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How Many Executions?‎ PMOI statement on Mr. Montazeri’s revelations ‎


PMOI Statement on Montazeris revealation
PMOI Statement on Montazeris revealation

The followings are excerpts from a statement by the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran ‎issued on December 17, 2000 on the dimensions of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners:‎
‎2. The first reference that Mr. Montazeri makes to the number of executed prisoners covers ‎only the first days of the massacre, when he writes: “Finally, they executed 2,800 or 3,800 ‎women and men in the country (I doubt which figure is right)... I felt that this was not the ‎correct way of doing things and decided to write a letter to the Imam.”‎
Mr. Montazeri then proceeds to describe the first letter he wrote to Khomeini on this issue, ‎dated July 31, 1988.‎
In this letter, Mr. Montazeri mentions the massacre of political prisoners and writes in the ‎last paragraph: “The execution of several thousand prisoners in a few days will not have ‎positive repercussions and will not be mistake- free.”‎
While Mr. Montazeri clearly states that by July 31, in the first days of the massacre, the ‎number of mass executions reached “2,800 or 3,800” or, as he wrote in his letter, “several ‎thousand prisoners,” he does not mention any figure for the number of executions at the end ‎of the massacre... It is also clear from the contents of his first letter to Khomeini that by July ‎‎31, he was still unaware of the mass executions in the provinces and the figures he gives refer ‎only to Tehran.‎
‎3. Montazeri also writes in his memoirs:“A few days later, a judge from Khuzestan by the ‎name of Hojjat ol-Islam Mohammad Hossein Ahmadi came to see me and was very ‎distressed. He told me: ‘Over there, they are executing them with great speed. They conjure ‎up a majority vote out of the three member panel. They are angry about the Monafeqin’s ‎operation, but are venting our anger on the prisoners.’ “‎
Montazeti says that following this meeting, he wrote a second letter to Khomeini, dated ‎August 2, 1988, in which he protested against the procedures.‎
‎4. Montazeri notes that after writing the second letter to Khomeini, “I noticed that they ‎were still continuing the executions. On the first of Moharram, I summoned Mr. Nayyeri, the ‎religious judge of Evin, and Mr. Eshraqi, the prosecutor, and Mr. Raissi, the deputy ‎prosecutor, and Mr. Pour-Mohammadi, the Intelligence Ministry representative. I told them, ‎‎‘Now is the month of Moharram and at least halt the executions during this month.”‎
The first day of the month of Moharram coincided with August 13, 1988. Mr. Montazeti ‎thus makes it clear that mass executions were going on with the same intensity up to that ‎point
‎5. Montazeti wrote in the following section, “Later, they obtained a letter from the Imam ‎for nonreligious prisoners. At the time, there were about 500 nonreligious and atheist ‎prisoners. The aim was to liquidate these prisoners, as well and get tide of them.”‎
Several weeks separate Montazeri’s August 14 letter and the new fatwa by Khomeini ‎which concerned the execution of non-Mojahedin prisoners. Investigations by the Mojahedin ‎at the time showed that Khomeini’s second fatwa (which dealt with non-Mojahedin ‎prisoners) was issued on September 6, 1988 or thereabouts. In other words, by the time this ‎new fatwa was issued, mass execution of Mojahedin political prisoners in Tehran had been ‎going on with great ferocity for more than 40 days.‎
‎6. In his memorandum to the members of the “Death Commission” in Tehran on August 15, ‎‎1988, Montazeri referred to the execution of “prisoners and former prisoners.” ‎
The reference to “former prisoners” being executed was prompted by the fact that once the ‎massacre of political prisoners got under way, the clerical regime launched a nationwide effort ‎to re-arrest former political prisoners, as Khomeini’s fatwa stressed that all Mojahedin ‎supporters and members must be executed.‎
The French daily, Le Monde, wrote: “‘Imam Khomeini’ summoned the Revolutionary ‎Prosecutor, Hojjat ol-Islam Khoeiniha, to instruct him that henceforth all of the
Mojahedin, those in prison and elsewhere, must be executed for waging war on God” (Le ‎Monde, March 1, 1989).‎
According to reports from across Iran, thousands of former political prisoners and ‎Mojahedin supporters were rounded up over a period of several months in 1988 and most ‎were executed.‎
