More than 110 senior Iranian officials involved in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran have now been identified, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) announced in a press conference in Oslo on 4 November 2016.
These individuals were members of the “Death Commissions” in Tehran and 16 other Iranian provinces, according to the information provided at the conference organised by the Representative Office of the NCRI in Nordic Countries.
The identities of the majority of these officials and their role in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners had remained secret for nearly three decades.
In the press conference, the NCRI’s representative in Nordic countries, Ambassador Perviz Khazai, also provided, for the first time, details of 213 regime officials who carried out the massacre and were involved in carrying out the death orders in 35 cities throughout Iran.
The information regarding the officials involved in the massacre was compiled by the Iranian Resistance over the past three months, relying on sources from inside the regime and its vast social network inside Iran.
That information reveals that scores of the officials who were responsible for the 1988 massacre currently hold some of the most senior positions in Iran. For example, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, the Justice Minister in Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet, was the primary Intelligence Ministry official who was involved in the 1988 massacre. On August 28, 2016, he publicly boasted about his role in the massacre and called it carrying out God’s commandment.
In addition to Amb. Perviz Khazai, Ingvald Godal, former member of the Foreign and Defence Committee of the Norwegian Parliament, and Julie E. Kroepelien, a Norwegian lawyer, took part in the press conference.
Amb. Khazai reiterated that a United Nations inquiry is long overdue and made urgent calls to the Norwegian government for such an inquiry.
He pointed out that Norway, renowned for its championship of human rights and its principles, should play a leading role in demanding a UN commission of inquiry into this crime against humanity and putting an end to impunity by the Iranian regime’s officials.
“The current session of the UN General Assembly is deliberating over a resolution on the human rights situation in Iran. It is very appropriate for Norway to demand that the 1988 massacre and the need for an independent investigation be stipulated in the resolution”, Amb. Khazai said.
In late July 1988, the Islamic Republic’s founder Ruhollah Khomeini handed down a fatwa ordering the massacre of political prisoners. According to the fatwa, any political prisoner who remained loyal to the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI or MeK) had to be executed. ‘Death Commissions’ were formed in more than 70 cities. They included a religious judge, prosecutor and representative of the Intelligence Ministry. In the space of a few months, some 30,000 political prisoners, mainly activists of the PMOI, who were serving their prison sentences, including persons as young as 14 and pregnant women, were massacred.
The victims of the 1988 massacre were buried in mass graves all over the country. While the total number of mass graves was not known, the existence of dozens of them is without doubt.
In early August 2016, an audio recording emerged of Khomeini’s former heir, Hossein-Ali Montazeri, protesting to members of the Death Commission. The recording brought to light new dimensions of this massacre and shocked Iranian society. For nearly three decades, Tehran had tried to keep the massacre a secret, but this situation has changed in recent weeks and the issue has turned into a serious political and social crisis affecting the most senior officials of the regime.