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Appealing for Justice for the Victims of 1988 Massacre In Iran continues

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  • Appealing for Justice for the Victims of 1988 Massacre In Iran continues


    IRAN, Nov. 22, 2017 – Iranian political prisoner, Maryam Akbari Monfared’s appeal for justice for her family massacred in the 1980s by Iranian regime finally succeeded as the United Nations ’ Working Group on Forced Disappearances accepted (to address) her complaint. This is a major development in the pursuit of the perpetrators of the massacre of political prisoners in the 1980s in Iran in order to bring them to justice.
    Atena Daemi, a civil and women’s rights activist incarcerated in Evin prison, in response to the success of Maryam Akbari Monfared has written a letter of congratulations and described it as a worthwhile success and has expressed hope that her steps would be followed by other victims of human rights abuses in Iran.
    Roghiyeh, Abdolreza, Alireza and Gholamreza Akbari Monfared are four members of a family who were killed by the Islamic Republic of Iran by various methods during the dark years of the 1980s.
    Abdolreza Akbari Monfared was arrested in 1981 at the age of 17 and sentenced to three years in prison but was held in prison more than the sentence. He was actually jailed without a sentence and then executed in 1988. Alireza was arrested on 8 September 1981 and in less than 20 days was killed in detention in an unknown manner.
    During the memorial ceremony of the seventh night of Alireza’s death, his mother, Gorgi Shiripour, and his sister, Roghiyeh, were arrested. The mother was sentenced to 5 years in prison and the sister was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment but was executed in 1988 during the massacre of political prisoners one year before her prison sentence ends.
    Gholamreza Akbari Monfared was arrested in 1983 and lost his life under torture in detention in 1985.
    As we see, none of these were sentenced to death, but executed or killed by various methods.
    Now, after nearly forty years of those years, Maryam and Reza Akbari Monfared, the survivors of this family, are in jail. Maryam, with 15 years of imprisonment, is on her eighth year of imprisonment without a single day furlough, and Reza Akbari Monfared, is spending his last year of 5.5 years prison sentence.
    Last year, Maryam Akbari Monfared filed a complaint from the inside of the prison against Iranian regime officials for their involvement and complicity in the murder and execution of her family members in prison and handed it over to domestic and international judicial authorities.
    Not only the domestic authorities did not investigate the executions, as they themselves were the perpetrators of the killings in the 1980s, but also the interrogators of the Ministry of Intelligence, who do not have the right to intervene in the affairs of this judicial case now and at this stage, have announced that they would not allow her to be released because of her legal complaints. In addition, they summoned her husband and threatened that they would further imprisonment of Maryam and deport her to Borazjan prison in exile.
    But international officials, in response to the complaint by Maryam Akbari, reviewed the case in less than a year and, according to the existing documents, registered Roghiyeh and Abdolreza Akbari Monfared in the UN’s list of forced disappeared individuals group.
    Except for Maryam and her family, many other families were also subjected to Iranian regime judiciary officials’ wrath due to seeking justice for their loved ones who were ruthlessly and brutally murdered in prisons by the regime. For example, Mansoureh Behkish is another woman, who has been repeatedly summoned and arrested by the regime for seeking justice for the killings of her six siblings, and has recently been sentenced to heavy prison sentences.
    Fatima Mothana is another brave woman who is currently in jail with her husband, Hassan Sadeghi and is being prosecuted for seeking justice for her three brothers and the wife of one of her brothers who was all killed by the regime while in detention.
    But the executions and killings by the rulers of this 40-years-old regime are not limited to these few families and do not end here. These are only a small part of the history

  • Iran Earthquake Sees More Than 540 Dead: What Is Regime Doing?


    London, 14 Nov – Thousands of Iranians have been forced to spend a second night exposed to the elements following the earthquake that killed over 540.

    On Sunday, the 7.3-magnitude quake struck at the Iran-Iraq border, in a mountainous region spanning Iran’s Kermanshah province and Iraqi Kurdistan, causing many occupants to flee their homes.

