1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners was a series of state-sponsored execution of political prisoners across Iran, starting on 19 July 1988 and lasting for approximately five months.[1][2][3][4][5] The majority of those killed were supporters of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, although supporters of other leftist factions, including the Fedaian and the Tudeh Party of Iran (Communist Party), were executed as well.[6][7] According to Amnesty International, "thousands of political dissidents were systematically subjected to enforced disappearance in Iranian detention facilities across the country and extrajudicially executed pursuant to an order issued by the Supreme Leader of Iran and implemented across prisons in the country. Many of those killed during this time were subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment in the process."[8]

The killings have been described as a political purge without precedent in modern Iranian history, both in terms of scope and coverup.[9] However, the exact number of prisoners executed remains a point of contention. Amnesty International, after interviewing dozens of relatives, puts the number in thousands;[10] and then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini's deputy, Hussein-Ali Montazeri put the number between 2,800 and 3,800 in his memoirs,[11] but an alternative estimation suggests that the number exceeded 30,000.[12] Because of the large number, prisoners were loaded into forklift trucks in groups of six and hanged from cranes in half-hour intervals.[13]

Ayatollah Montazeri wrote to Ayatollah Khomeini saying "at least order to spare women who have children ... the execution of several thousand prisoners in a few days will not reflect positively and will not be mistake-free ... A large number of prisoners have been killed under torture by interrogators ... in some prisons of the Islamic Republic young girls are being raped ... As a result of unruly torture, many prisoners have become deaf or paralysed or afflicted with chronic diseases."[14]

Great care was taken to keep the killings undercover, and the government of Iran currently denies their having taken place.[15] Motivations for why the victims were executed vary, but one of the most common theories advanced is that they were in retaliation for the 1988 attack on the western borders of Iran by the People's Mujahedin of Iran. This, however, does not account for the targeting of other leftist groups who did not take part in nor supported the Mujahedin invasion.[16]

The killings operated outside legislation and trials were not concerned with establishing the guilt or innocence of defendants.[17][18] Survivors of the massacre have made various calls for justice and prosecution for the event.[2] Canada called the event a crime against humanity,[1] and Italy made similar declarations for justice to be served.[citation needed]


Khomeini's order[edit]

Khomeini's order letter

Shortly before the executions commenced, Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini issued "a secret but extraordinary order – some suspect a formal fatwa." This set up "Special Commissions with instructions to execute members of People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran as moharebs (those who war against Allah) and leftists as mortads (apostates from Islam)."[19]

In part the letter reads:[20][21]

[In the Name of God, The Compassionate, the Merciful,]
As the treacherous Monafeqin [Mojahedin] do not believe in Islam and what they say is out of deception and hypocrisy, and
As their leaders have confessed that they have become renegades, and
As they are waging war on God, and
As they are engaging in classical warfare in the western, the northern and the southern fronts, and
As they are collaborating with the Baathist Party of Iraq and spying for Saddam against our Muslim nation, and
As they are tied to the World Arrogance, and in light of their cowardly blows to the Islamic Republic since its inception,
It is decreed that those who are in prison throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for the Monafeqin [Mojahedin] are waging war on God and are condemned to execution.

Administering of the executions[edit]

In Tehran the special commission for the executions had 16 members representing the various authorities of the Islamic government – Imam Khomeini himself, the president, the chief prosecutor, the Revolutionary Tribunals, the Ministries of Justice and Intelligence, and the administration of Evin and Gohar Dasht, the two prisons in the Tehran area from which the prisoners were eliminated. The chair of the commission was Ayatollah Morteza Eshraqi. His two special assistants were Hojatt al-Islam Hossein-Ali Nayyeri and Hojjat al-Islam Ali Mobasheri. The commission shuttled back and forth between Evin and Gohar Dasht prisons by helicopter. In the provinces similar commissions were established, but less is known about them.[19]

Another description of the administration of the executions has it implemented by a "four-man commission, later known as the 'death committee'."[22] Members were Hossein-Ali Nayyeri (who was then a judge), Morteza Eshraqi (then Tehran Prosecutor), Ebrahim Raisi (then Deputy Prosecutor General) and Mostafa Pourmohammadi (then the representative of the Intelligence Ministry in Evin Prison).[23] Ebrahim Raisi went on to campaign for president of Iran in 2017 as a hard-line conservative where he was criticized for his role in the executions, before being elected as president on his second try in 2021 .[22][23]

