H. Res. 188 notes that the majority of the victims, including teenagers and pregnant women, were imprisoned for merely taking part in a peaceful protest or making statements against the brutality of the Regime.
Amnesty International has stated that the main victims of the massacre were those affiliated with the main opposition group, the People’s Mojahehin of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
Prisoners, who had long been subject to abuse and torture, were blindfolded and interrogated by a committee, known as the Death Commission. They were asked their political affiliation and if they did not give the right answer, they were sentenced to death.
The resolution also highlights the particularly barbarous actions of the Regime when they attempted to cover up the massacre.
It read: “The families of the executed were denied information about their loved ones and were prohibited from mourning them in public”.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, a political scientist and an expert on the Iranian Regime, wrote: “Many argue that like most instances of brutal carnage by autocratic, dictatorial or theocratic governments, the massacre was carried out in such a way that word of the executions spread to all corners of the country, terrorizing the populace and paralyzing thousands of families, neighbourhoods, and communities with grief.”
Despite attempts to silence the families of the victims, several mass graves containing the remains of the prisoners have been uncovered and the Regime has attempted to desecrate them and destroy any evidence.
The House was incentivised to pass the bill following Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s reappointment of Mostafa Pourmohammadi as Justice Minister.
Pourmohammadi has previously claimed to be “proud” of his role on the Death Commission that sent thousands to their deaths. He has claimed that he was doing God’s will.
As mentioned above, the Iranian Regime does not seek to punish those who have committed crimes against humanity, but reward them with high-ranking positions.
Amnesty International, wrote in a report on the massacre that the perpetrators should be brought to justice.
The report said: “There should be no impunity for human rights violations, no matter where or when they took place. The 1988 executions should be subject to an independent impartial investigation, and all those responsible should be brought to justice, and receive appropriate penalties.”