    However, humanitarian aid has since struggled to get to the quake zone, leaving many without the most basic of necessities including water, food, medicine, and shelter.

    Officials said that they were setting up relief camps and had already distributed 22,000 tents, 52,000 blankets and tons of food and water, and Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency said 30 Red Crescent teams had arrived in the region.

    The roads to Kermanshah province were reopened by late Monday, according to Iranian officials, but according to state-run television the worst-affected town, Sar-e Pol-e Zahab, was still without electricity. 280 people- over half of the dead were in that town.

    Several villages across this impoverished region of Iran have been totally destroyed according to the Tasnim news agency but the ISNA agency instead chose to report of the minor damage to historical monuments in Kermanshah.

    Many foreign media outlets are also being prevented from visiting the area, although it is not clear why as state-run Iranian media has been there.

    It is possible that the Iranian Regime is actively blocking the necessary care, according to the Iranian Resistance group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).

    Citing past earthquakes, they said: “The international community and the Gulf States provided Iran with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and dispatched dozens of relief teams. Reports, however, indicated Iran’s state forces plundering much of the aid, and dispatching thousands of boots to the area to prevent any possible protest.”

    On Sunday, Nizar Abdullah, a 34-year-old Iraqi Kurd, was sifting through the ruins of her next-door neighbours two-story home looking for survivors until rescue workers arrived. Some family members were able to escape, but of the eight people inside, the mother and one child were pulled dead from the rubble.

    The earthquake has particularly affected the poor, as many older buildings were completely destroyed while newer ones remained intact.

    Tuesday, November 14, was declared a national day of mourning in Iran, with 413 dead and 6,700 injured. The aftershocks of the quake were felt as far as southeastern Turkey.

    The area of western Iran and northeastern Iraq sees frequent seismic activity as it lies along a 1,500-kilometer fault line between the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates. In 1990, 2003, 2005, and 2012, the area experienced major quake disasters killing some 72,000 people in total.

  • Powerful Quake Kills Hundreds in Iran


    by Jubin Katiraie

    Nov 13: An earthquake, 7.3 magnitude near the Iraq-Iran border has killed more than 400 people and sent residents escaping their homes into the night, authorities said.

    Iran’s western Kermanshah province bore the impact of the quake on Sunday night, with authorities saying the quake killed more than 407 people in the country and injured 6,700 up to know.

    The quake was centred 19 miles (31km) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the US Geological Survey.

    Graphic locates epicentre of 7.3-magnitude earthquake on the border of Iran and Iraq

    It struck at 9.48pm Iran time, just as people began retiring for the night.

    It could be felt on the Mediterranean coast, some 660 miles (1,000km) away.

    The earthquake struck 23.2km (14.4 miles) below the surface, a shallow depth that can amplify damage.

    Iranian social media and news agencies showed images and videos of people fleeing their homes. More than 100 aftershocks followed.

    The quake’s worst damage appeared to be in the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in Kermanshah province, which sits in the Zagros Mountains that divide Iran and Iraq.

    Kokab Fard, a 49-year-old housewife in Sarpol-e-Zahab, said she fled empty-handed when her apartment complex collapsed.

    “Immediately after I managed to get out, the building collapsed,” she said. “I have no access to my belongings.”

    Sarpol-e-Zahab residents said the power and water were out and telephone and mobile phone lines were spotty.

    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei offered his condolences on Monday morning and urged rescuers and government agencies to do all they could to help those affected, state media reported.
    President Hassan Rouhani is scheduled to tour earthquake-damaged areas on Tuesday.

    Destroyed buildings and a car are seen after an earthquake at the city of Sarpol-e-Zahab in western Iran(Pouria Pakizeh/AP)

    The semi-official ILNA news agency said at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake.

