Political prisoner, Maryam Akbari Monfared, seeks justice over Iran’s 1988 massacre
In October 2016, Iranian political prisoner Maryam Akbari Monfared took the unprecedented bold move of filing an official complaint with the Prosecutor General of Tehran over the arbitrary execution of her brother and sister during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran. She did so on 15 October 2016 from the Women’s Ward of Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison.
Ms. Akbari Monfared’s 15 October 2016 complaint read in part: “My brother Abdolreza and my sister Roqieh were executed on an unknown date during the summer of 1988. They were both tried by the Revolutionary Court and sentenced to prison terms. They were deprived of their right to have a lawyer to represent them. Abdolreza was arrested when he was only 17 for selling Mojahed publication (affiliated to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran – PMOI or MEK). He was sentenced to three years imprisonment in 1980, but the authorities refused to release him after he completed his prison term until he was finally executed in 1988.
Just a day later, on 16 October 2016, Ms. Akbari-Monfared published an open letter stating her demands in her quest to obtain justice for her loved ones who perished during the 1988 massacre.
On 30 October 2016, Ms. Akbari-Monfared filed a follow up complaint with the Judiciary demanding an investigation to discover the identities of the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre.
On 3 November 2016, a group of political prisoners in Gohardasht (Rajai-Shahr) Prison in Karaj issued a statement in support of Ms. Akbari-Monfared.
Also on 3 November 2016, Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action appeal stating that prisoner of conscience Maryam Akbari Monfared, who is serving a 15-year sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison, is being denied access to medical treatment and is facing reprisals after filing a formal complaint that seeks an official investigation into the mass killings of political prisoners, including her siblings, in the summer of 1988.
On 10 November 2016, Sara Jafari-Hatam, the daughter of Maryam Akbari-Monfared, wrote to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran Ms. Asma Jahangir over the plight of her imprisoned mother.
Ms. Akbari-Monfared’s case continues to draw domestic and international attention.