spearheaded by Jack Straw, then-foreign minister of the United Kingdom. Straw was known for his endorsement a policy of appeasement towards the Iranian regime, an attitude that made him the object of much criticism from the Iranian people inside Iran and abroad. Canada and Australia also soon followed the UK’s lead.

The adoption of a policy of appeasement triggered a wave pressure against the MEK and the Iranian resistance, resulting in the suffering and deaths of many innocent people. The bombing of MEK camps in Iraq during the 2003 US-Iraq conflict, the coup-d’état of July 17, 2003, against NCRI headquarters in France, and the numerous raids and rocket attacks against MEK camps in Iraq were just some of the results of that policy of appeasement.

Having been through many trials and ordeals during their decades-long history, the MEK was not intimidated by the show of power of the Iranian regime and its foreign cohorts. MEK’s victory in getting the organization removed from terror lists or, better put, the victory of justice and truth was the end result of the MEK’s engagement in a legal battle that lasted more than 15 years.

In 2009, the European Union removed the MEK from its list of terrorist organizations. In the years that followed, the US judiciary declared that the MEK had been wrongly designated as a terrorist group, and in 2012, the US State Department removed the label. Canada and Australia also removed the MEK from their lists shortly after the US.

Camp Ashraf and MEK’s relocation to Albania

Camp Ashraf, situated 77 kilometers north of Baghdad, was home to thousands of MEK members for 25 years. Prior to the 2003 US-led war in Iraq, the MEK publicly declared its neutrality and played no part in the ensuing conflict. However, exploiting the post-invasion atmosphere in Iraq, the Iranian regime did its utmost to destroy and demonize the MEK.

Three massacres at Camp Ashraf, five missile attacks on Camp Liberty, two cases of abduction of residents, and the imposition of an eight-year siege, which left 177 residents dead, constituted parts of this inhumane, albeit futile, plan.

The regime’s enormous efforts to create rifts among the ranks of the also MEK failed. Foreigners were astounded at the high morale in Camp Ashraf. Such a level of liveliness under such difficult conditions came from the depth of the residents’ profound belief in freedom.

The main entrance to Camp Ashraf – Iraq, the former residence of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK / PMOI)

During all those years, Ashraf residents enjoyed excellent relations with the communities and people of surrounding towns and villages in Diyala province of Iraq.

Ashraf also invested heavily in infrastructure projects in the region. A water purification plant provided water to tens of thousands of people in surrounding towns. Local Iraqi residents were welcome at Ashraf medical clinics. A new electricity grid and roads benefited the entire region.

Some 5.2 million Iraqis signed a petition in June 2006 warning of the Iranian regime’s dangers in Iraq and describing the MEK as the main bulwark against the regime’s interventions. More than 3 million Iraqi Shiites signed a declaration in June 2008 calling for the eviction of the regime and its agents from Iraq and the removal of restrictions imposed on MEK members residing in Ashraf City.

The Iranian regime launched a campaign to have the MEK dismantled but it ultimately due to the skill and competence of Camp Ashraf’s leaders, of which the large majority were women.

This explains why female members of the MEK were extensively targeted by the Iranian regime’s propaganda machine, including in the recent Guardian article. The mullahs attack the MEK’s women using fake stories featuring a host of female defectors. All the fake stories about women being abused in the MEK and being held against their will are nothing but the mullahs’ lies and propaganda without a shred of truth.

Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition, addresses the MEK members after their relocation to Albania- October 2017

In 2016, while the Iranian regime and its Iraqi proxies were trying to exterminate the MEK in Iraq, an international effort led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the NCRI, succeeded in relocating all members of the organization to Albania. The event was a major achievement for the MEK, whose members could now intensify their efforts in leading the struggle for freedom in Iran. It was a major defeat for the Iranian regime, whose existence depended on destroying its main opposition.