    Behnam Saeedi, a spokesman for the country’s crisis management headquarters, told two semi-official news agencies that casualty figures stood at 407 killed and 6,700 injured.

    In Iraq, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued a directive for the country’s civil defence teams and “related institutions” to respond to the natural disaster.

    The quake could be felt across Iraq, shaking buildings and homes from Irbil to Baghdad, where people fled into the streets of the capital.

    People look at destroyed buildings after an earthquake at the city of Sarpol-e-Zahab in western Iran(Pouria Pakizeh/AP)

    The Iraqi city of Halabja, closest to the epicentre, was the target of a 1988 chemical attack in which Saddam Hussein’s troops killed some 5,000 people with mustard gas – the deadliest chemical weapons attack ever against civilians.

    Iraqi seismologist Abdul-Karim Abdullah Taqi, who runs the earthquake monitoring group at the state-run Meteorological Department, said the main reason for the lower casualty figure in Iraq was the angle and the direction of the fault line.

    He said the Iraqi geological formations were better able to absorb the shocks.

    However, the quake caused visible damage to the dam at Darbandikhan, which holds back the Diyala River.

    Meanwhile Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, expressed her condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in the last night earthquake in different areas, including Qasr-e Shirin, Islamabad, Sar-e pol Zahab, Salas Babajani and Kerend.

    Reiterating the criminal background of the mullahs’ regime’s neglect and irresponsibility to save the people’s lives in such incidents, Mrs. Rajavi asked the youth, especially those in western provinces, to rescue the people who are trapped under debris, and to deliver their aids directly to the stricken people and the injured. She added that just opposite to the Velayat-e faqih regime, it is now a time of solidarity, and helping the stricken people and saving them is a sacred national duty.

  • Iran: Inhumane Pressure on Political Prisoners and Labour Activists


    12 November: According to reports, the Iranian regime’s judiciary and security authorities have opposed and prevented the transfer of the imprisoned labour activist Mahmoud Salehi to a well-equipped hospital.

    Doctors have insisted that this labour activist should be transferred to a more accessible hospital soon due to acute cardiac, kidney and diabetes problems.

    According to state-run ILNA news agency, quoting Mr. Salehi’s family, his doctor recommended that this labour activist should be transferred to a hospital in Tehran, Tabriz, or Orumiyeh for continued treatment of his heart.

    He was first transferred to the prison infirmary and then to the so-called Imam Khomeini hospital (the 1000-bed hospital in Tehran) on November 12 due to exacerbation of his heart disease, and has since been admitted to the intensive care unit.

    Mahmoud Salehi’s family expressed grave concerns over his physical condition on Tuesday November 7. Samrand Salehi, son of Mahmoud Salehi, also told Radio Farda earlier that his father has undergone cardiac surgery twice this year. He pointed out that his father’s kidneys should be dialysed two days a week, and at the same time he has diabetes.

    Mahmoud Salehi was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence on October 29 after dialysis of his kidneys and transferred to the Central Prison of Saqez to serve one-year prison term.

    Mr. Salehi has previously officially announced on his Facebook page that he has lost his kidneys in the detention center of Sanandaj Intelligence Office in 2015.

    Meanwhile, the committee in defense of Mahmoud Salehi announced on November 8th that his physical condition was deteriorating and wrote: “According to the physician, Mr. Salehi’s heart is very weak and his pumping power is much lower than the normal amount and should be transferred to a hospital in Tehran, Tabriz, or Orumiyeh.”

    The committee, spokesperson, Najiba Salehi, wife of Mahmoud Salehi, said that disregard for this request and returning Mr. Salehi to prison, or putting pressure on him for any excuse, “has no meaning but a death sentence for him.”

    Earlier, a photo of Mohamoud Salehi in hospital was published showing that his feet were chained while in bed.

    Meanwhile, Amnesty International, the International Confederation of Trade Unions and several independent labour organizations in Iran, while criticizing this behavior with Mahmoud Salehi, demanded his immediate and unconditional release and other imprisoned labour and trade union activists.

