Manoto TV report on the discovery of a mass grave of political prisoners executed in the 1980s in Ahvaz

May 17, 2017

Manoto, 17 May 2017: A mass grave came into light in the course of recent road widening works in Ahvaz.

Reliable locals reported to Justice for Iran and Manoto TV that the grave was discovered in a site containing other mass graves of 1980s executed prisoners. Municipality workers came upon this concrete-covered mass grave when involved in excavation works at the far end of Padadshahr-Phase 2 and Bonakdar Boulevard in Ahwaz.

According to eyewitnesses, upon the discovery of the mass grave it was immediately covered up and workers continued with their works. Once the project is completed, the mass grave would be integrated into the road. Locals believe the mass grave belongs to the prisoners executed in the 1980s.

Like other mass graves in the region, this one is also covered with concrete; thus, identification of the bodies is impossible.

Tens of political prisoners were executed in Fajr Prison of Ahwaz in 1988. After a while, their families found out the bodies of their loved ones were buried in a mass grave in the desert near Behesht Abad Cemetery. Families call the land “Mazar,” while the authorities use the pejorative term of “Lanatabad” (place of the damned) in referring to it.

The photos sent to Manoto newsroom are indicating of families’ concerns and their objection to the authorities’ desecration of graves. It appears that the site has turned into a rubbish dump.

According to the information delivered by Justice for Iran to Manoto newsroom, officials had hidden the mass grave site from public sight by littering construction waste into the place. However, the families of executed prisoners went to “Mazar” for visiting the burial place of their loved ones, but they were unaware of the existence of the newly discovered mass grave.

Thousands of political prisoners were executed stealthily across Iran in the summer of 1988. The mass killings were carried out pursuant to a fatwa emanated from Rouhollah Khomeini, the founder of Islamic Republic.

In some cities including Ahvaz, the bodies of victims were buried in mass graves. Many of executed ones had been tried at revolutionary courts, were sentenced to imprisonment, and were serving their terms at the time of mass killings. Many of them were sympathizers of the Mojahedin-e Khalq whose prison terms had come to end prior to the summer of 1988 but were executed after the Mersad Operation.