The regime of Iran executed Mostafa Salehi on August 5 for his participation in the nationwide Iran protests in 2017-2018, despite international protests. Five other detained protesters have also been sentenced to death, and they are currently in prison.
Protests erupted in over 200 cities across Iran in November 2019, in reaction to the increase of fuel price. The Iranian regime started massacring protesters on the streets to crack down on these protests. And in an obvious massacre it killed over 1500 protesters. Thousands of others were arrested and sent to prison, dozens were killed under torture, and thousands are still in prison under torture and threated to be executed.
The mullahs’ regime has been clearly oppressing, executing, and torturing the Iranian people. Yet, it has never been seriously held to account in this regard.
The greatest crime of the Iranian regime within the last four decades was the massacre of summer of 1988. The regime’s then Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, in a fatwa ordered the massacre of political prisoners. Based on this fatwa, over 30,000 political prisoners, who were mostly members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), were massacred. The perpetrators and decision-makers of this massacre have currently occupied the highest posts in the mullahs’ regime, and the international community has never investigated this crime.
Key among them is Ebrahim Raisi, the regime’s current judiciary chief. In 1988, he was Tehran’s Deputy Prosecutor and a key member of Tehran’s “Death Commission,” a trio of regime officials who carried out minutes-long trials for the prisoners being sent to the gallows. Alireza Avaie, a member of the Death Committee in Khuzestan, is Justice Minister under current regime President Hassan Rouhani. His two predecessors, who held office in the previous eight years, Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi and Morteza Bakhtiari, were also members of the Death Commissions. Also, Mohammad Esmail Shushtari, Justice Minister from 1989 until 2005, headed the state Prisons Organization in 1988 and was another active member of the Death Commission in Tehran.
Enjoying immunity after a crime against humanity and massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners has emboldened this regime to further continue oppressing and massacring the Iranian people. The massacre of 1500 protests in November 2019, the execution of Mostafa Salehi, and the Iranian regime’s ongoing massacres and executions are the continuation of the 1988 massacre.
The Iranian Resistance has presented the United Nations and other international organizations with many documents and evidence, including testimonies by the survivors of the massacre.
On August 28, 2016, Mostafa Pourmohammadi was quoted by the state-run Tasnim news agency as saying: “We are proud to have carried out God’s commandment with regard to the [MEK] and to have stood with strength and fought against the enemies of God and the people.”
On the 32nd anniversary of the 1988 massacre, it is time for the international community to end its long silence over this crime and hold the mullahs’ regime to account. Holding the Iranian regime accountable for its crime against humanity and the 1988 massacre is the only possible solution against the regime’s crimes in these days.
The UN holds its 75th General Assembly in September. The human rights situation in Iran is on the Assembly’s agenda. On the 32nd anniversary of the 1988 massacre, it is high time for the highest international organization to decide to hold the perpetrators to account.