August 26, 2018
Ten year-old Issa Bazyar was waiting for his father one night when he witnessed Iran’s authorities unloading the bodies of political prisoners from trucks and burying them in mass graves in Ahwaz.
‘The Mad Island,’ where Issa worked as a child, was an isolated area of Ahwaz. Unbeknownst to him at the time, the trucks that would unload bundles into freshly dug pits in the middle of the night were sent by the Islamic Republic’s officials to dispose of the evidence of their massacre in 1988. When Issa learnt from his father that those bundles were the corpses of political prisoners, he stopped keeping watch for his father at the Mad Island.
According to Issa, the Islamic Republic buried the mass-execution victims in three mass graves at Ahvaz’s Mad Island.
The existence of about 120 similar mass grave sites around Iran have been either confirmed or suspected. These sites are the final resting places of some 4,000-5,000 victims of the 1988 prisoner massacre. Thirty years later, the Islamic Republic of Iran still refuses accountability for these crimes against humanity.