Reporting by PMOI/MEK
Iran, September 21, 2021—On Tuesday, an international conference hosted in Stockholm, Sweden, discussed the role of Iranian regime leaders in the mass execution of political prisoners and the imperative for the international community to hold the regime’s leaders to account for their crimes against humanity.
The event focused on the extrajudicial and summary execution of more than 30,000 Iranian political prisoners in the summer of 1988, an even that has become known as the “1988 massacre.” Senior officials who still hold positions of power in the Iranian regime played key roles in the event and have been enjoying impunity from accountability for the past 33 years. Ebrahim Raisi, who presently serves as the regime’s president, was one of four members of the “Death Commission,” a group of judges who summoned political prisoners and sent them to their death if they refused to denounce their support for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
The conference featured speeches from former political prisoners, witnesses of the 1988 massacre, and prominent politicians from across the globe.
In her keynote speech to the event, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said, “Thirty-three years ago, on [then-regime supreme leader Ruhollah] Khomeini’s horrific decrees, 30,000 political prisoners were hanged in the dreadful darkness of those nights. Ninety percent of them were members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). As stated in those decrees, Khomeini sought to eradicate the PMOI quickly. He wanted to carry out the horrendous massacre in total silence. The plan for the killings in Tehran and dozens of other cities was designed such that no one would know about it.”
I salute the 30,000 heroes who walked to the gallows through the annals of #Iran's history towards freedom. They made their most conscious choice with greatest determination.— Maryam Rajavi (@Maryam_Rajavi) September 21, 2021
Their liberated friends remain faithful to the same oath, keeping alight the Call-for-Justice Movement. pic.twitter.com/jDrYWAzWiQ
But since the event, the NCRI, the MEK, and the network of the Iranian Resistance inside the country have been engaged in widespread efforts to document the 1988 massacre and to reveal the secrets that the regime has been trying to hide. These efforts have shed light on one of the horrendous crimes against humanity in contemporary history and have brought international attention to the brutalities committed by the Iranian regime. In light of the evidence revealed by the MEK, jurists have described the 1988 massacre as a genocide and are calling for the prosecution of regime leaders in international tribunals.
“The experience of the past 33 years is a testament. The future history will bear witness that the movement seeking justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre has overcome the silence and complacency of the regime’s accomplices,” Mrs. Rajavi said.
Absent any international mechanism to hold Tehran to account for its crimes, regime leaders have become emboldened and have continued to commit crimes with impunity in the past three decades, including the murder of more than 1,500 protesters in the November 2019 uprisings.
“By installing a squad of cannibals, among them Ebrahim Raisi, his cabinet ministers, and the heads and members of the judiciary and parliament, Khamenei displayed the obvious signs of the regime’s despondency in the face of popular uprisings,” Madam Rajavi said.
Rajavi called on the world to condemn the clerical regime’s brutal and systematic violation of human rights in Iran and stressed that the continuation and expansion of political and economic ties with this regime must be predicated on the improvement of the human rights situation and an end to executions and torture in Iran.
“We urge the international community, particularly Sweden and the European Union, to recognize the massacre of political prisoners as genocide and a crime against humanity. We call on them to take the necessary steps to refer this case to the UN Security Council and end the impunity for, and bring to justice those responsible for this major crime, especially Ali Khamenei and Ebrahim Raisi,” Madam Rajavi said.
Nasrollah Marandi, former political prisoner and a witness of the 1988 massacre, gave an account of some of the brutalities that took place during that dark summer. According to Marandi, one of the was taken to the gallows on a stretcher because he couldn’t walk after having endured severe torture at the hands of prison authorities.
“This is an instance of genocide and crimes against humanity,” Marandi said as he stood alongside other witnesses of the 1988 massacre. “We witnessed the execution of thousands of our friends in Evin, Gohardasht, and other prisons… Most of us who were in Evin and Gohardasht prisons saw Ebrahim Raisi in the death commission and he sent thousands of prisoners to the gallows. Many of our friends witnessed the execution of many MEK members by Raisi in Hamedan and Karaj. Now this criminal is scheduled to speak at the UN General Assembly. This is a betrayal to the ideals of democracy and human rights… We witnessed Revolutionary Guards carry hanging ropes to the execution halls on wheelbarrows… and then those same wheelbarrows were used to carry the slippers of executed prisoners from the execution hall… We witnessed regime authorities bring trucks at night to carry away the bodies of the executed prisoners.”
The conference took place as Raisi is scheduled to address the UN General Council today. At the same time, Iranians are holding demonstrations in several countries, calling for the prosecution and other regime criminals.
On Monday, an important conference in Washington, D.C., called for a more firm policy toward Iran and global focus on the regime’s human rights violations, especially by Raisi and Khamenei. The conference featured speeches from prominent members of the U.S. Congress and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
We must support the Iranian people as they fight for a freer & more democratic Iran. There is so much work that American civil society can do to further this goal, & the Iranian American Community of NY is actively engaged in that work – keep up the fight. https://t.co/jGhWvp7tYu pic.twitter.com/NVWF5Aus7T— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) September 20, 2021