NCRI Staff

NCRI - Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Ken Blackwell, has written a letter to Nikki Haley, the current Ambassador, last week. He urged her to investigate the 1988 massacre that happened in Iran.

During the massacre, around 30,000 political prisoners were executed during the course of one single summer following a fatwa that was issued by the Supreme Leader at that time Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The aim was to wipe out the opposition to the Iranian regime.

Khomeini ordered his officials to execute members of the Mujahedin-e Klalq (MEK) – something that was carried out with what Blackwell describes as “deadly efficiency”. Political prisoners would be given trials that lasted a matter of minutes.

Last year, an audio recording of a former regime official telling colleagues that they were about to participate in what would be known as one of the worst crimes in history provided enough evidence that would make any denial of the event futile.

Blackwell served as Ambassador during the Bush administration 25 years ago and has been very active since his time in office. During the nineties he worked with Dr. Clyde Snow, a prominent, forensic anthropologist who discovered mass graves in Argentina following the “Dirty War” in which the country’s dictator killed his own people during the late seventies and early eighties.
Blackwell said that holding Argentina’s regime accountable “set a valuable precedent”.

He also wrote in the letter that holding the Argentinian regime accountable showed that the international community enforces its “commitment to upholding justice and human rights” – something that he said must be maintained now.

Blackwell said that because of Dr. Snow’s hard work, “methodical excavation of unmarked graves”, and the laborious task of organising and sorting out all of the evidence and remains that were found, justice was served in Argentina.

He said that he would like the same to be done in Iran, but pointed out that the Iranian regime has been making great efforts to hide and destroy evidence and has never made the locations of mass grave sites public. The grave sites that have been discovered are off-limits to the public.

Some of the officials who participated in the massacre have since held high-level government positions. For example, the current justice minister is Alireza Avayi who played a part in the 1988 massacre.

Blackwell pointed out that the Iranian regime has not changed. He wrote: “Iran continues to use public executions as a means of punishing political and religious prisoners, and leads the world in per capita executions as the only nation in the world that still executes juveniles.”

He said that an inquiry into the massacre is more than justified and said that it is essential in order for the families and victims to have closure and justice. None of this is possible if there is not an “official investigation into the brutality perpetrated by the regime”.

The Iranian regime must finally be accountable for its past and present crimes.

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