As we commemorate the 31st anniversary of the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran, mainly members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), it is important to hear the testimonies of those who lost relatives or those who were spared the noose by pure chance.
That’s why in this short series, we will be looking at the speeches delivered during the "1988 Massacre in Iran, Perpetrators must be TRIED" conference, held on the fifth and final day of the Free Iran gathering at the MEK’s headquarters in Ashraf 3, Albania. The point of the conference was to encourage the global community to hold the perpetrators to account for their crimes against humanity.
Thousands of MEK members were extra-judicially executed on the fatwa of then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, subjected to show trials in front of Death Commissions who wanted to find them guilty. Not one person has been brought to justice for their role in the massacre and many still work in the Iranian Regime today, with some gaining promotions for their sick service.
That’s why these MEK members and supporters spoke at the conference and why we repeat their words here.
In our previous pieces, we spoke about Kobra Jokar and Hengameh Haj-Hassan. Here, we will speak about Homa Jaberi.
Jaberi was arrested in 1981 after she took part in a peaceful MEK protest. She was imprisoned in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) and Evin prisons for five years, when she saw much torture and inhumane treatment.
She explained that when the authorities weren’t able to break the will of the MEK women through torture, they created a secret compound, called the ‘residential units’, with the express demand of destroying their humanity.
They were whipped constantly, even if the torturer was giving them an order, prevented from sleeping for days, told not to make any noise under torture, made to mimic animals, instructed to insult themselves, and even raped.
Jaberi said: “From the first day, I was tortured brutally with whips and physically beaten. They took all of us to a room, blindfolded us, and told us that they would kill us until that night. They tortured us for hours until midnight… The regime’s torturer said, ‘This is your hell. No one will hear you here. You will all die here’.”
Jaberi spent 40 days there before being taken to Evin Prison, but some of her friends were kept there for six months. She said that some of them “lost their mental balance”, while others refused to speak of the tortures.
Jaberi said: “I have faith that with the leadership of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, we will free Iran. It was this faith that helped me overcome the tough conditions of the prison.”
Following the speeches by the MEK members, the conference watched a video clip about the 1988 Massacre, while MEK members in attendance held up a photo (or two) of loved ones who were martyred during that summer. While watching the video, Rajavi wiped tears from her eyes.