Iran International TV Report on the Deliberate Destruction of Mass Graves

April 30, 2018

Iran International: Amnesty International and Justice for Iran released a joint statement, warning against the deliberate destruction of mass graves by Iranian regime. The mass graves contain the remains of prisoners executed in the summer of 1988.

On Monday 30 April, Amnesty International and Justice for Iran announced that according to their investigation, satellite imagery and video evidence, the Iranian authorities took steps to destroy mass grave sites in Ahwaz, Mashhad, Tabriz, Rasht, Qorveh, Sanandaj, and Khavaran (a cemetery to the southeast of Tehran).

Justice for Iran has identified 120 mass grave sites across Iran and estimates over four thousand political prisoners killed in 1988 were buried in these graves.

The evidence obtained between 2003 and 2017 attests to the Islamic Regime’s engagement in a series of actions to destroy the sites. They include constructing concrete slabs, buildings or roads over mass graves, and turning the mass grave sites into rubbish dumps.

The execution of political prisoners in the summer of 1988 was ordered by Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic. Thousands of political and conscience prisoners who were imprisoned for opposing the Islamic regime were killed in secret in August and September 1988 and their bodies were buried in mass graves.

The Iranian authorities have always defended the massacre and called it a daring act for sustaining the regime.

Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the second highest-ranked political official after Ayatollah Khomeini, objected to the killings at the time. His objections resulted in the dismissal from his position as the designated successor to Khomeini, and also his life-long house arrest.

The “Death Ministers”, a report issued by the Human Rights Watch in 2005, documents the involvement of Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi in the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners.

In August 2013, pursuant to the appointment of Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi to the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights Watch, Reporters without Borders and Center for Human Rights in Iran published a joint statement and urged President Hassan Rouhani to dismiss him from the post.

In 2017, in an interview with the Center for Human Rights in Iran, Ahmad Montazeri—son of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri—expressed his hope that President Rouhani, out of respect to the Iranian people, would not nominate Mostafa Pour-Mohammdi for minister in the second cabinet. Referencing to the audio file published by Ayatollah Montazeri’s family, he underlined Pour-Mohammadi’s membership in the committee responsible for the 1988 massacre.