UN Responds to Amnesty’s Call For Probe Into 1988 Massacre in Iran

The UN Publishes Amnesty International’s Statement For Probe Into the 1988 Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran

The United Nations General Assembly has published a statement by Amnesty International calling for an investigation into the dossier of the Iranian regime’s crimes particularly involvement of the regime’s officials in the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 Political Prisoners in Iran in which most victims were members and supporters of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

The mullahs ruling Iran have committed huge atrocities against Iranian people in the past 40 years for which they must be held accountable in international tribunals to face justice. These atrocities include more than 120,000 political executions in Iran since 1979, with 30,000 being slaughtered in the summer of 1988 alone.

Amnesty International has earlier said that Iran’s regime criminalizes any political activism, abuses Iranian people’s rights and violates International covenants including women’s rights abuses and juvenile executions.

According to Amnesty, “The extrajudicial executions and the ongoing enforced disappearances by Iranian authorities amount to crimes against humanity.”

The international human rights organization also considers the regime’s failure to bring the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre to justice as an “ongoing crime against humanity”.

Amnesty’s statement reads in part:

“Between late July and September 1988, the Iranian authorities forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed thousands of prisoners for their political opinions and dumped their bodies in unmarked individual and mass graves… Since then, the authorities have tormented the relatives by refusing to tell them when, how and why their loved ones were killed and by keeping their remains hidden. To reinforce secrecy, they have also destroyed mass grave sites and forbidden commemorations.”

The United Nations Human Rights Council should see into the impunity enjoyed by mullahs’ officials following this crime against humanity in Iran.

Amnesty International calls on all countries to extend the mission of UN Special Rapporteur on Situation of Human Rights in Iran and support its cause. Amnesty also calls on Iranian officials to cooperate with the mission.

“Given their widespread and systematic nature, Amnesty International considers that the extrajudicial executions and the ongoing enforced disappearances amount to crimes against humanity, and is calling for urgent action by the international community. No official has ever been brought to justice for these atrocities. Indeed, key judicial and government bodies which must ensure victims receive justice include officials who were tasked with carrying out the killings in 1988,” the Amnesty statement adds.

In August 2017, following decades of silence by the international community, the then-UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, Asma Jahangir, allocated a segment of her report to the 1988 massacre. This report emphasizes the regime’s retaliatory measures against families seeking the truth about the faith of their loved ones and efforts to have justice prevail. The Special Rapporteur’s report calls for an effective investigation into the facts and publicizing the truth.

To this day, however, no such investigation has been conducted so far.

Amnesty writes: “Iran is facing a crisis of impunity that goes beyond the lack of accountability for the enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions of 1988.

“Since 2016, the authorities have increasingly glorified the perpetrators of the mass killings as ‘national heroes’ and likened any criticism of the atrocities to support for ‘terrorism’.

“Judicial, prosecution and government bodies, which should be responsible for ensuring justice for both past and ongoing crimes, include senior officials alleged to have been involved in the killings.

“The authorities have for decades suppressed freedoms of belief, expression, association and peaceful assembly; conducted unfair and predominantly secret trials; committed widespread torture; executed hundreds of people every year; and kept thousands more on death row.”

This painful reality is intractably linked to the impunity enjoyed by the authorities since the 1980s; the authorities believe they can commit human rights violations without repercussions.

Amnesty International is calling on the UN to establish independent and effective investigations into the extrajudicial executions conducted in 1988, as well as the ongoing forced disappearance and the torture and other ill-treatment of victims’ families.