‎7. Mr. Kamal Afkhami Ardekani, a former Official at Evin Prison, has said in testimonies ‎to human rights rapporteurs of the United‏ ‏Nations: “In July 1988, after Khomeini issued a ‎fatwa ordering the massacre of Mojahedin prisoners, a meeting was held in Evin Prison‏ ‏in ‎which the following persons participated (the positions mentioned here are the positions they ‎held at the time): Ibrahim Raissi, Tehran’s deputy prosecutor, Mohammad Mohammadi ‎Rayshahri, the Intelligence Minister, Gholam Hossein [Mohseni] Ezhei, a top judiciary ‎official, [Seyyed Hossein] Mortazavi, the governor of Evin, [Ah] Mobasheri and LJaafar] ‎Nayyeri, religious judges based in Evin Prison. There they agreed on the procedures for ‎carrying out Khomeini’s orders. They would line up prisoners in a 14 x 5-meter hail in the ‎central office building of Evin.‎‏ ‏‎ The maximum capacity of the hail was 180 prisoners. They ‎would then ask simply one question: ‘What is your political affiliation?’ Those who said the‏ ‏‎‘Mojahedin’ would be hanged from cranes that had been in position behind the building. ‎
‎“Prisoners were hanged in Evin Prison with six cranes and three fork-lift trucks. Each time, ‎‎33 people would be hanged. On each crane, there was an iron beam and five ropes were ‎suspended from the beam. The six cranes were positioned in these locations: one was placed ‎next to the administrative courtroom building, two were placed next to Ward 325, and three ‎were placed next to the special ward for the clergy and the central administrative building.‎
‎“The fork-lift trucks, each fitted with a beam with four ropes, were placed in the parking ‎lot outside the prosecutor’s office. The parking lot was also used as an execution yard. There ‎was a crane in the garage next to the parking lot and that was also used for executions.‎
‎“The mass executions began in late July, 1988. Every half an hour, 33 persons were being ‎hanged by these cranes and the process went on and on without any interruption.‎‏ ‏‎ The bodies ‎were examined by Dr. Ata Foroughi who was head of the prison’s clinic, and Dr. Mirza’I ‎who was head of Lajevardi’s office. [Assadollah Lajevardi was the former governor of Evin ‎Prison and the most notorious executioner and torturer in the mullahs’ regime. Later he ‎became the head of the State Prisons Organization].‎‏ ‏Once they were pronounced dead, the ‎bodies would be piled into covered trucks and taken out of prison. The trucks had been on ‎loan from Evin’s police station. Some of the trucks‏ ‏belonged to Evin Prison itself.‎
‎“The same procedure went on for two weeks, from 7:30 am until 5 pm. Soon they were also ‎using the parking lot for the executions and the‏ ‏number of executions every half-hour reached ‎‎37 to 40.”‎
On the basis of these revelations by a former official of Evin Prison, we can safely ‎extrapolate that if 19 rounds of executions were carried out every day, and in each round 30 ‎prisoners were hanged, then at least 570 prisoners were being executed in Evin Prison every ‎day. In 14 days, the number of executions exceeded 8,000. Beating in mind that executions ‎were continuing even after two weeks, and that by early September Khomeini issued another ‎decree ordering the execution of non-Mojahedin prisoners who, according to Montazeti, ‎numbered about 500, then the number of male prisoners executed in Evin Prison was more ‎than 10,000. ‎
There were thousands of female prisoners, many of whom were executed. In addition, ‎there were thousands of inmates in other jails in and around Tehran, including Gohardasht, ‎where the massacre was carried out with equal ferocity. When all these are added together, ‎the number of executions in Tehran jails becomes exceedingly high. One must also bear in ‎mind that the Iranian Resistance had revealed a list of 635 prisons with their addresses and ‎specifications, which gives an idea of the magnitude of the carnage....‎
‎8. Reports compiled by the Mojahedin show that the carnage went on in at least 100 cities ‎and towns across the country. In many of these cities, not a single political ptisoner was left ‎alive.‎‏ ‏These cities included Kermanshab, Zanjan, Mashhad, Arak, Hamedan, Orumieh, ‎Semnan, Roodsar, Ahwaz, Qom, Sari, Qaemshahr, Shahr-e Kord, Khorramabad, Zahedan, ‎Karaj, Tabriz, Sabzevar, Rasht, Shiraz, Masjid Soleiman, Isfahan, Sanandaj, Babol, Lahijan, ‎Bandar Anzali, Chaloos, Boroujerd, Kashan,‎‏ ‏Manjil, Garmsar, Fassa, Andimeshk, Behbahan, ‎Kelachai, Gachsaran, Kerman, Someh Sara, Abhar, Shaahinshahr, Dezful, Islamabad, Kerend, ‎‎11am, Borazjan, Toyserkan, Poldokhtar, Ardebil, Shahrood, Gorgan, Gonbad, Shahreza, ‎Langrood, Amol, Aligoodarz, Quchan, Maku, Qazvin, Birjand, Maragheb, Mahshahr, ‎Bushehr, Khoy, Kazeroun, Salmas, Golpaygan, Estahbanat, Aliabad and so on.‎
Throughout the rest of 1988, there were reports on continuing executions in different parts ‎of Iran: ‎

