This conference, entitled 1988 Massacre in Iran, Perpetrators must be tried, also featured moving testimony from former MEK political prisoners and survivors of the massacre. Let’s take a look at the massacre and how it is treated inside Iran.
In summer 1988, then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa that all MEK members and supporters held as political prisoners in Iran should be executed if they would not renounce their political beliefs and support of MEK leader Massoud Rajavi.
Maryam Rajavisaid at the conference at the MEK headquarters: “Khomeini’s intention in ordering the 1988 Massacre was to totally uproot and obliterate the [MEK]. To this end, he deployed his killing machine in several areas. The most intense killings began in Evin and Gohardasht prisons, aimed specifically at members of the [MEK].”
The Regime held show trials that lasted five minutes or less, with the majority of the MEK supporters found guilty. They were executed in secret across a matter of weeks, with their bodies being thrown into unmarked mass graves, something confirmed by survivors and regime defectors.
Their families, who had been denied visitation for months, gathered at prisons across Iran to demand to know what had happened to their loved ones, but at most they were given their relative’s belongings and a reference to a grave. The majority of people received no information at all.
Some relatives in Tehran, of their own volition, managed to find a mass graveyard in Khavaran where thousands of bodies of MEK supporters were dumped, but it is impossible to know exactly who is buried there. Each year, many families of MEK members gather there to commemorate their loved ones, but many of them, including Ali Saremi, Jafar Kazemi, Mohammad-Ali Haj-Aghaie, have been arrested or even executed for seeking answers.
Those involved in the massacre of the MEK have not been punished. In fact, they still hold positions of power in the Iranian Regime, with the head of the Judiciary Ebrahim Raisi and recent Justice Minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi being some of the most prominent. (The MEK actually identified 60 current Regime officials as being involved in the massacre.)
The Regime is not sorry about the massacre of the MEK, which is why they operate an extensive and expensive demonization campaign against the MEK, designed to tarnish their reputation with lies. The idea is that if they demonize the MEK, then they will be justified in the massacre; the same tactics used by the Nazis in the Holocaust.
They use propaganda websites, planted so-called journalists in Western news outlets, and their state media network to blame the MEK and other victims of this regime for the mullahs’ crimes, too, as the Iranian Resistance puts it, “[wash] the hands of the mullahs so the Western company managers can shake hands with them”.