A short history of the mass execution in 1980s

During the summer of 1988, did the Islamic regime of Iran perpetrate a large-scale massacre on the republics prisoners of conscience. There are no numbers of the exact amount victims, as a result of harsh censorship and a harsh political climate. But to this day there are around 5000 known names of victims by families and organizations. Many of those who where killed had served there penalty, but where still in prison since they would not submit to the condition of release and where the fore massacred and buried in unknown mass graves. 

The regime is still refusing to give any information about where the graves are located. The Khavarangrav-ground in southern Tehran is the only known mass grave, and therefore a gathering point to the concerned families, the 31 of August every year when they honour there loved ones. The massacre was climax of at massive elimination process, during 1981/87, under witch around 2 0000 dissidents disappeared, died by torture or where executed by firing squads. Young girls where raped with support from the Sharia laws before they where executed by the firing squad. This process is in parts documented by Amnesty International, Iranian political prisoners league in exile, the Iranian opposition, the families, among others. 

How it happened

During the winter of 1987 where all prisoners interrogated again: ”Do you reject your organization? Do you believe in the Islamic Republic? Du you pray?” The prisoners where divided into different groups depending of there answers to these questions. Mujahidin (1) where separated from the leftists. Prisoners where divided by the level of their punishment. Inmates with 10-15 years of sentence and from 15 years to life were placed in different departments. Prisoners who served their sentences and were still where imprisoned, because they have not accepted the terms from the release interview, was put into a special department. This arrangement was carried out in prisons across the country. 
On Friday, July 29, 1988 were prisoners not aloud to get any fresh air, TV sets were retrieved from their rooms, the sections could no longer acquire newspapers, family visits were suspended and patients were no longer allowed to visit the prisons medical care.  

On Saturday, 8 th August began a legal process. It began with the mujahidin. Men's and women's eyes where blindfolded, they where removed from their departments and set up along the corridors. Then they were taken one by one into the room where the Death Commissions members were waiting for them.  Four questions were addressed to the prisoners: "Do you believe in Mujahidin? Do you reject your organization in an interview, in front of other prisoners? Do you cooperate with prison officials against other prisoners? Do you align to walk through the Iraqi minefields? The massacre began on the day and continued day after day in weeks. Finally, stood the Leftists and the Communists in turn. It was on 25 August 1988. Prisoners from the sections for leftists had been blindfolded, they where removed from their departments and set in the corridors, section for section.

They were then taken one by one into the room where they where "interrogated". Death Commission where waiting for them to send them into the chamber of death. The questions were: "Do you believe in your organization? Are you a Muslim? Do you pray?" Negative responses were sufficient to result in a death sentence. The pace of the trial was so high that a prisoner was sentenced every few minutes. The prisoners who acknowledged that they were not Muslims and those who did not pray had to step into the death line. Hits and whips continued day by day and in weeks at the same time as the hanging took place. In this way, did they massacred thousands of political prisoners in secret who where buried in mass graves around the country.

Why it happend

The people of Iran were to get sick of 8 years of war with Iraq. They wanted an end to the war. Nothing worked, as it should. The country was completely paralysed. People began to protest. The regime ended up in a mess and on the verge of losing grip on society. The war was no longer profitable for the parties. In Iran, the war was a tool of the regime to stifle the people and political opponents. The regime wanted to have a solution to make peace with Iraq before the people would rise up against the regime. At the same time they needed to pretend that the war goal had been reached, that they had won the war to mitigate the criticism from his millions of supporters as they had promised to take Jerusalem. For that to happen did they have to defeat Iraq. The peace negotioatings had been going through the UN in a year. UN approved a resolution (Resolution 598) early in March 1988. In a speech in mid-June 1988 Khomeini endorsed the resolution. The regime knew that peace in a longer perspective would not help them to get out of the difficult domestic situation. The destruction was high, hundreds of thousands dead and millions were homeless. The people were dissatisfied. In the early 80's the regime executed tens of thousands of opponents who concealed by the ongoing war. Thousands of political opponents were still held in prison. People would like to see the political prisoners released when the war ended. The regime would not release as many political prisoners or keep those in prison. In any case, they would be a problem for the regime. In consequence did the regime massacred thousands of political prisoners to scare people and were relieved of many prisoners of conscience once and for all. 

The situation of political prisoners in Iranian prisons
Iran is a country where human rights violations have taken place in its most brutal form.  Persecution, torture and executions of freedom fighters, all these years continued uninterrupted.  There are about 2000 political prisoners in Iran's prisons today, most in Tehran, Kurdistan and Azerbaijan. About 500 are free through the bail and are awaiting judgement. Most are working class activists, students, journalists, teachers, and women’s rights activists. Eight Kurdish activists, including two journalists; Hiva Butimar and Hassan Adnanpour, three teachers; Frazer Kamnager, Anvar Hassan panhai va Arsalan Oliyaei, two political activists; Heydarian and Farhad Ali Vakili and a university student; Habibullah Lotfi are sentenced to death. Some have in recent years been tortured to death, including an Iranian-Canadian journalist; Zahra Kazemi, a young female doctor; Zahra Bani Yaghob, three students; Akbar Mohammadi, Lotfollah Ebrahimi and Kaveh Azizpour and two Kurdish activists. The Iranian regime executed a baluchi journalist Yaghob Mehnahad on Monday, 4 August 2008.

ENGLISH| صفحه خبر | خبرنامه | مقاله | اطلاعیه | درباره کانون | پیوندها
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