Amnesty International identified and analysed evidence that linked several Iranian officials to participating in the massacre. These included Alireza Avayi (tasked to participate in the so-called "death commission" of Dezful), Ebrahim Raisi (member of the "death commission" in Tehran), Mostafa Pour Mohammadi, and others.[24][25]

The prisoners were not executed without any proceedings, but were "tried" on charges totally unrelated to the charges that had landed them in prison. They were interviewed by commissions with a set list of questions to see if they qualified as moharebs or mortads to the satisfaction of that commission. Many, if not most, of the prisoners were unaware of the true purpose of the questions, although later some were warned by the prison grapevine.

Some of the victims were killed because of their beliefs about religion – because they were atheists or because they were Muslims who followed different versions of Islam.

Isolation of the prisoners[edit]

Some scholarly examinations of the massacre argue that the planning stages of the 1988 Massacre began months before the actual executions started. According to one report: "prison officials took the unusual step in late 1987 and early 1988 of re-questioning and separating all political prisoners according to party affiliation and length of sentence."[26] The actual execution process began in the early hours of 19 July 1988 with the isolation of the political prisoners from the outside world. Prison gates were closed, scheduled visits and telephone calls were canceled, letters, care packages, and even vital medicines from the outside were turned away, the main law courts went on an unscheduled vacation. Even relatives of prisoners were forbidden to congregate outside the prison gates.

Inside the prison, cell blocks were isolated from each other and cleared of radios and televisions. Places where prisoners gathered communally, such as lecture halls, workshops, infirmaries, were all closed down and inmates were confined to their cells. Prison guards and workers were ordered not to speak to prisoners. One prisoner constructed a homemade wireless set to listen to the radio news from the outside but found news broadcasters were saying nothing at all about the lockdown.[27]

People's Mujahedin of Iran[edit]

The first prisoners to be interviewed or "tried" were the male members of the People's Mujahedin of Iran, including those who had repented of their association with the group. The commission prefaced the proceedings with the false assurance that this was not a trial but a process for initiating a general amnesty and separating the Muslims from the non-Muslims.

It first asked their organisational affiliation; if they replied "Mojahedin", the questioning ended there. If they replied monafeqin (hypocrites), the commission continued with such questions as:

  • "Are you willing to denounce former colleagues?"
  • "Are you willing to denounce them in front of the cameras?"
  • "Are you willing to help us hunt them down?"
  • "Will you name secret sympathizers?"
  • "Will you identify phony repenters?"
  • "Will you go to the war front and walk through enemy minefields?"

Almost all the prisoners answered "no" to at least one of the questions. These were then taken to another room and ordered to write their last will and testament and to discard any personal belongings such as rings, watches, and spectacles. They were then blindfolded and taken to the gallows where they were hanged in batches of six. Since "hanging" did not mean death by breaking of the neck by drop through a trap door, but stringing up the victim by the neck to suffocate, some took fifteen minutes to die.

After the first few days, the overworked executioners requested firing squads. These requests were rejected on the claim that the Shari'a mandated hanging for apostates and enemies of Allah, though it is thought that the real reason may have been that hanging was quieter than gunfire and would thus better preserve the secrecy of the operations.[28]

At first this secrecy was effective. One survivor thought the purpose of his interview was to be released in time for the forthcoming peace celebrations.[29]

Dealing with leftists[edit]

After 27 August, the commission turned its attention to the leftist prisoners, such as members of the Tudeh, Majority Fedayi, Minority Fedayi, other Fedayi, Kumaleh, Rah-e Kargar, Peykar. These were also assured they were in no danger and asked:[citation needed]

  • "Are you a Muslim?"
  • "Do you believe in Allah?"
  • "Is the Holy Qur'an the Word of Allah?"
  • "Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?"
  • "Do you accept the Holy Muhammad to be the Seal of the Prophets?"
  • "Will you publicly recant historical materialism?"
  • "Will you denounce your former beliefs before the cameras?"
  • "Do you fast during Ramadan?"
  • "Do you pray and read the Holy Qur'an?"
  • "Would you rather share a cell with a Muslim or a non-Muslim?"
  • "Will you sign an affidavit that you believe in Allah, the Prophet, the Holy Qur'an, and the Resurrection?"
  • "When you were growing up, did your father pray, fast, and read the Holy Qur'an?"

