Karaj, Behesht-e Sakineh Cemetery: somewhere around there….

March 5, 2018

Behesht-e Sakineh (Bibi Sakineh) is the name of a cemetery near Karaj. A number of families of political prisoners executed in the 1988 massacre believe their children are buried in the desert around this cemetery.

Over 400 political prisoners were hanged in the Gohardasht prison of Karaj, during the summer of 1988. Most of them had already been imprisoned for years, serving sentences handed down by Islamic Revolutionary Court judges. A number of them were kept in jail after their sentences ended, because they refused to repent and express remorse for their actions.

One example is Hassan Golzari.

Golzari was arrested at age 17 for being a sympathizer of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), and was in prison from 1981 to 1989. He quotes one of a prisoner’s mother when he explains what he knows about the burial location of the bodies:

‘Mousa Karimkhah was one of the friendliest, most honourable people I have met in my life. I spoke to his mother when I visited their home, after I was released. [Mousa], himself, was executed in 1988. She told me the prisoners had been buried in Behesht’e Sakineh cemetery, collectively in mass graves. She also talked of the desert around Behesht-e Sakineh.’