News : Human rights

Second Day of NCRI’s “Free Iran Global Summit”

The 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners was a series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners across Iran, starting on 19 July 1988 and lasting for approximately five months.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held the second of its series of “Free Iran Global Summit” events on July 19, 2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s annual “Free Iran Global Summit” is being held virtually. The first day of the event, connected supporters of a free Iran from more than 100 countries in five continents, including in Iran and Ashraf 3, Albania, home to members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

During the NCRI's second day of "Free Iran Global Summit," participants of this conference called for justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. They described this as a crime against humanity which has remained unpunished for the past 32 years.

The keynote speaker of this event was Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, NCRI's President-elect. “The NCRI alternative is a good yardstick and a mirror image, reflecting the struggles and resistance of the past 40 years. This truthfully shows why the regime’s demonization and animosity against the PMOI/MEK and the terrorism directed against the Iranian Resistance are carried out on such an enormous scale and what the objectives behind them are,” the NCRI President said.

“Over the past 32 years, the Iranian Resistance has held hundreds and thousands of conferences, rallies, marches and symbolic trials in this regard and divulged numerous documents, names of the victims and their unmarked graves,” the Iranian opposition President continued.

The Call-for-Justice movement, initiated by Mrs. Rajavi in 2016, has played a pivotal role in shedding light on the 1988 massacre and crimes against humanity committed by the mullahs’ regime.

“The sacred blood of those martyrs, particularly those slain in 1988, are today roaring in Iran, giving rise to generation after generation of rebellious youths who are motivated and inspired by it… The PMOI/MEK members, who walked to the gallows and sacrificed their lives by the thousands for the cause of freedom, are now the topic of discussion in the Iranian society,” Mrs. Rajavi said.

 “For 40 years, the mullahs have been viciously crucifying the PMOI/MEK and the Iranian Resistance, particularly Massoud Rajavi, every day with the barrage of their lies and unfounded allegations, just like they killed and tortured our people and barbarically destroyed Iran," she added.

“But Massoud Rajavi’s name inspires the rebellion and the fight for freedom, just as his name inspired the perseverance and resistance of political prisoners during the 1988 massacre… there will come a day when his dreams of a free Iran will come true. Yes, the day will come when the flowers of freedom and popular sovereignty will bloom in Iran,” Mrs. Rajavi concluded.

A number of other renowned politicians spoke at this event.  Geoffrey Robertson, QC, and renowned human rights barrister told the event: “32 years ago, I interviewed 40 survivors of the 1988 massacre, and I was staggered by my findings. I described it as the worst crime against humanity since the concentration camps of the Second World War.” 

Former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi was also among the panelists of the "Free Iran Global Summit." “The regime is frightened of the movement led by Madame Rajavi. Your movement is visible and present because of the sacrifices of the thousands of political prisoners and others who sacrificed their lives. The regime’s embassies, which are launching pads for terrorist attacks, must be closed. The perpetrators of the 1988 massacre must be held to account. One of them is the head of the judiciary and another is a justice minister. The time for impunity is over," he said.

Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian presidential candidate also attended this conference. While referring to the regime's failed attempts of demonizing the MEK and the NCRI Ms. Betancourt said: The people of Iran are chanting ‘Down with the Dictator, be it the Shah or the Supreme Leader.’ They are referring to an ongoing alliance. Monarchists and theocrats have been constantly colluding against freedom fighters in Iran. Monarchists prefer this regime to the democratic option Iranians are calling for in the streets. What people in the streets of Iran are telling us is that they understand better than anyone how these two forces are working together. This alliance is also visible in the way they attack Iranian democratic forces, who are uniting demonstrators inside Iran. Monarchists and theocrats consider the NCRI and MEK as their enemy. They can see how people in Iran are recognizing the MEK’s role as a unifying force to overthrow the regime. The regime has failed to portray the MEK as a terrorist organization. They have failed every time."

“Iranians understand that the best way to hold accountable the criminals for forty years of crime is to overthrow this regime," she added.

The number of former political prisoners and children of martyrs of the 1988 massacre shared their shocking experience. These witnesses are all the MEK members and are currently in Ashraf 3, Albania. Ms. Homa Jaberi, the former political prisoner said: My name is Homa Jaberi. I was in prison for five-and-half years, two years in solitary confinement. The women who were held in Ghezel Hesar prison lost their mental balance due to the torture and inhuman conditions, and they could not explain their experience. The few whose sanity did survive the horrific experience said they were forced to walk on all fours, make animal sounds, were deprived of food, and some were raped. Today, I want to discuss another type of torture. Outlets such as Der Spiegel and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung are accusing MEK members in Ashraf of torture. I ask myself, am I, a former political prisoner, being accused of torture? Our people are still experiencing this pain every day. We are determined to overthrow this regime and no obstacle will stop us.”

Other speakers of this event, while calling for justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre, reiterated their support of the Iranian Resistance movement and vowed to continue this struggle until the end.

Ms. Damona Taavoni, a MEK member who has lost his father in the 1988 massacre said: My father was executed by the regime. I went to prison with my mother when I was six years old. I remember the shouts of prisoners in torture chambers. I’m here to be the voice of the 30,000 political prisoners who died. They made a decision to sacrifice their lives so people in our country don’t have to sell their body parts to put food on the table of their families.”

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