Relatives of victims of Iran's 1988 massacre forcibly dispersed from Khavaran Cemetery in Tehran - 28 August 2020

Iranian authorities forcibly disperse grieving relatives of 1988 massacre victims from cemetery

Grieving mothers of the victims of Iran’s 1988 massacre gathered on 28 August 2020 at the site of a known mass grave in Tehran to commemorate and mourn their loved ones who were executed in what is known as Iran’s greatest ‘crime against humanity.’

Relatives of the victims of the 1988 massacre gathered in Khavaran Cemetery, laying flowers on top of an unmarked mass grave and singing hymns and poems in memory of their loved ones.

About an hour later, state security forces forcibly dispersed them from the cemetery, according to eyewitnesses.

What is the 1988 massacre?

Following a fatwa handed down by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini in mid-July 1988, more than 30,000 political prisoners with various political tendencies, mostly affiliated with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK), were secretly mass executed over several months after mock trials lasting just five minutes. Their corpses were doused with disinfectant, packed in refrigerated trucks, and buried at night in mass graves across the country.

An investigation in 2017 by JVMI uncovered the identities of 87 Death Commission members. Many still hold senior positions in the Iranian Judiciary or government. They include Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi and Justice Minister Alireza Avaei. The perpetrators have never been held accountable.