The relatives of Iranian political prisoners executed during the 1980s and 1990s have protested the concealment of the role played in the executions by regime leaders, especially then-Prime Minister Mir Hossein Mousavi.
The October 4 statement by the relatives came after Mousavi’s supporters accused Amnesty International of “distorting” the facts. The relatives responded by demanding justice for their loved ones and that officials disclose any knowledge they have about the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners.
They wrote: “The execution of political prisoners in the summer of 1988 in Iran which has been recognized by international human rights institutions as a crime against humanity, is not subject to the rules on the passage of time and its case remains open until it is investigated and heard in a fair and public court, in the presence of plaintiffs and witnesses.”
The relatives condemned Mousavi’s supporters for distorting “the undeniable reality of the crime” and said that all of the regime’s leaders in the 1988 massacre should be held accountable for their heinous crimes. They then urged Amnesty International to get to the bottom of the 1988 massacre and the 1990s killings by joining the thousands of Iranians in the “Call for Justice” movement.
The global human rights organization recently published documents proving that Iranian authorities knew about the execution of dissidents in July and August 1988, which paved the way for the massacre later that year.
On August 19 of this year, Amnesty International’s researcher on Iran, Raha Bahreini, tweeted an image of an Amnesty appeal to the regime (dated August 16, 1988) that urged them to halt the executions.
اقدام فوری ۱۶ آگوست را در آرشیو عفو بینالملل پیدا کردیم. کشف تکاندهندهی بود و نشان میداد که مقامات دولتی و قضایی و همین طور سفرای ج ا از دستکم ۲۵ مرداد در جریان اعدامها قرار گرفتهاند اما سیاست وزارت خارجه دولت #موسوی انکار بود. و امروز در اوج بیاخلاقی میگویند نمیدانستند. pic.twitter.com/XWVxLYLGFP
— Raha Bahreini (@RahaBahreini) August 19, 2020
“We found the Urgent Action of August 16, 1988, in the Amnesty archives. It was a shocking discovery that showed government and judicial authorities, as well as Iran’s ambassadors, were aware of the executions at least since August 16 but the policy of Mousavi’s Foreign Ministry was denial. Even today, with utmost dishonesty they claim that they did not know,” she wrote.
In 1988, the regime called over 30,000 political prisoners, many who were already serving or had already served their sentences, to kangaroo courts, known as Death Commissions, on a fatwa by regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini. They had one-minute trials where they were asked if they supported the Iranian Resistance and if they answered yes, which the majority did, they were taken to be executed immediately.
In 2016, an audiotape was leaked of Khomeini’s second-in-command acknowledging that the massacre not only took place but was ordered by those at the top.