The 1988 massacre gave rise to the phenomenon of mass graves. Every day hundreds of people in Evin and more in Gohardasht and other prisons in Tehran and all over Iran were being executed. The regime’s agents did not have the time to bury them one by one, so the only way was to dump them in mass graves. This method was used occasionally in Tehran and other cities since 1981, but in 1988 it became a systematic practice in major cities.
A witness recalls: “The scale of the massacre was so vast that bodies of the executed were carried away on trucks to mass graves. I was able to see the truck from between metal window shades covered with a canvas sheet in order to hide the mess.”
A report dated February 3, 1996 said a huge mass grave was discovered during excavation by Avant Construction Company in the Khavaran district of southern Tehran. This mass grave contained hundreds of bodies of prisoners executed in the summer of 1988. After the news spread, hundreds of people rushed to the scene, but police and security forces sealed off the area and dispersed the crowd by fitting into air. The next day a number of employees of the company were arrested for Spreading the news.
The mass graves listed below were discovered by local residents, eyewitnesses, former prisoners, families of victims or from testimonies of former prison officials.
1. Ahwaz, Khuzistan Province
2. Amol, Mazandaran Province
3. Arak, Central Province
4. Bandar Anzali, Gilan Province
5. Borazjan, Bushehr Province
6. Gachsaran, Kohkiluyeh Province
7. Gonbad, Mazandaran Province
8. Gorgan, Golestan Province
9. Hamedan, Hamedan Province
10. Isfahan, Isfahan Province
11. Kerman, Kerman Province
12. Kermanshah, Kermanshah Province
13. Lahijan, Gilan Province
14. Mashhad, Khorassan Province
15. Orumieh, West Azerbaijan Province
16. Qazvin, Qazvin Province
17. Salehabad, 11am Province
18. Shiraz, Fars Province
19. Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province
20. Tehran, Tebran Province
21. Zahedan, Sistan & Baluchistan Province
The maps of these mass graves are in Chapter 7 of Crimes against Humanity, a book published by the NCRI in 2001.
30,000 political prisoners were massacred in summer and autumn 1988 for supporting the Mojahedin. Most of these prisoners were buried in mass graves.
The above photograph shows the body of Yousef Haibodi, protruding out of the mass grave, as the foot of another victim flanks his head