Inside Iran’s Brutal Death Camps Where Thousands of MEK Members Were Massacred – Daily Star
Inside Iran- brutal death camps-MEK members- were massacred
Britain's Daily Star has interviewed opponents of Iran’s regime who told the paper that at least 30,000 political prisoners, mainly members of the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, Mujahedin-e Khalq or MEK), were executed in Iran during the 1988 massacre and that the death camps are still open.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Star Online, some of the former political prisoners spoke out about their horrifying experiences in the torture chambers of Iran's regime.
Starting in July 1988, and lasting for around five months, Ruhollah Khomeini launched a fatwa against members of the MEK.
Daily Star Online wrote on Sunday that it visited the unofficial headquarters the regime's opponents in north London and spoke to former prisoners and relatives of the victims of the 1988 massacre.
Most spoke through a translator, 21-year-old Omid, who moved to the UK as a child with his parents Ahmad Ibrahimi and Farzaneh Majidi.
Now studying medicine in Italy, Omid told Daily Star Online: "I feel the pain of this tragic event very closely because I count myself very lucky to even be in the world."
His dad Ahmad spent 10 years in prison between 1981 and 1991, after being arrested for supporting the MEK (PMOI), Daily Star wrote.
Ahmad explained that he was sentenced to suspended execution and taken to Tehran's notorious Tehran prison.
He was arrested in 1981 shortly after finishing high school after gun-toting guards stopped him in the street.
After he refused to denounce the MEK, Ahmad was beaten in prison.
Guards told him: "You must do what we say or you will see something worse."
Ahmad replied: "You are already killing 400-500 protestors a day. What could be worse?"
All of the prisoners were taken to a room and asked: "Who do you support?"
Those who said PMOI (MEK) were taken off and executed or tortured, those who denounced the party lived.
In 1984 he was taken to Gohardasht Prison in Karaj, northwest of Tehran.
He said: "I was blindfolded and taken to another small room where I was held with about 90 others.
"People's names were called and they were led out. But my name wasn't called. I sat there all day from 8 until 6pm.
"Finally, the head of the prison came in and took me to another room and removed my blindfold.
"I saw Mostafa Pourmohammadi, the prosecutor of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Court, with other Iranian Revolutionary Guards members and interrogators sitting there.
"Pourmohammadi asked me, 'do you still support the PMOI?'
"I said, 'I don't know'. He said: 'Do you condemn them?' I said: 'I've been in prison eight years'."
After being taken out of the room, he was told that other prisoners were being killed.
"There were 150 in my section, 90 were executed. In another section near mine, only 13 out of 207 survived."
EDITORIAL: Settling the score with the #MEK— NCRI-FAC (@iran_policy) August 1, 2019
“For the past 40 years, nothing has happened against our regime in which the MEK did not have the leading role.” These are the words of Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, the #Iran'ian regime's Justice Minister during...https://t.co/qK66xbSyVm pic.twitter.com/D3pMVyQsdC
Ahmad's wife Farzaneh lost five members of her family to the regime.
One brother was just 16 when he was arrested in 1981. After searching every prison in vain to find him, one day two Revolutionary Guards came to the family home.
Farzaneh said: "They handed us a bag of clothes and said 'these are your son's clothes, we killed him and we want money for the bullet.'"
Her mother was so traumatized that she refused to speak for three years.
One brother was tortured so badly that he lost nervous control of many parts of his body.
Another victim, who asked not to give his name, said: "For one of the tortures, I was stretched out on my brother's chest on a torture rack, and my feet and legs were lashed 150 times.
"I was made to beat my brother, and when I wouldn't comply, prison guards beat us both harder."
He says he was also suspended from the ceiling of a prison cell with eight others in an unbearable position.
"I was taken to the gallows twice, first in 1981 and second in 1983," he said.
The former prisoner said while in jail he saw scenes he would never forget.
"Bodies were dumped behind Ward 4 of Evin Prison. Prisoners were lined up and shot, some 30-40 at a time. If any of the prisoners survived the first bullets they were shot in the throat by the guards.
"Then the bodies were dumped in the back of a Mercedes Benz lorry, and as it drove away, all you could see was blood pouring out of the back of the lorry," he said, becoming visibly emotional.
Munir Hussein had both her sister and her sister's husband executed by the regime, while she was also imprisoned during the 1988 massacre.
"I was forced to sit outside of the cell during the torture, and I would hear the noises of the others being tortured. Every now and then a guard would come out and tell me that I was next."
She was arrested for leafleting for the MEK. While she was in jail, another she said she met a heavily pregnant woman.
"When I wished her congratulations, she replied 'every day that draws closer to birth is a day that draws closer to the execution'."
In a statement, the Iranian dissidents said: "You would never see this sort of occurrence in the UK. When we speak to British people, it is so hard for them to even comprehend such a thing.
"The regime is not done with the PMOI, it won't stop until it kills all of their members. We want all international leaders to bring the Iranian regime to justice and to demand to know why the massacre took place.
"We want individuals like Pourmohammadi brought in front of an international tribunal, so the world hears the extent of their crimes."
According to Amnesty International, Iran's regime has run a longstanding campaign to demonize the victims of the regime, as well as distort the facts of what happened in 1988.
Background to Iran’s 1988 massacre:
- More than 30,000 political prisoners were massacred in Iran in the summer of 1988.
- The massacre was carried outon the basis ofa fatwa by Khomeini.
- The vast majority ofthe victims were activists of the opposition PMOI (MEK).
- Death Commissions approved all the death sentences.
- Ebrahim Raisi, a member of the Death Commissions, is today Iran’s Judiciary Chief.
- Alireza Avaei, a member of the Death Commissions, is today Hassan Rouhani’s Justice Minister.
- The perpetrators of the 1988 massacre have never been brought to justice.
- On August 9, 2016, an audio tape was published for the first time of Khomeini’s former heir acknowledging that the 1988 massacre took place and had been ordered at the highest levels.