32 YEARS SINCE THE 1988 MASSACRE
The 1979 revolution in Iran was hi-jacked by the mullahs and their psychotic figurehead, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He appointed himself as God’s representative on earth, giving birth to Islamic fundamentalism. Khomeini’s legacy of repression and corruption has been steadfastly maintained ever since. For the past 41 years the mullahs’ revolutionary creed of radicalised Islam in reality boils down to a policy of hatred. Hatred of the West and in particular America, a hatred of Sunnis, a visceral hatred of Saudi Arabia and Israel and a hatred of religious minorities of any kind.
Deploying their Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) – the regime’s Gestapo, the mullahs have unleashed a homicidal blitz on their own population, crushing dissent, wantonly murdering and maiming thousands of peaceful protesters. Iran’s jails are bursting at the seams with political prisoners, many of them young students, male and female, arrested during the most recent nationwide uprising in November 2019.
The main targets for arrest, torture and execution are supporters of the principal opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran PMOI/MEK and their families. Over the past four decades, 120,000 of its members and supporters have been executed. Dozens more have been assassinated outside of Iran. The latest wave of arrests and hard prison sentences for PMOI/MEK supporters and their families has laid bare the mullahs’ fear of the people, who are now seething with rage at their criminal rulers. Iran has become a dangerous powder-keg, ready to explode.
August this year will mark the thirty second anniversary of the summary execution of more than 30,000 political prisoners in Iran in 1988, in an atrocity that surely must rank as one of the most horrific crimes against humanity of the late twentieth century. The vast majority of the victims were PMOI/MEK activists. Why, 32 years later, has no-one been held to account for this horror? The 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran is an example of both a crime against humanity and a genocide. Based on international conventions, neither crimes against humanity nor genocide are allowed to expire with the passage of time.
The recent statement by Morgan Ortagus, a spokesperson for the US State Department, in which she drew attention to the massacre of political prisoners in 1988, shows that the international community has now woken up to this horrific slaughter. Morgan Ortagus recounted how the ‘Death Commissions’ created by Khomeini had forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed thousands of political dissident prisoners. She went on to say that the current head of the Iranian judiciary and current Minister of Justice have both been identified as former members of these ‘Death Commissions’ and she concluded: “the US calls on the international community to conduct independent investigations and to provide accountability and justice for the victims of these horrendous violations of human rights by the Iranian regime.”
At a time when the Iranian people have shown with their consecutive and nationwide protests that they are sick of the current regime and the ongoing violation of human rights, it is surely the duty of the international community and the United Nations to respond by supporting their call for justice. With the UN General Assembly due to take place in September, the Iranian people are now watching closely. They will be greatly dismayed if this major crime against humanity and human rights violation, is not a key part of any UN report on the Iranian regime.
It is the duty of the international community, including the Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council to examine this case and bring its masterminds and perpetrators to justice. It is of particular relevance, given that many of the officials responsible for the 1988 massacre still play active roles in the ruling clique and are among the main political, security and legal decision-makers in Iran. The UN Security Council should form an international tribunal to examine this case and prosecute its masterminds and the EU, the US and the UK should deploy all of their political and legal resources to investigate this horror story.
The time has come to pull down the curtain on this murderous regime. The mullahs must be held to account in the international criminal courts. After 41 years of tyranny, the Iranian regime’s time is up. The mullahs and their Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei must now face justice.