Paris Exhibition & Conference, Justice for Victims of 1988 Massacre in Iran
An exhibition and a conference were held today at the 5th arrondissement of Paris, focusing on the “massacre of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 in Iran – Right of families of the victims to learn the truth.”
Invited by Mayor Florence Berthout, the conference was co-sponsored by the Committee to Support Human Rights in Iran and the Committee of French Mayors for A Democratic Iran. A number of political personalities, lawyers and a large number of elected representatives of France participated in the conference and delivered their speeches, calling on the UN, world governments and relevant judicial authorities to show appropriate reaction to this “crime against humanity” which had been forgotten for years, but has been recently brought up in Iran and on the international level.
Many speakers including former Algerian Prime Minister Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, former Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights, Rama Yade, Ingrid Betancourt, Attorney William Bourdon, expert jurist Tahar Boumedra, a former senior UN official, called for the establishment of an international commission of inquiry into the extrajudicial executions of 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988, and following month, following a fatwa by Khomeini, founder of the ruling theocracy in Iran.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, sent a video message to the conference, in which she declared, “The international community’s appeasement of the Iranian regime and the immunity enjoyed by its officials over some 40 years has emboldened these criminals. The mullahs who carried out the massacre in 1988, now hold world record in per capita executions.”
Mothers of some of the victims of this crime who are still searching for the bodies of their loved ones, as well as representatives of Iran’s young generation who demand accountability of the Iranian regime’s officials on these crimes, also gave their testimonies in this conference.
Bernard Kouchner recalled that Khomeini ordered the death of 30,000 political prisoners within a few months, which he described as ‘climax of barbarism’. He condemned the fact that a member of the death commission is Rouhani’s justice minister. The former foreign minister, reiterated that it is time to ask all levels to investigate this massacre.
Ingrida Betancourt noted that the economic benefits of the nuclear deal are taken by the Revolutionary Guards. The IRGC has misused this opportunity for its aggressions in the region. Ingrid Betancourt stated that, the separation of the nuclear issue from human rights issue has not been but a trap. The IRGC interferes in Syria and Iraq and finances terrorists like Hezbollah. The policy of appeasement gave a blank check to Iran to attack its neighbors and exploit the people of Iran. She strongly criticized the position of Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, saying that Europe has made a mistake and has no right to betray itself by turning a blind eye to the sufferings of the Iranian people.
Rama Yade demanded an international investigation into the 1988 massacre, and recalled that the Iranian judiciary, whose minister had a direct role in the massacre, is not competent to investigate this crime. She also criticized the nuclear deal with Iran, saying that the deal served as a permit for the regime so long as repression in Iran and war and terrorism pursued by the regime continue. She stressed that if the Iranian regime refuses to end its missile program and withdraw its militias from Syria, then we should to re-enforce the sanctions.
William Bourdon pointed out that the 1988 massacre in Iran is the largest massacre of political prisoners since World War II. We must put an end to this impunity of the perpetrators of the massacre. Over the past 30 years, there have been lots of massacres in Iran. It is essential to recognize the executioners of Tehran a criminals because they are today bound to the executioners of Damascus and have formed an ignoble cult of criminals.
The co-chair of the Committee of Mayors of France for a Democratic Iran, Jean François Legaret (mayor of the 1st District of Paris) announced the support for of the conference’s objectives by a few thousand mayors and members of city council, who had signed a declaration after the recent Mayor's Congress regarding the need for investigation into the 1988 massacre and human rights in Iran.
A large number of documents, photos, film footages, handcraft of martyred prisoners and other artwork were put on exhibition on the sideline of this conference. A versatile combination of people including a large number of students of international law participated in the conference.
The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, made reference to this crime in his November 2017 report, saying that the UN had received many complaints from families of the victims.
Also, Ms. Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, reiterated in her recent report to the General Assembly on October 25 that the families of the victims have a right to remedy, reparation, and the right to know about the truth of these events and the fate of the victims without risking reprisal.
Comité de Soutien aux Droits de l’Homme en Iran