The Iranian regime now finds itself in a dangerous position. It has started losing its international supporters while the networks of MEK supporters and activists continue to expand inside Iran. The MEK’s resistance units play a major role in keeping the flame of resistance alit and preventing the regime from suffocating the voice of protesters.

As a result, the protests continue in every city and corner of Iran, and protesters are calling for the overthrow of the Iranian regime, a goal that the MEK has been striving for since 1981. As the mullahs’ regime inches towards its inevitable collapse, the MEK, which has been through countless trials and tribulations, thrives and aims to fulfill the dreams of the Iranian people.

Staff Writer

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1988 Massacre,Human Rights,Iran executions,Iran human rights,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Amnesty International's report on the 1988 massacre

Amnesty International Holds Press Conference Following its Landmark Report on 1988 Massacre

Amnesty International's report on the 1988 massacre

Amnesty International published its report on the crime against humanity, the massacre of the political prisoners in Iran during the summer of 1988.

Amnesty International held a news conference today following the release of its new landmark report on the 1988 massacre in Iran.

The report, entitled “Blood-Soaked Secrets: Why Iran’s 1988 Prison Massacres are Ongoing Crimes Against Humanity”, compiled testimonies, documentary evidence, and audio-visual evidence to illustrate the Iranian regime’s barbaric and systematic slaughter of tens of th members of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK).

A Carefully Planned and Systematically Executed Mass Murder Operation

The report found that the regime targeted members of the Iranian opposition, including the MEK and groups, keeping their families in the dark about their whereabouts and ultimate execution.

 

The regime then falsified death certificates and carried out secret burials to hide its atrocities and absolve itself of any blame or scrutiny. Amnesty International found the regime guilty of several crimes under international law, including enforced disappearance, torture, and crimes against humanity.

A Lingering Injustice

For the families of the victims of the 1988 massacre, the report marks a landmark moment in the fight for justice.

They have suffered 30-years of distorted truth and lies about the fate of their loved ones. “To this day, their families are denied [the] truth,” said Amnesty International’s David Griffiths. “[The] new Amnesty International report demands truth and justice now”.

For a long time, the authorities treated the killings as state secrets, the Amnesty report found. Any time the wall of secrecy was penetrated, the regime responded with harsh reprisals and levied charges against those accused of “disclosing state secrets”.

In a press conference following the report’s release, Amnesty International’s Iran researcher, Raha Bahreini said, “authorities have never acknowledged even one of [the] mass grave sites where they dumped bodies”.

The regime has actually hailed those responsible for the 1988 killings as heroes. Alireza Avaei, the regime’s current Minister for Justice was part of the “death commission” for Dezful and oversaw executions in that city.

The current Head of the Supreme Court for Judges, Hossein Ali Nayyeri, was also part of a “death commission” in 1988, as was Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, who was a representative for the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS).

In a statement, Amnesty International said, “families and survivors have been grossly failed by the UN and the international community. The lack of condemnation from the UN Commission of Human Rights at the time and the failure of the UN General Assembly to refer the situation to the Security Council emboldened Iran’s authorities to continue to deny the truth and inflict torture and ill-treatment on the families.”

The ongoing lack of accountability and justice means that families still do not know where their loved ones’ bodies are located. The regime will not acknowledge the existence of mass grave sites, let alone disclose their locations.

Holding Those to Account

In the report, Amnesty International recommended that the UN establish an independent and impartial international mechanism to hold those responsible within the regime to account for their crimes.

This sentiment was echoed by its Middle East Research Director, Lynn Maalouf who said on Twitter, “Amnesty International considers the extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances to be crimes against humanity”.

The MEK and other campaigners for democracy and justice across the globe will welcome Amnesty International’s investigation of one of the bloodiest and most evil chapters in Iran’s history.

However, it is only effective if international legal mechanisms and the UN can work to pressure Iran into investigating the matter and putting those responsible for these heinous crimes on trial. Those responsible must be made to answer for their crimes before civilian courts. Only then will justice have been served for the families of the 1988 victims.

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