A Mournful New Year

August 26, 2018

Shayesteh Vatandoust describes her husband, Farzan Babri, and the way she was told of his execution by Islamic Republic officials. The couple was arrested for attempting to flee Iran in the early years of the Islamic Republic, and both Shayesteh and her husband were imprisoned. They spent years as political prisoners, until July 1988, when 26 year-old Farzan Babri was removed from his ward and taken to a mass prisoner execution.

When Shayesteh was released, she set out to find her late husband’s burial site. She says the officials’ stories are inaccurate, and that her husband, along with some other victims of Iran’s 1988 prisoner massacre, are not in Kulivar, where officials claim to have buried them.

In 1988, the Islamic Republic of Iran executed approximately 4,000-5,000 political prisoners. Their remains can be found in about 120 confirmed and suspected mass grave sites around Iran. After three decades, no perpetrator or executor has been held accountable for this atrocity.