August 15, 2018
Hassan Golzari, a political prisoner during the tragic period of 1980s Iran, recalls the physical and psychological torture administered by the regime’s authorities. He describes mass executions at the Gohardasht Prison and tells the story of his unlikely survival.
Arrested at age 17 for being a sympatizer of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), Mr. Golzari’s political beliefs transformed during his eight years in prison. He became a communist but had to hide it for fear of execution. During the 1988 massacre, he was put in solitary confinement. There, through a bent shutter and Morse code messages, he learned the truth about the ongoing massacre at the prison. At night, he was tortured by the sounds of the mass executions taking place outside his prison cell – the sounds of murderous chants and victims’ bodies being thrown into trucks.
The atrocities of the 1988 prison massacre, which Hassan Golzari survived, have been a part of history for three decades. Yet, not one perpetrator has been held accountable or brought to justice. The survivors and many victims’ families continue to live in a reality where there is no redress for the crimes against humanity that they endured.