News : Human rights

International Community Should Demand Justice in Iran Massacre

International Community Should Demand Justice in Iran Massacre

By INU Staff

INU - Amnesty International released a new statement last month about one of the worst crimes against humanity in recent decades that still remains unresolved: Iran’s 1988 Massacre.

The motivation for releasing the statement was the callous remarks by those who participated in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners and have yet to be punished. In fact, the murderers have been rewarded with positions of power in the government or in state-affiliated organizations, which gives a sense of impunity to those who fail to show remorse for the killings and even show a sick sense of pride in them.

In 2016, in response to some newly leaked information about the massacre, then-Minister of Justice Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi claimed he was "proud" to carry out "God's command" to murder the pro-democracy Iranian opposition group, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

Pour-Mohammadi serve on one of the "death commissions" that sent the political prisoners to their deaths, merely for refusing to swear allegiance to the Regime.

He has now resumed his public defence of the massacre in his role as a leading adviser to the head of the Iranian judiciary and may even be laying the groundwork for a new sustained assault on the MEK, who are the greatest challenge to the Regime.

He said: "We have no ambiguity about the [MEK]. We are at a time of war. Now is not the time for talk. Now is the time to fight them, now is the time to subdue them. Now is the time to conduct prosecutions."

These prosecutions, as we know from the Regime’s history, will lead to torture, long-term prison sentences and even death. The massacre was only one way that the Regime tried to exterminate the MEK. In fact, 120,000 MEK activists have been killed trying to promote democracy in Iran, even by just possessing leaflets or donating to a MEK news channel.

Note the word ‘tried’. The Regime’s persecution has only had the opposite effect, encouraging more Iranians to side with the anti-fascist MEK and garnering worldwide support for the persecuted rather than the persecutor.

At the end of 2017, a nationwide uprising began in Iran, with protesters in over 160 cities chanting "death to the dictator" and pointing out that there are no moderates in the Iranian Regime. After all, supposed moderate Hassan Rouhani has only shown disinterest towards improving Iran's human rights record, despite his promises. That’s why he appointed two of the massacres perpetrators to the head the Justice Ministry.

Bob Blackman, a conservative member of Parliament of the United Kingdom and member of the British Committee for Iran Freedom, wrote: “For all these reasons and more, it is vitally important that the international community take steps toward holding Iranian officials to account for their past crimes. Silence from the international community would only encourage the Iranian officials' impunity.”

He continued: “The MEK and other critics of Tehran's human rights record have long urged the United Nations to establish a commission of inquiry into the 1988 massacre of political prisoners to ascertain the precise scope of the killings, identify the locations of secret mass graves and set the stage for prosecution of the responsible parties in the International Criminal Court.”