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Iran: Family members of 1988 massacre victims hold protest rally at Khavaran cemetery

Families of 1988 massacre victims gather at Khavaran cemetery and demand accountability of the perpetrators
Families of 1988 massacre victims gather at Khavaran cemetery and demand accountability of the perpetrators

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, May 14, 2021—A group of family members of executed Iranian political prisoners gathered at the Khavaran cemetery on Thursday to protest the regime’s intention to destroy the graves of their loved ones. The Khavaran cemetery, east of Tehran, is one of several mass, unmarked graves where the regime secretly buried thousands of political prisoners after it carried out mass executions in 1988. Most of the executed prisoners were members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

In recent weeks, the regime has been plotting to dig new graves in the Khavaran cemetery. This is part of the regime’s ploy to destroy evidence of the 1988 massacre. In other cities, the regime has already built roads and buildings on the hidden mass graves of the 1988 massacre victims.

Thursday’s demonstrators, who were family members of MEK martyrs, held placards that read “Raisi the executioner of 1988,” referring to current judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, who in 1988 massacre was a member of the “death commission,” a group of so-called judges who sentenced the political prisoners to death in minutes-long trials.

Other placards read “Khavaran is a timeless document of crimes against humanity in Iran during the 1988 massacre” and “Until the perpetrators are brought to justice, we will neither forgive nor forget.” The demonstrators laid flowers on the burial site to honor the MEK martyrs.

On April 29, Amnesty International warned about the destruction the Khavaran burial site in Tehran by Iranian authorities. “Iranian authorities are banning members of the persecuted Baha’i minority from burying their loved ones in empty plots at a cemetery near Tehran that they have used for decades, instead insisting they bury them between existing graves within the cemetery or at the nearby Khavaran mass grave site for victims of the 1988 prison massacres,” Amnesty International wrote in a statement.

On May 4, 1,112 family members of MEK martyrs wrote a letter to the United Nations Secretary General and EU and U.S. state leaders and called for immediate action to prevent the destruction of their loved ones’ burial site by the fascist regime of Iran.

On May 6, more than 150 former UN officials and human rights experts wrote an open letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called for an end to the mullahs’ regime’s impunity by establishing a Commission of Inquiry into the 1988 massacre.