Wednesday, March 23, marked the seventy-seventh session of Hamid Noury’s trial in Sweden. Noury, an Iranian prison official, was apprehended in 2019 upon arrival in Sweden due to his involvement in the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, primarily members, and supporters of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI).
During Wednesday’s session, Ms. Shadi Sadr, an international law expert and one of Justice for Iran Organization (JFI) founders, testified.
According to its website, JFI “aims to hold the perpetrators of serious human rights violations, including but not limited to crimes against humanity, torture, enforced disappearances, a war crime, and genocide which have been committed in Iran or by the Iranian officials, accountable.”
As one of the founders of the JFI, Ms. Sadr has also conducted several pieces of research regarding the 1988 genocide, the systematic human rights violations in Iran, and the plight of Iranian women under the misogynous theocracy ruling Iran.
Since 2010, Ms. Sadr and her colleagues in JFI began vast research about the Iranian regime’s systematic mistreatment of political prisoners.
In part of her testimony, Ms. Sadr underlined that she and JFI began researching the fate of the families of the 1988 massacre’s victims. She emphasized that based on their research, the Iranian regime had refused to give the victims’ bodies to their loved ones. Thus, many families believe that their loved ones are buried in mass graves, such as the one in Khavaran near Tehran.
Ms. Sadr also shed light on Tehran’s attempts to systematically destroy all mass graves and any other pieces of evidence regarding the 1988 massacre.
Ms. Sadr also referred to her lengthy interviews with 1988 massacre survivors, now MEK members residing in Ashraf 3 in Albania. According to Ms. Sadr, she interviewed nearly 50 MEK members for hours and visited the Museum of Resistance in Ashraf 3.
It is worth noting that in August 2021, Hamid Noury’s trial location was transferred to Albania per prosecutors’ request, so the judge, prosecutors, and lawyers could hear the significant testimonies of seven MEK members who survived the 1988 genocide and are plaintiffs to Noury’s case. Noury, however, had to stay in Sweden, where is detained for war crimes.
In 1988, the Iranian regime’s then-supreme leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, saw the MEK and its progressive interpretation of Islam as a serious threat to his reign and ideology. Hence, he decided to eliminate everyone unwilling to submit and choose fate over faith. The entire regime would prefer those tens of thousands of youth surrender to the regime and return to their families with the message that dissent against Khomeini is futile. Instead, these men and women stood tall and chose to die for an idea that would live on to inspire love, equality, and prosperity for generations to come. The uprisings today in Iran show that the message and spirit of those executed in 1988 lives on and that they did not die in vain.
Indeed, Khomeini’s designated, and later sacked, heir, the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, told members of the Death Commission on August 14, 1988, “The People’s Mojahedin are not individuals; they are an ideology, and a world outlook. They have logic. It takes the right logic to answer wrong logic. You cannot rectify wrong with killings; you only spread it.”