The JVMI is today publishing a new report about Iran’s 1988 massacre of political prisoners, exposing the identities of dozens of members of the “Death Commissions”, some of who are current senior members of the Iranian administration including the government and the judiciary, enjoying total impunity.
The JVMI’s 227-page report provides details, exact map coordinates and local and aerial photographic evidence of several dozen mass graves that were used to secretly bury some 30,000 political prisoners. Recent reports from Iran provide indications of an official attempt to destroy the evidence by covering these mass graves with cement and by erecting new constructions on the sites.
The report, “The 1988 Massacre in Iran: Evidence of a Crime Against Humanity”, is the culmination of research undertaken by the JVMI for more than a year and is based on eye-witness accounts, video and photographic evidence, and recent acknowledgments by senior Iranian officials.
It provides damning evidence that in the summer of 1988, an extra-judicial mass murder of political prisoners was carried out based on a fatwa by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini.
The JVMI can announce today that Alireza Avaie, Iran’s current Justice Minister, was a member of the 1988 Death Commissions.
Since 2016, Iranian society has been brimming with calls for justice and calls to end impunity. The families of the victims believe that a UN inquiry into the 1988 mass executions of political prisoners in Iran is unjustifiably overdue.
Tahar Boumedra, a former UN human rights chief in Iraq and the lead author of the report, said: “Twenty-nine years after the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran, JVMI believes that until the full truth is unveiled and the perpetrators are held to account for their crimes, there will be no incentive for the Government of Iran to change its policy on human rights. It is vital that the Iranian authorities receive the message that impunity will not be accepted, nor tolerated. It is time for the United Nations to launch a commission of inquiry to hold the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre to account.”
Justice for the Victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran
18 October 2017
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Justice for the Victims of the 1988 Massacre in Iran (JVMI) is a London-based association of families of victims of political execution in Iran and former political prisoners supported by international human rights lawyers and former UN and government officials.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Asma Jahangir, in a report to the General Assembly on 14 August 2017 (A/72/322) referred to newly-emerged evidence confirming the occurrence of the crimes. She wrote:
“In August 2016, an audio recording of a meeting held in 1988 between high-level State officials and clerics was published. The recording revealed the names of the officials who had carried out and defended the executions, including the current Minister of Justice, a current high court judge, and the head of one of the largest religious foundations in the country and candidate in the May presidential elections. Following the publication of the audio recording, some clerical authorities and the chief of the judiciary admitted that the executions had taken place and, in some instances, defended them.”