“Crime against Humanity: The 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran”

This week a special and important program aired on the Iranian opposition satellite channel Simay-e Azadi National TV exposing the Iranian regime’s massacre of political prisoners in 1988.

Iranians and relatives of those slain during the massacre contacted the live program from inside and outside Iran, recounting their memories about the horrific massacre which claimed the lives of over 30,000 political activists. Former political prisoners and residents of Camp Ashraf, Iraq, where thousands of members of the main opposition, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), reside, offered their stories which exposed only a small part of the crimes perpetrated by the regime in prisons in Tehran and other cities in 1988.

In the summer of that year, the mullahs’ supreme leader at the time, Khomeini, issued a handwritten fatwa ordering the massacre of all political prisoners insisting on their political and religious beliefs. Immediately thereafter, so-called death committees were formed to sentence thousands of political prisoners to death during speedy trials. All in all, 30,000 prisoners were executed, the majority of whom were supporters of the PMOI. Amnesty International and other rights groups have described the massacre as a crime against humanity while renowned international law experts believe that the massacre can also be categorized as a genocide.

Guests of the live program on the opposition satellite channel this week included a roster of prominent international personalities, most notably,

Dr. Juan Garcés, former political advisor to the late Chilean President Salvador Allende and legal counsel for Ashraf residents at Spain’s national court,
Francois Colcombet, a former judge and former member of the French National Assembly,
Pierre Bercis, President of the French New Human Rights,
Lord Avebury, one of the founders of the British Parliament’s Human Rights Group,
Lord Corbett, a member of the House of Lords and Chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom,
Brian Binley, member of the British House of Commons, and
David Kilgour, Chairman of the Canadian Parliamentary Committee for a Democratic Iran.

The international personalities partaking in the program all condemned the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran as one of the most horrific crimes against humanity and gave assurances about their commitment to bring the case to an international tribunal.

Below are experts of what these international figures said during the live broadcast on Simay-e Azadi:

Dr. Juan Garcés:

“It is a crime against humanity and especially a crime of genocide, because of the systematic and widespread nature of this crime.  For religious, political reasons, they tortured, murdered or raped.

”Let me express my solidarity with those who seek truth, justice and reparation, especially victims, wherever they are, whether inside Iran, whether around the world”.

Francois Colcombet:
I think these facts are unacceptable for the international community and I think the UN, the competent supranational organization, should at least make an investigation and let the entire world public opinion know exactly what happened.

Of course, if there are penalties the main responsible is in another world, since it was Khomeini himself who took the scandalous decision of the executions. I assure you of my full support in your struggle. “

Pierre Bercis:
“The massacres committed in 1988 in Iran are imprescriptible. Therefore the authors of these crimes, those who have guaranteed them, will be soon, I hope so, tried and convicted … They speak of a “democratic” opposition in Iran. This “democratic” opposition has backed the regime, was part of the regime. Therefore, there is only the People’s Mojahedin of Iran who opposed, thirty years, the dictatorship in Iran. It is our opinion regarding this crime, when 30,000 people were massacred and tortured in 1988. Curiously enough, there were 30,000 people missing, tortured and executed in Argentina from 1976 to 1983. So that is why New Human Rights has led the fight alongside Argentinians, and that is why New Human Rights leads the fight alongside the Iranian democrats.”

Lord Avebury:
“This was the most appalling crimes, and to ignore them is wrong. The fact that they happened in 1988 will look as its 22nd anniversary… offenses … it cannot be ignored. This things that happened in 1988 are far more recent than that and there are plenty of people waiting to be allowed to give evidence, and that … of evidence could be collected and could be presented to an international criminal court. There is a public demand that the individuals that are still alive should be charged and brought to justice.”

Lord Corbett:
“I think the lesson that the world must learn from it is that the mullahs tried to murder the opposition, and they failed. In 5 months, 30,000 opponents of that regime were hung from the end of cranes, mainly members or supporters of the PMOI. Yet the resistance lives on; it lives on in the deserts in Iraq at Cam Ashraf. Salam Ashraf. It lives on also inside Iran. Because these people left their spirit behind, they demand freedom and tolerant Islam. The mullahs could not murder that nor will they.

“The mullahs have got to be taken before an international tribunal convene by the UN to answer for these crimes because many of the people involved in that dreadful  industrial scale of slaughter in 1988 are still at the head of that regime and must called into account, they must answer. The world cannot tolerate this any more and all the while, they remain there and continue their murderous repression of freedom it makes it impossible for us to forget the big crimes and stains of blood they have on their fingers and their consciences and the world should not forget.”

Brian Binley:
“There is no doubt, said Amnesty International, that it is a crime against humanity. The only protection I have as an individual against a government is international law, which protects me in this way. Therefore I call upon the United Nations Security Council to protect my right and ensure that those who are responsible for these atrocities still working in government in Iran should be brought to court. Because if they are not, then my security, my protection is diminished. This is important for all of us and that is why I support Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s [the President-elect of the Iranian Resistance] plea to the UN Security Council to ensure that this matter is fully looked in to a proper tribunal where these people can account for their crimes in front of an international stage”

David Kilgour
What Happened to thousands of prisoners in Iran prison at the end of ayatollah Khomeiny is a crime against humanity. It seems to me that ayatollah Khomeini is obviously dead, but there are still people alive that took part in this crime against humanity. That seems to me that the international criminal court should issue warrants for the arrest of people who took part in that terrible crimes, those who are still alive.


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