Earlier this year, during the Free Iran rally at Ashraf 3, the Albanian headquarters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK), there was a conference entitled “1988 Massacre in Iran, Perpetrators must be TRIED”.
During the conference, several former MEK political prisoners and survivors of the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners gave moving testimonies about the torture they endured under the mullahs’ security forces.
The conference, broadcast live in four different languages in July, also featured an address by Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the founder of the movement for Justice for the Victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran (JVMI). Over the course of two articles, we will look at the MEK leader’s speech in detail, starting with the immediate aftermath of the massacre.
In the summer of 1988, thousands of family members of MEK supporters and activists gathered outside prison entrance across Iran after months of being deprived visits, phone calls, or any contact with their family members. The relatives were given what remained of their loved one's belongings, often just clothes, and perhaps a reference to a grave, but, in most cases, they received no news of their whereabouts.
Rajavi explained that in Tehran, families found a mass grave in Khavaran, where thousands of MEK supporters were apparently hastily and secretly buried in just one night. Many families, she explained, make a pilgrimage to visit the grave every year, but some, like Ali Saremi, Jafar Kazemi, Mohammad-Ali Haj-Aghaie, have been arrested or even executed for drawing attention to the massacre of the MEK.
Rajavi said: “According to survivors and the regime defectors and other sources, more than 30,000 members and supporters of the MEK were executed in a matter of months in the summer of 1988. Tragic but heroic, they were executed for how they called the MEK and its historical leader Massoud Rajavi.”
The MEK told the international community about the massacre, hoping that this would guarantee some kind of retribution against the Regime, but the West just ignored the 1988 massacre of the MEK in order to keep doing business with Iran and it’s then-president the so-called reformist Mullah Hashemi Rafsanjani.
Even 30 years after the fact, when an audiotape featuring the late Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s heir at the time, condemning members of the death committee for committing the massacre of the MEK for which History would curse them, the West barely acknowledged it. (Montazeri lost his position and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.
His son, who leaked the tape was arrested and sentenced on vague national security charges.)
Rajavi said: “The crimes of the Iranian regime are known to everyone, anyone with the least dignity condemns these atrocities such as the massacre of 30000 MEK members in 1988.
Amnesty International recently published a vast report based on a thorough study which shows that this massacre is no less than a crime against humanity. Among others, it was based on tens of testimonies by MEK members now settled in Albania in Ashraf 3 compound, where the opposition has regrouped after quitting their former settlement in Iraq under Iran regime’s pressures.”