  • Amnesty Launches Campaign to Protect Evidence Relating to 1988 Iran Massacre


    5 Sep – Amnesty International launched a campaign to stop the Iranian Regime from destroying one of the mass graves in which some of the over 30,000 victims of the 1988 massacre are buried.

    The grave in question, located in the southern city of Ahvaz, is of immediate concern because construction near the area has already begun and Amnesty is concerned about losing evidence which could bring the murderers, who are still being sheltered by the Regime, to justice.

    Recent footage shows that the site of the mass grave is being buried beneath piles of construction waste.

    Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “Bulldozing the mass grave at Ahvaz will destroy crucial forensic evidence that could be used to bring those responsible for the 1988 mass extrajudicial executions to justice. It would also deprive families of victims of their rights to truth, justice and reparation, including the right to bury their loved ones in dignity. By joining Amnesty International’s campaign, people can help to press Iran’s authorities to stop the imminent destruction of the site.”

    He continued: “Instead of desecrating the mass grave with piles of rubbish and waste and further tormenting families, who face repression for their efforts to protect the memory of their loved ones, the authorities should be upholding their duty to preserve all Iran’s mass grave sites so that investigations can be carried out into the 1988 extrajudicial executions and other mass killings.”

    The 29th anniversary of the massacre has recently passed but not a single person has been brought to justice.

    The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) said: “The victims of this atrocity, known as one of the worst crimes in Iran’s modern history, were commemorated by an exhibition as well as street and music performances by Iranian renowned artists and musicians. Upon a fatwa by the first Supreme Leader, Khomeini in July 1988, more than 30,000 political prisoners, the overwhelming majority of whom were activists of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI/MEK), were executed in a few months and were buried in secret mass graves.”

    Amnesty is calling on people from around the world to join the campaign by sending appeals to Ahvaz City Council and Iran’s High Council for Human Rights and using the hashtag #MassGraves88 on social media to promote the campaign.

    A separate campaign by the Iranian Resistance is calling for justice for the victims of the massacre; they held a rally in London on Saturday to call on the UK government to establish an independent committee to investigate.

  • Ban on Iranian Women Attending Football Matches Stands


    5 Sep – Iran blamed a “technical glitch” for allowing female football fans to buy tickets to watch the men’s national team play Syria.

    It seemed like the Regime’s sexist ban on women attending football matches when men are playing had been lifted, on Saturday, when the option appeared for women’s tickets for Iran’s World Cup qualifier against Syria.

    Many women celebrated by buying tickets and expressing their joy and surprise via social media at being able to attend Tuesday’s match at Tehran’s Azadi stadium using the hashtag #IHaveTicket.

    Football fan Arefeh Elyasi said: “I was extremely excited… it was unbelievable.”

    Zahra Jafarzadeh even told that Shahrvand newspaper that she had bought a ticket despite not being a huge football fan.

    She said: “I felt that if didn’t sign up, I would be missing a major event.”

    However, the football federation of Iran later said that the tickets were sold by mistake and blamed technical problems.

    The security director of Iran’s Football Federation, Mohammad Hossein Hamisi said that there no plans to allow the presence of women in Azadi stadium for the Iran-Syria match and that all tickets purchased by women would be cancelled and refunded.

    He said: “There is no plan to permit the presence of women at the match. We strongly deny the rumours that have been published. All the rumours about this are far from reality… The Football Association, after learning of this shortcoming, will immediately follow up on this issue.”

    Elyasi said: “Maybe we all knew that we would not be allowed to enter the stadium despite buying the ticket. But we wanted to make our voice heard by the officials.”

    While Ghoncheh Ghavami, a British-Iranian woman who was imprisoned for four months in 2015 after attempting to watch a men’s volleyball match, urged female fans to continue buying tickets for the match in protest at the stadium ban.

