A Friendship Made Over Death

August 26, 2018

When Mina befriended a worker at Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery, the woman told her a painful story.

The woman’s child had home down with a fever, and she had to stay at the cemetery that night, to care for her ill child in the worker’s rest house. It was late at night when trucks arrived, and Mina’s friend watched Iran’s authorities unload a number of corpses into a trench-like mass grave.

Mina says her own husband, Hamid, was a political prisoner during the 80s and was also buried there, beside the mass grave.

Witnesses, survivors and the families of victims to the 1988 prisoner massacre in Iran share their testimonies with PainScapes. 4,000-5,000 political prisoners were executed or disappeared by Iranian officials, and some 120 confirmed and suspected mass grave sites exist around Iran, which are the final resting places of massacre victims, like Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery.

Thirty years has passed since the massacre, yet the testimonies of individuals like Mina help protect the history of this atrocity, for which there has been no justice or accountability.