One of the greatest crimes against humanity occurred in Iran during the year of 1988. It was the year that 30,000 political prisoners were executed by means of a fatwa from Khomeini. The results have been years of pain and silence for both the victims and their families. However, that silence has come to an end.
An exhibition and rally was held on September 29 at the Place de la Bastille in Paris, to honor the victims and draw international attention to the human rights abuses by the Iranian regime. During the rally, there were calls to end the death penalty in Iran and for the international community to support an investigation into the 1988 massacre.
There was also a symbolic representation of the executions of these prisoners. For those who are still missing, a heap of shoes used to represent them. Many individuals remain missing from these massacres and their families have had no confirmation regarding their deaths or where they are buried.
Several personalities delivered speeches during this event. Gilbert Mitterrand, president of the France-Liberty Foundation, said: “It is a tribute to the memory of a painful past, but in honoring it also we demand justice that the executioners be identified and tried.”
Pierre Bercis, president of the New Human Rights (NDH), stated: “we need an international investigation into the massacre,” but states should not be fooled by the Iranian regime. “Let us watch,” he said, “that the new administration (in France) is not carried away by the turpitude of the Iranian regime.”
The executions were completed following a fatwa released by Khomeini. Most of the individuals who carried out his order are now in key positions throughout the Iranian regime’s government. At the Friday exhibition, survivors and the families of victims testified to the public about their treatment under the regime. Amnesty International recently warned that destruction of these mass graves was being done as part of construction projects in different cities.
Most of the individuals who carried out Khomeini order are now in key positions throughout the Iranian regime’s government. At the Friday exhibition, survivors and the families of victims testified to the public about their treatment under the regime. Amnesty International recently warned that destruction of these mass graves was being done as part of construction projects in different cities. There are concerns that the regime is attempting to eliminate the evidence of their actions, but it also means leaving families wondering about the fate of their loved ones forever.
The human rights situation in Iran continues to get worse. Evidence of the dire situation was made public in the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran’s recent report. According to Ms. Jahangir, “In August 2016, an audio recording of a meeting between senior government officials and of religious dignitaries in 1988 was made public. It reveals the names of those responsible who ordered the executions and justified them; including the current Minister of Justice, a judge of the High Court of Justice still in office, and the head of one of the main religious institutions in the country, who was also a candidate in the presidential elections held in May.”
The international community is encouraged to support the Iranians as they continue to fight for freedom from this oppressive regime.