    She wrote on Twitter: “The empty seats will represent our voice.”

    Iranian women are allowed to watch men play certain sports, including volleyball, basketball, handball and tennis, as long as they sit in segregated sections in stadiums.

    However women are not allowed to watch men’s football, swimming or wrestling because of the “vulgar atmosphere”.

    This is, of course, ridiculous and the footballers agree.

    Back in July, retired Iranian football legend Ali Karimi called on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to lift the misogynistic ban.

    The sexist laws are not set in stone and can change with little to no notice. Back in 2014, women were suddenly banned from volleyball matches without any explanation but have since been allowed back in.

  • Hezbollah, the Most Important Instrument of Iranian Regime in the Region: NYT

    NCRI-28 August – The Lebanese Hezbollah is “one of the most important instruments in the drive for regional supremacy by its sponsor” Iran, the New York Times reports.

    The group created by the Iranian regime’s Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) in the 1980’s “has rapidly expanded its realm of operations. It has sent legions of fighters to Syria. It has sent trainers to Iraq. It has backed rebels in Yemen. And it has helped organize a battalion of militants from Afghanistan that can fight almost anywhere,” the report published on Sunday issue of the times said.

    “Hezbollah is involved in nearly every fight that matters to Iran and, more significantly, has helped recruit, train and arm an array of new militant groups that are also advancing Iran’s agenda.”
    According to the report by the New York Times, in Syria, Hezbollah has played a major role in propping up the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, an important ally of the Iranian regime, and “increasingly”, the clerical regime in Tehran, “rely on it to pursue their goals.”

    “Iran and Hezbollah complement each other.” “For Iran, a Persian nation in a mostly Arab region, Hezbollah lends not just military prowess but also Arabic-speaking leaders and operatives who can work more easily in the Arab world. And for Hezbollah, the alliance means money for running an extensive social services network in Lebanon, with schools, hospitals and scout troops — as well as for weapons, technology and salaries for its tens of thousands of fighters.”

    The network Hezbollah helped build has changed conflicts across the region.

    In Iraq, they are promoting the Iranian regime’s interests. In Yemen, they have taken over the capital city and dragged Saudi Arabia, into a costly war.

    According to the report the roots of the network created in the region goes back “to the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, when Iran called on Hezbollah to help organize Iraqi Shiite militias that in the coming years killed hundreds of American troops and many more Iraqis.”

    “After the American invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, Hezbollah operatives went to Iraq to help organize militias to fight the Americans with roadside bombs and other insurgency tactics.”

    “Some of those militiamen now lead forces that have made common cause with Hezbollah again, this time in Syria.”

    “Hezbollah, whose name is Arabic for Party of God, and its allies have deep ideological ties to Iran. Most endorse vilayat-e-faqih, the concept that Iran’s supreme leader is both the highest political power in the country and the paramount religious authority.”

    The report adds: “Hezbollah has become active in so many places and against so many enemies that detractors have mocked it as “the Blackwater of Iran,” after the infamous American mercenary firm.”
    Hezbollah’s leaders have acknowledged that most of the group’s budget comes as cash from Iran.

  • Iran: Families of Prisoners on Hunger Strike Violently Dealt With by Regime’s Prosecutor Office


    27 Aug – The families of Rajaeeshahr political prisoners, currently on hunger strike have been harshly, offensively treated by security guards in Iranian regime’s prosecutor’s office, the reports say.

    The event took place on Wednesday August 23, when the families of Rajaeeshar’s prisoners of conscience referred to regime’s prosecutor office three weeks after the inmates began a continued hunger strike to realize their basic rights inside prison.

    The families were going to hand over a letter to regime’s Prisons Organization describing prison officials’ unlawful conduct towards inmates, but the security guards in prosecutor office treated the families harshly and offensively.

    “We, the families, wrote a letter and referred to the Prisons Organization”, says a family member, “Although we were mostly women together with our kids, but the security guards didn’t allow us to get in and didn’t take the letter, either. Meanwhile, head of the security guards in place began insulting us and even threw a mother down the stairs.”

