Massacre of thousands of political Prisoners in the summer of 1988, from "27 July to 31 August"

Iran is a country where human rights have been violated in its most brutal form. The Islamic regime of Iran has a long and dark record as a violator of human rights. The International and Local Human Rights Organizations have tried to get more documents on the matter.Violations of the human rights of Iranian citizens, including, men, women and children, and national minorities, such as Kurds, Arabs,Baluchis, and Torkman, have been widespread since the very early days of the Islamic regime in 1979.

Censorship and control, political and social suppression, prison, torture, execution and assassination are a part of the everyday life of the Iranian people. There is no freedom of speech, press, or assembly in Iran.

The Islamic regime has brought to practice middle age laws such as stoning, retaliation, whipping and amputation--cutting off of heads, wrists, four fingers of the right and the left hands and feet and removal of the eyes of dissents. In order to teach a lesson to the Iranian people, the majority of these cruel punishments, including 50% of the hangings, take place in public. The Islamic regime has arrested, tortured, executed and murdered at least one hundred thousand people of Iran for political reasons, including political activists, intellectuals and worker movement activists, in the first half of the 1980s and the following years. The top point of the diagram goes back to the summer of 1988 when the Islamic regime massacred several thousand political prisoners in Iranian prisons.

Massacre of political prisoners in the Summer of 1988

In the winter of 1987, all of the prisoners were interrogated once again and asked questions such as: Do you condemn your organization?; Do you believe in the Islamic Republic of Iran? and Do you pray? The prisoners were divided in different groups in accordance with their responses to the questions. Mojahedin(1) were separated from the lefts. Prisoners of each side were separated from each other based on their type of sentences. In Karj city, prisoners in Gohardasht prison with a lower than 10 years sentence were put in special wards. Prisoners with 10 to 15 year sentences and 15 to life sentences were placed in different groups of wards. The prisoners who had served their entire sentence and were still kept in prison because they didn't accept the regime´s term of interview(2) for releasing from prison, were also put in a separate ward.

On Friday,7 Mordad 1367 (July 29, 1988), prisoners were prevented from receiving fresh air, televisions were collected from their rooms, newspapers were not sent to the wards any more, family visits were stopped and the patients were not taken to the prisons health centre.

On Saturday the 8th, a court was established. It started with Mojahedin. Men and women were blindfolded, taken out from the wards and lined up in corridors. Then they were taken one by one to the room where the members of death commission were waiting for them.

Four questions were asked of the prisoners: 1) Do you believe in Mojahedin?; 2) Do you condemn your organization in an interview in presence of other prisoners?: 3) Do you cooperate with officials of the prison against other prisoners? and 4) Are you willing to go on mines planted by Iraqi troops in the battlefield? A massacre ensued and continued for days and weeks. Mordad (July) was a month of Mojahedin to be massacred.

Finally, it was the turn of the lefts(3) and communists. It was on the 5th of Shahrivar 1367 (August 26, 1988) that prisoners of the leftist wards were blindfolded, taken out from the wards and lined up in corridors ward by ward.

They were taken one by one to the room where they were to put on trial. The death commission was waiting for them in order to send them to the death chamber. The questions asked of them were: Do you believe in your organization?; Are you Muslim?; and Do you pray? Based on these responses the prisoners were sentenced. The trial was so rapid that a prisoner was put on trial every 2 or 3 minutes. Those prisoners who stated they were not Muslim and did not pray were put to death. Those who stated they were Muslim but refrained from praying received 20 hits on the soles of their feet three times a day.The hits and lashes continued days and weeks during the same time that the hangings were carried out. In this manner, the Islamic regime of Iran massacred thousands of political prisoners in secret and buried them in mass graves.
In some prisons such as Gohardasht, prisoners were hanged but in others, such as Evin, prisoners were executed by firing squads.

The 10th of Shahrivar (August 31st) is the memorial day of this massacre. Every year on this day, freedom-loving people of Iran, families of the victims of this genocide,Iranian exiled political activists,and democratic and human rights organizations honor the memory of the victims of this massacre and thousands of other men and women who have been executed by the Islamic regime of Iran over the last 23 years. In Iran, the people gather in cemeteries and places of the mass graves--in particular, Khavaran cemetery in the southern part of Tehran.

Every year on the 31st of August or within a week from this day( August 31st to September 7th), which is called the week of political prisoners, our organization, the majority of which are former political prisoners, hold the memorial day in the form of ceremonies, seminars and campaigns in several cities in Europe, Pakistan, Canada and Australia. By holding the memorial day, the Iranian people are sending messages to the Islamic regime of Iran and the world that they would never forget the crimes of the regime or forgive the regime for the crimes it has committed.

1-Members of the Organization of People´s Mojahedin, an Islamic armed group fighting against the Islamic regime of Iran.
2-Memebers of left organizations believing in socialism.
3-Prisoners would not be released from prison unless they take part in an TV interview, condemning their organisations, regreting their political activities against the regime and show they are interested in Islam and the Islamic regime. Ofcourse, the Islamic regime could not make all to have an interview and was forced to release many under the international pressures.