Now, the Secretary of the conferences in the Marche, Italy, and the Papal Legate has issued a statement, calling the perpetrators of the 1988 Massacre in Iran to justice, referring both to the crimes against humanity conducted in 1988 and the continuous ignorance of human rights in Iran today.

“In recent weeks, the days coincide with the intensification of the arbitrary executions in Iran and at the same time, the new details about the Massacre of 30 thousand activists in 1988 have been disclosed and it has given the Iranians a shock,” his statement reads.

The young Archbishop referred to the audio files that were released on Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri’s website by his son, which shed new light onto the way the 1988 Massacre was carried out, and the perpetrators of these acts who remain in power in Iran today.

“The released audio file of Ayatollah Montazeri, the Khomeini’s successor in a meeting with four judicial and intelligence officials discloses the shocking facts of the Massacre which is the second greatest massacre of the political prisoners after the World War II,” the Archbishop’s statement reads. “One of the 4 people, who were called as the Death Committee by the prisoners, is the current Minister of Justice, Mostafa Pourmohammadi; the second person is the current president of the court of judges and the third one was the former Attorney-General of Iran as well.”

The previous Deputy Minister of Information in Iran released new information, acknowledging that during the 1988 Massacre a shocking 33,700 people had been executed, acting on the orders of the Iranian Supreme Leader Khomeini’s Fatwa that was released in July 1988. What’s most shocking about these crimes is that children and pregnant women were among the regime’s many victims. 

In most cases, the victims’ only ‘crime’ was their support for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK). Today, this organisation is closely linked with the largest force of opposition to the current Iranian regime, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). The growing support for the NCRI echoes Montazeri’s words to the Death Commission wat the time of the Massacre, that an ideology or a line of thought, such as the PMOI, cannot be stamped out by brutally executing its members – suppressing it will only make it grow stronger.

The Archbishop made a reference to the human rights organisations, operating worldwide, that have declared the 1988 Massacre as a crime against humanity. He stressed the importance of speaking up and acknowledging these kinds of crimes.

“Silence against such terrible massacre and the impunity of the perpetrators, in fact, encourages them to continue their crime. These perpetrators currently own the highest political, security and judicial positions in the country.”

The Archbishop went on to urge the Italian government to take action towards exposing these crimes. “At first, I ask the Italian government to condemn the Massacre of 1988 strongly and to conditionalize its relation with Iran to halting the executions.”

He then proceeded to ask the same of the UN General Assembly.” Secondly, I ask the High Commissioner for Human Rights Council, the UN General Assembly, and the Security Council to investigate these awful crimes and to bring the perpetrators and instigators of the Massacre to trial.”

Many points from the Archbishop’s statement are echoed by The Italian Mayor of Urbino, who also released a statement. “The massacre of 1988 was carried out with Khomeini’s Fatwa. In his Fatwa,he said that all those prisoners across the country who continue to support the People of Mujahedin will be condemned to death penalty.” 

The Mayor supported the same view as the Archbishop in the importance of acknowledging and speaking up about these crimes – keeping silent about the 1988 Massacre, he stated, will only encourage these kinds of crimes to continue. The Mayor of Urbino also urged the Italian government to condemn the 1988 Massacre and to stop its relations with Iran, lest the regime were to stop its frequent executions. He also urged the UN and the Security Council to take action into investigating the 1988 Massacre and brings its perpetrators to court.