    The inmates began their mass hunger strike on July 30, with some others joining them a few days later, after being abruptly transferred to a new ward without being allowed to take their personal belongings with them.

    The letter written by families of the inmates says that the inmates were transferred to the new ward while being beaten.

    “Using such ‘totally beyond human dignity and inmates rights’ methods like unconventional inspections and handcuffing, dragging on the ground, and beating, the inmates were abruptly and without prior notice transferred to a new section which lacks even the basic facilities”, the letter says.

    The families have criticized the fact that “the inmates were not even allowed to bring their personal belongings and necessary medications with them”, adding that “since being transferred to the new section, the inmates are denied of even such basic amenities like fridge, cooker, TV, and cooking stuff, which they used to have while they were in previous section.”

    According to the letter, most of these appliances were obtained at the expense of inmates and their families, and since no action was taken despite repeated oral and written protests by inmates and their families, “the inmates eventually decided to go on a mass hunger strike to protest against the current situation.”

    Pointing to physical conditions of some inmates and the ‘clear weakness and atrophy’ they’re suffering from, the letter then expresses concern over inmates’ continued hunger strike and refers to seizure of their personal belongings as an act of ‘public plundering’.

    “Even the inmates’ cigarettes have been seized”, the letter says, adding “Inmates’ personal photos seized during their transfer to the new ward ended up in trash cans… Going through the past three weeks for some inmates has been more difficult than serving years of prison term.”

    Meanwhile, Magda Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director for Amnesty International, said on August 22 “the fact that detention conditions have become so poor that the desperate inmates feel they are forced to go on hunger strike to demand the most basic standards is disgraceful and highlights the urgent need for reforms to Iran’s cruel prison system.”

    Despite international, domestic, and families’ concerns over inmates’ continued hunger strike in Evin and Rajaeeshahr prisons, Tehran prosecutor has announced that the judiciary is not going to back down due to inmates’ hunger strike and that such measures are destined to fail.

    “We hereby inform the inmates turning to hunger strike and similar measures that such approaches are going to fail”, said Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi on Wednesday August 23.

    “The judiciary is not going to give in to such measures”, he added, “inmates’ sentences must be fully enforced and we are not supposed to be affected by such actions like hunger strike.”

  • Iran and North Korea Pose a Threat to Us All


    29 Aug – Baria Alamuddin, the foreign editor at Al-Hayat, wrote an op-ed for Arab News, entitled: “A threat to us all from the rogue merchants of death”, in which she described the illicit military cooperation between North Korea and rogue states such as Iran and Syria as “perhaps one of the major untold stories of our time”.

    She explained that before the realities of the Iranian nuclear programme were know in the West, the Iranian Regime had been cooperating with North Korea in order to create their flagship ballistic missiles. Whenever North Korea stages nuclear tests, they invite Iranian experts as VIP guests.

    So far in 2017, both Iran and North Korea have sought attention from the US with provocative missile tests and they are both still collaborating. The 2015 nuclear agreement which was supposed to stop the Iranian Regime from developing their nuclear weapons programme has provided the Regime with billions of dollars which they can direct to the North Korean nuclear programme without technically violating the deal.

    Alamuddin wrote: “The failure to address Korea’s nuclear posture actively invites Tehran to seek its own breakout capacity, while encouraging Syria to restock its WMD arsenals. Such a scenario would make this despotic, theological regime in Tehran unassailable — using its oil wealth and military might to threaten the world and destabilize its neighbours.”

    Indeed, recent images show Iranian missile storage centre in Banias, eastern Syria and in Lebanon, indicating that their missile programme is far from over.

    Alamuddin wrote: “These “axis of evil” pariah states have much in common, confronting international isolation and encirclement. Observers warn that when North Korea refines its ability to fire long-range nuclear weapons, Iran could have that capability the next day because of their long-standing bilateral defence contracts.”

