NCRI Staff

NCRI - The Secretary-General of the United Nations received a statement from the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, a non-governmental organization in general consultative status, Women's Human Rights International Association, Edmund Rice International Limited, non-governmental organizations in special consultative status, and International Educational Development, Inc., a non-governmental organization.

The statement was a call for the formation of a UN Commission of Inquiry so that the 1988 massacre of political prisoners can be investigated. The organizations said that they want the perpetrators of the crime to be punished and want impunity to end.

It highlighted that in the space of a few months in 1988, mass executions were carried out on the orders of the then Iranian Supreme Leader. The fatwa ordered all members of the opposition, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK / PMOI), to be sentenced to death. “Those who remain steadfast in their position of nifaq [support for MEK] in prisons throughout the country are considered to be ‘Mohareb’ (waging war on God) and are condemned to execution.”

The Supreme Leader later ordered: “If the person at any stage or at any time maintains his position on nifaq [support for MEK], the sentence is execution. Annihilate the enemies of Islam immediately. With regard to the case files, use whichever criterion that speeds up the implementation of the verdict.”

If a prisoner renounced their political beliefs and affiliations they would be spared execution. So called “Death Commissions” were formed to carry out the orders.

The massacre came back into discussions recently following the release of an audio recording from 1988 in which key officials discussed their roles in the mass executions. This has spurred many to call for justice for the victims. More and more people are calling for those responsible to be held accountable.

Some of the officials that were involved in the massacre are still in the Iranian government today. Some hold very senior positions and work in the highest offices of the country’s judiciary and security forces.

The statement said: “A generation of democratic exponents and human rights defenders was decimated. The wave of extra-legal executions also established practices which remain in place today, as demonstrated by the fact that Iran continues to have the highest rate of executions in the world. It often imposes the death penalty for crimes not considered most serious crimes, for political prisoners, for juvenile offenders and with flagrant violations of due process of law. We the undersigned organisations also possess evidence that individuals presently demanding information about their family members who were executed in 1988 face imprisonment and harassment by Iranian security forces.”

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