Thirty-two years after the mass killing of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), Iranian authorities plan to destroy victims’ graves in Ahvaz, southwestern Iran.

“In an inhuman action, the criminal mullahs’ regime has destroyed the mass graves of the 1988 massacre victims to remove remaining evidence of its great crime against humanity by building a boulevard,” the Persian-language official MEK website wrote on September 11.

In a video, a truck driver expressed his rage against the ayatollahs’ recent crime. “Here was the grave of Mojahedin-e Khalq members, but the regime has built a road on the graves. They killed the people’s youths and now have destroyed their graves. Death to Khamenei and the principle of the regime,” he said.

اقدام جنایتکارانه رژیم و درست کردن بلوار بر مزار شهدای قتل‌عام مجاهدین در اهواز

In July 1988, the Iranian regime massacred thousands of political prisoners across the country based on a fatwa by Ruhollah Khomeini, the Islamic Republic founder. “Eliminate the enemies of Islam as soon as possible,” Khomeini wrote in his religious order.

He also explicitly pointed to the MEK and ordered his appointees, including the current judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi and the current Justice Minister Alireza Avaei, to kill those who persist in their loyalty to this organization. After 32 years, the crime’s perpetrators are awarded high-ranking positions in the government and judiciary, and the families of victims are still looking for the whereabouts of their loved ones’ graves.

Every year, many people gather at the site of renowned mass graves to commemorate their children and relatives’ memory. In October 2009, intelligence agents arrested Mr. Ali Saremi, 62, for participating in a remembrance ceremony at a mass grave in the capital Tehran. Given his previous sympathy for the MEK and paying homage to the victims of the 1988 massacre, the judiciary sentenced him to the death penalty on a bogus charge of “waging war against God (moharebeh).”

On December 10, 2010, he was hanged in the notorious Evin Prison. This former political prisoner’s execution proved that the massacre is not an issue related to 32 years ago. It flagrantly showed that the crime is still ongoing.

“Why are we talking about an event that took place 32 years ago?… We know that the people who sent these political prisoners to their death are still in power today. We have the proof and we have those who are culpable,” said Amb. Lincoln Bloomfield, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State on September 4.

Baroness Boothroyd previously described the massacre of political prisoners in Iran as “the greatest unpunished crime against humanity since World War II.” Also, Geoffrey Robertson, a renowned QC, and lawyer, affirmed the position of Baroness Boothroyd. “I was staggered by my findings. I described it as the worst crime against humanity since World War II,” he said at a video conference on July 19.

Earlier, Amnesty International sounded the alarm about the destruction of mass grave sites and the regime’s intention to destroy crucial forensic evidence. “The desecration of a mass grave site in Ahvaz, southern Iran that contains the remains of at least 44 people who were extrajudicially executed would destroy vital forensic evidence and scupper opportunities for justice for the mass prisoner killings that took place across the country in 1988,” reported Amnesty International and Justice for Iran on June 1, 2017.

In this respect, as the Iranian regime continues its harrowing crime against the families of victims of the 1988 massacre, the international community is responsible for holding authorities accountable. “When a government turns on its own people, it is the obligation of the international community to take action. There are families who very much want to achieve justice,” said former Irish Senator Michelle Mulherin on September 10.