So far, conservative estimates are that at least 1000 protesters have been murdered by the regime’s security forces, with the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) recently naming over 380 of those.
The regime has also injured around 4000 people and arrested over 12,000. The NCRI reports that there have been house raids where suspected protesters as young as 12 are arrested. Those currently detained have been threatened with the death penalty for their protests. This is not an empty threat.
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist who is a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy, warned that the international community shouldn’t underestimate this, reminding us that within a few months in 1988, 30,000 political prisoners were killed with mechanical precision. Even the elderly, the young, and the pregnant were not spared from the noose, according to an audio recording of the Death Commissions at the time that leaked in 2016 and was covered by Amnesty International.
This massacre was an attempt by the regime to exterminate the organized, democratic resistance movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), who are now organizing the current uprisings. Iranian officials are even admitting this.
Rafizadeh, who is president of the Iranian American Council, wrote: “Tehran’s willingness to namecheck its enemy should set off alarm bells for the international community. Iran failed to decisively suppress the PMOI/MEK in 1988 and it has failed to prevent it from gaining in membership and organizational power during the subsequent three decades. Now, some argue that it could be standing at the head of a protest movement that could very well lead to a new democratic revolution. And there is every reason to believe the regime will use any means necessary to prevent it from gaining more influence over Iranian society.”
So, the world must take action, with Rafizadeh advising that the UN Security Council must convene a special session and issue a statement to condemn the violent repression of protesters. They should also immediately dispatch a fact-finding mission to Iran, as NCRI president Maryam Rajavi already urged.
Rafizadeh said that people should also advocate for the Iranian people to get reliable and independent internet access, which is vital to show support for protesters and allow them to overthrow the regime.