Tuesday, March 8, marked the 70th session of the Hamid Noury Trial. Noury, an Iranian prison official, was apprehended in 2019 in Sweden and is on trial for his role during the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Most of the 1988 genocide victims were members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
On Tuesday’s session, Kenneth Lewis, a renowned lawyer representing the MEK, provided damning evidence about the crime against humanity in 1988 in Iran. Many of these documents were admissions made by the regime’s officials, defending their heinous crimes. The evidence provided by Mr. Lewis forced Noury to confess to the regime’s premeditated massacre in 1988, despite his initial blatant refusal of documents.
One of the documents presented to the court on Tuesday was a telegram by the Iranian Resistance Leader, Mr. Massoud Rajavi, to then-UN Secretary-General Pérez de Cuéllar on August 25, 1988. In his letter, Mr. Rajavi wrote, “On August 14, 15, and 16, alone, 860 corpses belonging to the executed political prisoners were transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran to the Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery.” Mr. Rajavi had spoken of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini to execute all MEK prisoners. As a result, tens of thousands of released prisoners were rearrested and executed.
In another piece of evidence, Mr. Lewis presented an archive page of Iran’s Ettelaat newspaper of May 30, 1990. On this date, Mohammad Yazdi, the regime’s then-Judiciary Chief, acknowledges that Khomeini had sentenced the MEK organization to death in a judicial verdict written by himself.
Another evidence was a speech by Ahmad Khatami in 2017, who confirmed the 1988 killings. Khatami, who was Tehran’s then-Friday Imam of Tehran at the time, praised the mass executions in 1988 as a righteous act of Khomeini and said that all those who implemented Khomeini’s fatwa should receive medals, according to the state-run Tasnim News Agency on July 21, 2017.
Tuesday’s session also featured video clips of regime officials acknowledging the 1988 massacre.
Mr. Lewis played an interview by Ebrahim Raisi with Al-Jazeera, in which he confirmed the 1988 mass killings. Raisi became the Iranian regime’s president in June 2021 in an undemocratic process during a sham election boycotted by people.
Raisi acknowledges in his interview with Al-Jazeera that in 1988, Khomeini issued a ruling, condemning all the Mojahedin and their supporters as Mohareb or waging war on God, the punishment for which was execution. Raisi then brazenly praises Khomeini’s action and that “future generations should be grateful to him.”
Kenneth Lewis played audio recordings of the speeches of Mohammad Moghiseh, aka Nasserian, and Ali Razini, which the MEK had previously exposed. They had tried to warn Hamid Noury a few days before his trip to Sweden and warned him that he would be arrested. Nasserian was Noury’s boss in Gohardasht prison in Karaj during the 1988 massacre. Ali Razini, the Deputy of Legal Affairs and Judicial Development of the Judiciary, also refers to Noury as an “interrogator.”
Noury has denied his participation in the 1988 massacre, using his daughter’s birthday as an alibi that he had been on leave and not present at the time of the massacre. Kenneth Lewis then asked, so while Noury claims that all regime forces were on full alert during the MEK’s “Eternal Light” operation in 1988, how could he be on vacation?
Noury tried to dodge the questions and appealed to irrelevant issues but was finally forced to acknowledge that Khomeini had indeed issued the fatwa, which he had previously denied ever existed. “Whatever Ayatollah Raisi and officials say, I accept,” he acknowledged.
Iranians, MEK supporters, and family members of the 1988 victims held a large gathering in front of the court, demanding justice. They urged the world community to keep the Iranian regime’s top officials, such as Raisi, accountable for crimes against humanity and genocide.
In 1988, Khomeini saw the MEK and its progressive interpretation of Islam as a serious threat to his reign and ideology. Hence, he decided to eliminate everyone unwilling to submit and choose fate over faith. The entire regime would prefer those tens of thousands of youth to surrender to the regime and return to their families with the message that dissent against Khomeini is futile. Instead, these men and women stood tall and chose to die for an idea that would live on to inspire love, equality, and prosperity for generations to come. The uprisings today in Iran show that the message and spirit of those executed in 1988 lives on and that they did not die in vain.
Indeed, Khomeini’s designated, and later sacked, heir, the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, told members of the Death Commission on August 14, 1988, “The People’s Mojahedin are not individuals; they are an ideology, and a world outlook. They have logic. It takes the right logic to answer wrong logic. You cannot rectify wrong with killings; you only spread it.”
Letter from Mr. Massoud Rajavi, Head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Pérez de Cuéllar about the widespread wave of arrests and mass executions of political prisoners
Mr. Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations – Geneva
Khomeini’s medieval dictatorship, whose disgraceful record of human rights abuses and torture and constant executions is clear for everyone, has recently abused public attention to peace talks, which Khomeini himself described as a “deadly poison” for his regime as a whole, and carried out mass arrests and mass executions of political prisoners. In recent days, the regime’s officials have repeatedly spoken publicly and officially about the need to execute supporters of the just resistance of the Iranian people for peace and freedom without trial.
According to credible information, Khomeini issued a Fatwa in his own handwriting a few weeks ago and ordered the execution of MEK political prisoners, following a massive wave of political arrests in various Iranian cities of more than 10,000 people, coinciding with the mass executions of many political prisoners, many of them have ended their sentence and their sentence has begun. For example, on August 14-15 and 16, 860 bodies of executed political prisoners were transferred from Evin Prison in Tehran to Behesht Zahra Cemetery, and before that, on July 28, 200 political prisoners sympathizers of MEK were massacred in the central hall of Evin Prison. They have been on a hunger strike to protest the brutal torture.
At the same time, the regular meetings of political prisoners in different prisons of the country with their relatives have been interrupted and the families of political prisoners have been told that it will not be possible to meet with the prisoners for another two to three months. The aim is for the regime to be open to this opportunity for its unprecedented crimes.
Mr. Secretary General,
Your responsibility as Secretary-General of the United Nations strongly urges you to send a delegation to Iran as soon as possible to investigate these cases and to visit the prisons of the Khomeini regime and to prevent the accelerated process of killings.
Representatives of the Iranian resistance are ready to provide the necessary information and cooperate with your delegation.
President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
25 August 1988
International Committee of the Red Cross
United Nations Commission on Human Rights