Orumieh: Around 400 prisoners were the city in groups of 10, 20 and 30 people.‎‏ ‏‎(November 8, 1988)‎‏ ‏

Semnan: Eight prisoners supporting the Mojahedin were hanged in public from a ‎construction crane. (November 8, 1988)‎

Sabzevar: Twenty-nine Mojahedin supporters were executed after years of‏ ‏imprisonment.‎

Manjil: Following torrential rains, a mass grave containing 80 bodies of political prisoners ‎was discovered two kilometers west of the Tehran-Rasht highway.‎

Garmsar: Two truckloads of bodies of prisoners were transferred from Evin and‏ ‏Qezel ‎Hessar prisons to wastelands around the city and buried in a big large mass grave.‎

Tabriz: Twenty-one prisoners were executed in Tabriz Prison. (December 2, 1988) Four ‎opponents of the clerical regime were hanged in a traffic circle. The bodies were left hanging ‎for 24 hours. (January 2, 1989)‎

Isfahan: In a suburb of Isfahan called Shaahinshahr, 700 people were executed over ‎several months.‎‏ ‏‎ (December 31, 1988) In the beginning of 1989, bodies of executed political ‎prisoners were buried in groups of 40, 60 and 100 in Bagh-e Rezvan cemetery.‎

Tehran: Agents of the mullahs’ regime‏ ‏buried corpses of a large number of massacre ‎victims in a big canal in Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery’s Block 93. In blocks No 106, 107, 108 ‎and 109 of the same cemetery the graves of a considerable number of executed prisoners have ‎been discovered by their families.‎
‎ Near Khavaran road (east of Tehran), agents of the Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office ‎buried the bodies of a large group of the executed
beside the Armenian cemetery.  Stray dogs dug out some corpses from shallow graves and ‎the mass graves were exposed. ‎
Sixty people from Khazaneh (southern Tehran), 40 people from the residents of Ray Street ‎and 11 people from Norouzkhan district in Tehran’s Bazaar were executed. (December 31, ‎‎1988) ‎

Southwestern Iran: Thirty-three Mojahedin supporters were executed over several weeks ‎in the cities of Ahwaz, Andimeshk and Behbahan.‎‏ ‏Among them were at least seven women.‎‏ ‏‎ ‎At the same time, more than 20 political prisoners were executed in Bushehr. Dozens of ‎prisoners in Ahwaz were sent before the firing squads.‎

Southern Iran: Twenty-six political prisoners, who were completing their prison terms, ‎were executed in Fassa. Also in Adelabad Ptison in Shiraz 14 inmates were executed inone ‎day.‎

Northern Iran: Following the discovery of 10 corpses belonging to Mojahedin prisoners‏ ‏butied in two mass graves in Kelachai and Roodsar, citizens clashed with the guards.‎
The guards dug a big mass grave near Someh Sara-Kasma road in the northern province of ‎Gilan and during one night buried several truckloads of corpses in it. An unspecified number ‎of prisoners in Roodsar were sent before the fitting squads.‎
During the last days of 1988, 40 people were executed by fitting squads in the northern ‎city of Lahijan.‎

Western Iran: Amnesty International reported that it was receiving information‏ ‏pointing ‎to hundreds of executions from Kurdish opposition groups in Ommieh Prison and 50 ‎executions in Sanandaj.‎
Also in October, 150 prisoners were executed in the prison of Khorramabad.‎
Doting the last days of 1988, 10 Mojahedin members were hanged in public in one day in  ‎three different places in the city of Islamabad.‎

Slaughter continues across Iran ‎

Mass executions and public hangings continued at the same rate in towns all over the ‎country. In November 1988, further reports on more executions in different cities began ‎coming in. Eighteen prisoners in Arak, 18 prisoners in Astara and another group of prisoners ‎in Shahr-e Kurd were sent before the firing squads.‎‏ ‏‎ (November 8, 1988) ‎
According to confirmed reports by different sources, 84 people were executed in Mashhad ‎Prison in October.  (December 2, 1988) ‎
Ninety-four people from the town of Abhar were sent before the firing squads.‎
‎ (December31, 1988) ‎
All political prisoners in the prisons of Dizel Abad (Kermanshah), Vakil-Abad (Mashhad), ‎Gachsaran, Khorramabad, Kerman and Masjid Soleiman had been executed by January 10, ‎‎1989. ‎
Thirty-one people in Sanandaj, 25 in Borazjan and 27 in Baneh were executed. In only one ‎village named Deh Kohneh, in the vicinity of Borazjan, five Mojahedin supporters were sent ‎before the firing squad. In Taq Nosrat district‏ ‏Of Toyserkan, three supporters of Mojahedin ‎were hanged in public in one day.‎‏ ‏‎ In Karaj the extent of secret execution of political ‎prisoners was extremely high, leaving only three people out of 500 in one ward of Gohardasht ‎Prison.‎‏ ‏‎(February 10, 1989) ‎
It was known afterwards that a number of‏ ‏Army servicemen who had refused to fight the ‎National Liberation Army during Operation Eternal Light in July 1988 and had deserted the ‎ranks of the army were executed.‎‏ ‏‎ In one day, two officers, one NCO and two soldiers were ‎hanged in public in the city of Kermanshah, western Iran.‎



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