    She continued: “Despite the [2015] agreement’s obvious shortcomings, rather than seeking to undermine it, the Trump administration must use all powers available to ensure that Iran fully complies, refrains from meddling elsewhere and is given no excuse to return to clandestine nuclear activity.”

    She questioned the scrutiny that the Iranian Regime was being subjected to, noting that the Iranian Resistance forces have supplied evidence showing that the Regime is up to its old tricks again and receiving the US.

    This is not the only evidence that the Iranian Regime is working against the deal.

    Alamuddin wrote: “This underscores the Revolutionary Guard’s role in regional arms proliferation, smuggling arms to Hezbollah and other proxies and using weapons smuggling to destabilize fragile African states, while profiteering from drugs and other contraband goods. The IRGC, North Korea and criminal networks thrive on instability in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere to peddle their lethal wares around the world.”

  • Former Iran’s Intelligence Minister Admits 1988 Massacre of Political Prisoner

    18 Jul – The former intelligence minister of Iran has admitted that former Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the executions of 30,000 political prisoners affiliated with the Iranian Resistance group, People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI or MEK) in the summer of 1988.

    Ali Fallahian, gave an interview to the Regime-affiliated Tarikh Online website on July 9, in which he acknowledged that Khomeini had announced a fatwa calling for the extermination of all those affiliated with the MEK.

    He said: “The Imam (Khomeini) decreed, ‘At least execute those who say this and who maintain their belief. It doesn’t make sense to release them.’ Then some continued to put pressure and moan that these people are this and that in prison, so it was decided that a committee be formed. Some people say that these people handed down sentences for a collective massacre. They did not do such a thing. It was decided that this 3-man committee, whose members were from the (Intelligence) Ministry and judges and were knowledgeable and were from the Prosecutor’s Office, would evaluate to see if anyone was pardonable from execution. That was the task of this committee; they were not tasked with issuing death sentences.”

    It is worth noting that the interviewer seemed shocked by this admission and pointed out that the death commissions also spared some people from execution, which Fallahian agreed with. In reality, the death commission spared very few people and the PMOI (MEK) member had to renounce their political belief, go on TV to denounce the PMOI (MEK), and check the areas where Iran was fighting Iraq for landmines.

    Fallahian referred to those people who refused to renounce their beliefs as “crazy”, but when you consider their alternative, you can understand why many stand by their beliefs.

    He also revealed that many of those who were arrested for supporting the MEK were not armed when they were arrested and those who were armed, were at home and there were only a couple of guns between a big group of people. The MEK members were only classed as being part of an armed rebellion because they were part of the MEK, which the Regime saw as a political threat.

    Fallahian revealed that the Regime made no distinction between members and supporters, which is why they executed even the lowest-ranking supporters rather than holding them as prisoners of war.

    He said: “They were part of that organisation. They were prepared to carry out operations. Maybe today someone goes and buys bread for the people in the team house, or someone might go provide other provisions… (But they are all part of it).”

    Hossein-Ali Montazeri, then heir to the supreme leader, spoke to the death commission and criticised them for executing pregnant women, which is against even the laws that the mullahs wrote. For this he was stripped of his position and kept under house arrest for the rest of his life.

    In 2016, when his son Ahmad released an audio recording of his father’s conversation with the death commission, he was sentenced to 21 years in jail.

    Fallahian said: “[Montazeri Snr.] had another problem, and he found differences with the Imam (Khomeini). At the beginning he too agreed (with Khomeini’s position). But he became of the view that these executions would eventually lead to history judging against us and against Islam so it’s better that we don’t do this so that in the future when our enemies take up their pens they would not write appallingly about us. But the Imam said, ‘No, you carry out your religious duties and don’t wait for history’s judgment’.”

    So, now the international community must bring the Iranian Regime before the International Criminal Court in order to account for their crimes against humanity.