The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) recently reported that the mass graves of the 1988 Massacre victims, located in Tehran’s Kharavan cemetery, are being destroyed to cover up evidence of the Iranian regime’s crimes against humanity.
The MEK said: “The Kharavan burial site in Tehran is the most prominent evidence of the 1988 massacre, in which 30,000 political prisoners were executed in a matter of weeks. The vast majority of the victims were members or sympathizers of the [PMOI/MEK].”
The regime’s preparation for the destruction of the cemetery has caused public outrage across Iran. In the weeks prior to the NCRI and MEK’s report, supporters of the MEK, in various cities across the country, installed posters saying, ‘Kharavan is evidence of the mullahs’ crime’ and ‘The mullahs’ regime wants to destroy the evidence of crime’, and took to graffiti calls for immediate action to stop the destructions, such as ‘The family members of martyrs of the 1988 massacre call for immediate measures to halt the destruction of Kharavan Cemetery’ in various locations.
The MEK said: “The regime has been intentionally covering up their horrific crimes for years now, however, by destroying the mass graves they will erase evidence of this specific atrocity.”
In recent years, the regime has also demolished other mass graves of victims of the 1988 massacre in Behesht-e Reza cemetery in Mashhad and Vadi-e Rahmat Cemetery in Tabriz in 2017 and 2108 respectively. Last year, a mass grave in the city of Ahvaz was decimated and local authorities tried to construct a road over the area.
The MEK said: “The massacre was carried out based on a fatwa by the regime’s then-supreme leader, Ruhollah Khomeini. Khomeini’s orders were executed by the so-called ‘death commissions’, a trio of officials that acted as judges and sent thousands of prisoners to the gallows after minute-long trials.”
To this day, some of the members of these ‘death commissions’ are still senior officials in the clerical regime. These include the current Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi, former Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi, and the current Justice Minister, Alireza Avai.
The president-elect of the NCRI, Maryam Rajavi has strongly denounced the regime’s plan to act on the destruction of Kharavan cemetery and has called on the United Nations Secretary-General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Human Rights Council and international human rights groups to intervene and take action to stop the decimation of the graves.
She said, “one of the most harmful consequences of the policy of appeasement was providing impunity to the ruling murderers, whose crimes started in the early 1980s, reached new heights during the 1988 massacre and have continued to this day.”
The MEK also spoke of how in October 2020, the human rights organization Amnesty International issued a warning foreshadowing the destruction of the mass graves. They said, “the international community must ensure that the geographical coordinates and information related to mass graves are identified and documented by a well-organized global procedure.”