Friday, August 31, 2007

19th Anniversary of the Massacre of Iranian Political Prisoners

Nineteen years ago, during the months of August to September, a hideous crime was taking place in Iran. As Ayatollah Khomeini drank the "posion chalice" and signed the peace treaty with Saddam Hossein, he feared the release of the Iranian political prisoners would result in organising the mass discontent of how the war was handled, into a serious political challenge to the establishment of the Islamic Republic. Thus personally, in his own handwriting, Khomeini gave the go ahead for the massacre. He wanted absolute fear to reign over the population in the aftermath of the war.

Iran's political prisoners were called in to face kangaroo courts of three clerics. The prisoners were asked two questions each, "Do you believe in Allah?", "Are you prepared to renounce your organisation?". The prisoners had no idea about the consequences of their replies. In fact a 'No' to any of the above questions meant immediate execution. Many of the prisoners had already finished their prison sentences but were still not released, some were even brought back after they had been released.

The victims included teenagers, whole families, men and women. During the months of August and September, all prison visits were cancelled, families were told not to bring any medicine or food for their loved ones. All this time the killing inside Iran's prisons continued.

Those executed were buried in unmarked mass graves on the outskirts of the towns. In Tehran, one mass burial was accidentally discovered by an Armenian priest who had become curious as to why stray dogs kept digging there for bones.

Even the successor to the position of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Montazeri, could not stay silent about the crime and protested to Ayatollah Khomeini. His protests resulted in his removal from the position of successor to Khomeini and his house arrest for the last 19 years. Yet while an Ayatollah protested at this massacre, the rest of the world remained silent and offered no sympathy.

Watch the documentary, The Tree That Remembers, to learn more about the 1988 massacre of Iranian political prisoners.

7 comments:

serendip said...

The video was great. I wish we could build a memorial wall (like the vietnam memorial wall in D.C.) or launch an art project/installation with their names on the wall and tour it all over the world.

Any artists there?

serendip said...

Partial list of the names of the mass execution of 1987-88:
http://asre-nou.net/1386/shahrivar/6/koshtar/m-liste-koshtar.html

Max said...

Where's a good place to start reading about this incident? Can you recommend any books?

Azarmehr said...

Max,

You can google on "1988 massacre of iranian political prisoners" and find out some material there.

پاشا said...

بايد هر جا و هميشه از قربانيان فاشيسم اسلامی گفت و ياد آنان را زنده نگه داشت. بزرگترين کشتار، اعدامهای دسته جمعی سال شصت و هفت است که هرساله و نيز امسال مراسم ياد بود آنان خاری بود در چشم جنايتکاران اسلامی. ولی در اين ميان بايد حق مطلب کامل ادا شود. اولين موج کشتار و اعدام در فردای پيروزی انقلاب فاشيستی اسلامی يعنی در ماه بهمن پنجاه و هفت به راه افتاد. در آن روزها نيز هزاران ايرانی بدون برخورداری از دادرسی مدرن و به دور از مبانی حقوق بشر اعدام شدند. ولی از بد روزگار، بودند بسياری از قربانيان سالهای بعد که آن اعدامها را خوب دانستند و توجيه انقلابی تراشيدند. و ندانستند که اژدهايی که از خوردن خونهای قربانيان روزها و ماه های نخست پرورش يافت، سالها بعد خون آنان را هم خواهد خورد.ـ

Winston said...

and crazy part is that all these current REFORMERS were part of that genocide.

serendip said...

Gathering at Khavaran cemetery in Tehran commemorating the 19th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. Includes speeches and revolutionary song. From http://www.avayedigar.com

http://www.iranian.com/main/singlepage/2007/khavaran-2007