News : Iranian opposition

Justice for MEK Victims of 1988 Massacre

The 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners were a series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners across Iran, starting on 19 July 1988 and lasting for approximately five months. The majority of those killed were supporters of the People's Mujahedin of Iran.

We have entered a new year and can say with sadness that 2019 was another year that we did not see justice for the 30,000 political prisoners killed during the 1988 massacre.

The Iranian regime executed these prisoners, mostly members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), in just one summer on the fatwa of regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini. It did not matter the age of the MEK member, whether they were pregnant, or whether they had already served their sentence, all that mattered is the mullahs wanting them dead.

According to Amnesty International, the MEK were given five-minute trials, presided over by a Death Commission, and asked whether they would publically renounce the MEK and prove their allegiance to the regime by walking through fields of landmines planted during the Iran-Iraq war. Those who refused were taken to be executed in secret and en-masse.

The bodies of the MEK were then loaded into trucks and taken to unmarked mass graves. Families were not told for months that their loved one had died and even when they were told, the regime wouldn’t issue death certificates and families were unable to conduct Islamic burial rituals because they weren’t even told where their relative was buried.

The regime has since tried to cover up their crime by bulldozing the graves and building over them. They’ve also forbidden families of the MEK from holding public memorials for their loved ones. As a result, the perpetrators of the massacre have never been punished and many hold high-ranking positions in the regime to this day. This includes:

The only regime member stripped of his power and put under house arrest was second-in-command Hossein Ali Montazeri, who expressed regret over the massacre of the MEK and said it was a crime so heinous that history would not forgive the regime.

The MEK has repeatedly called on the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation into the Massacre and hold the perpetrators accountable, with an international campaign for justice by the opposition leader Maryam Rajavi gaining more attention for the cause since 2016.

Former Colombian Senator Ingrid Betancourt is one of many prominent people in the Call for Justice Movement.

She said: “The only way [to end human rights abuses] is by asking the world to give us what has been taken away from us which is justice. We need to ask the UN to play its role. There is a High Commissioner for human rights in the UN. This is the first step. We need to ask the High Commissioner to begin an independent inquiry to investigate [the 1988 Massacre].”