Families of dissidents campaigning for justice for decades in Iran

It has been thirty years since the 1988 massacre in Iran. Three decades ago, the then Supreme Leader of Iran issued a fatwa ordering the execution of political prisoners.

During the space of one single summer, around 30,000 prisoners, most of whom were members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) were killed.

The PMOI has been targeted by the Iranian regime for decades. It is clear that the Iranian regime is a major threat to the existence of the regime even though it has spent years denying this.

The 1988 massacre was a tragedy. A crime against humanity and a horrific violation of human rights. The perpetrators of this crime, instead of being punished, have risen through the ranks of the regime and enjoyed impunity for all these years. We know who the perpetrators of the crime are and it is sickening to know that they have occupied positions such as the Justice Minister. The irony in this would almost be laughable if the consequences of the incident were not quite so devastating.

The families of those that were executed are also victims. They have been dealt a number of blows and their anguish and suffering has been prolonged. Not only do they know that the person that killed a beloved family member is free, they have to live with the fact that they have never been made to face justice. They have also had to listen to the stomach-turning bragging by officials about the crime.

Although there has since been no single event that has resulted in the killing of tens of thousands of dissidents in one go, there are still mass executions and human rights abuses taking place on a daily basis. Members of the PMOI are in as much danger now as they were three decades ago.

In fact, every protester that takes to the streets in Iran – whether they are part of an organised opposition group or not – risks everything to make their voice heard. They risk arrest, torture, fines, mistreatment and abuse, imprisonment and even execution. This is what makes the people’s voice so powerful and threatening to the regime.

The PMOI is calling for an international inquiry into the 1988 massacre and on Saturday there will be events taking place in dozens of cities across North America and Europe. Survivors and family members of the victims will speak live to audiences all over the world.

It is the responsibility of everyone that values human rights to act. We can call on our governments to take tangible steps in the right direction, initially in condemning the attack and then by making sure that the perpetrators are held to justice.

The United States is clarifying its focus on Iran policy and it has announced the setting up of the “Iran Action Group”. It is hoped that it will give enough attention to the pressing human rights issues and ensure that they are not left to the side.

Source » ncr-iran

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