Iranians, supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK), rallied in front of Sweden’s parliament on Friday, calling for justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre in Iran. Participants highlighted that the international community’s inaction had emboldened the regime to continue its atrocities.
The MEK supporters also urged the Swedish government to hold Hamid Noury (aka Abbasi) to account for his role in the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners. The Swedish authorities had arrested Abbasi last year.
He is scheduled to go on trial in March. The protesters underlined that holding Noury to account would set a precedent and could help the justice-seeking movement for the victims of the 1988 massacre, a campaign initially started in 2016.
The Iranian regime extrajudicially executed over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members and supporters of the MEK. This massacre was carried out based on a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini.
The so-called “Death Commissions” in Tehran and other cities decided over the fate of thousands of prisoners and sent them to the gallows.
Victims were buried secretly in mass graves.
The regime has always tried to justify this massacre. The perpetrators of this crime against humanity have been promoted to higher ranks, including current Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi and Justice Minister Alireza Avaei.
Also, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, former Justice Minister and formerly a member of the Death Commissions, in an interview with Tasnim News Agency, on 28 August 2016, defended the 1988 massacre.
“God commanded, ‘Show no mercy to the non-believers because they will not show mercy to you,’ and there should be no mercy shown to the [PMOI/MEK] because if they could, they would spill your blood, which they did. …. We are proud to have carried out God’s commandment concerning the [PMOI/MEK] and to have stood with strength and fought against the enemies of God and the people.”
In a letter to Tehran in September, published in December, seven United Nations experts described the 1988 massacre as “crimes against humanity.”
The UN experts also underlined if the regime refuses to investigate the 1988 massacre, they call on the international community to launch its own investigation into the massacre, “including through the establishment of an international investigation.”
The UN experts particularly pointed to the “systemic impunity enjoyed by those who ordered and carried out the extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances.”
This impunity is due to the international community’s failure to act and hold the regime to account for this crime against humanity.
The UN experts emphasized that the international community’s failure to act “had a devastating impact on the survivors and families as well as on the general situation of human rights in Iran and emboldened Iran to continue to conceal the fate of the victims and to maintain a strategy of deflection and denial that continue to date.”
The killing of 1500 protesters on the streets during the November 2019 uprising and the rising number of executions in Iran are indeed results of the “devastating impact” of the world community’s inaction vis-à-vis the 1988 massacre.
Now European Union officials have this momentum to set the record straight and abide by their human rights standards rather than pursuing economic relations with Tehran.