Prisoners were told that authorities were asking them these questions because they planned to separate practicing Muslims from non-practicing ones. However, the real reason was to determine whether the prisoners qualified as apostates from Islam, in which case they would join the moharebs in the gallows.

Some prisoners saved from execution by answering the questions properly returned to their cells and passed along what the commission was asking. A leftist prisoner who had once attended a seminary realised the theological significance of the questions, and sent morse code messages to other cells, warning of the dangers, by knocking on the prison walls. The questioners wanted to know if prisoners' fathers prayed, fasted, and read the Qur'an because the sons of devout men could be called apostates. If they had not been raised in proper Muslim homes first and "exposed to true Islam," they could not be apostates. Another wrong answer was refusing to reply on the grounds of 'privacy', a response which was often taken as an admission of apostasy.[30]

All this was a surprise to the prisoners, with one commenting: "In previous years, they wanted us to confess to spying. In 1988, they wanted us to convert to Islam."[31] It also meant there was no correlation between the length of sentence being served and the likelihood of death. The first leftist to go before the commission were those with short sentences, some even completed. These had no warning of what was in store and many died.

Dealing with women[edit]

Mojahedin women were given equal treatment with Mojahedin men, almost all hanged as 'armed enemies of Allah'. However, for apostasy the punishment for women was different and lighter than that for men. Since according to the commission's interpretation of Islamic law, women were not fully responsible for their actions, "disobedient women – including apostates – could be given discretionary punishments to mend their ways and obey male superiors."

Leftist women—even those raised as practicing Muslims—were given another 'opportunity' to recant their 'apostasy.' "After the investigation, leftist women began to receive five lashes every day -- one for each of the five daily prayers missed that day, half the punishment meted out to the men. After a while, many agreed to pray, but some went on hunger strike, refusing even water. One died after 22 days and 550 lashes, and the authorities certified her death as suicide because it was 'she who had made the decision not to pray.'"[32]


According to Iranian human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi, executed prisoner's families were told that they would not be permitted to hold a funeral or mourn publicly for one year. After that time, if their conduct was deemed acceptable by the authorities, they would be told the place of burial. The justification given to these families for the execution of their loved ones was that the prisoner's name had appeared on notes pinned to PMOI members killed in the Mersad attack whose bodies had been recovered by Iranian Islamic officials. The notes listing the PMOI's supporters' in prison so the prisoners had been guilty of aiding the attack. Ebadi complained that aside from being improbable, this did not explain why the prisoners had not received a trial for the charge of giving support to the enemy.[33] In 2009, the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center commissioned Geoffrey Robertson QC to write a legal opinion based on evidence and witness testimonies gathered by the center. Robertson's final report accused Tehran of continuing to deny relatives of the victims their right to know where their loved ones are buried.[34]

Estimates of fatalities[edit]

One anonymous ex-prisoner places the death toll in the 'thousands.' Another eyewitness puts in between 5000 and 6000 – 1000 from the left and the rest from the Mojahedin.[35] Yet another estimates it in the 'thousands', with as many as 1500 killed at Gohar Dasht prison alone.[36] A recent study using scattered information from the provinces places the figure at 12,000.[37] Amnesty International estimates that the national total is more than 2500 and describes the vast majority of the victims as 'prisoners of conscience' as they had not been charged with actual deeds or plans of deeds against the state.[38]

It is extremely difficult to get an accurate number since many killings were carried out in remote Kurdish and Baluchi cities. It could be as high as 30,000 according to figures provided by Iranian defectors.[12][39] In the aftermath of the 2009 uprisings in Iran, a defector of the Iranian regime Mohammad Nurizad stated over 33,000 people were massacred within 2–3 months in the summer of 1988.[39] It is estimated that most of the executed were either high school or college students or fresh graduates, and over 10% were women.[40] According to Christina Lamb, writing in The Telegraph: "Secret documents smuggled out of Iran reveal that, because of the large numbers of necks to be broken, prisoners were loaded onto forklift trucks in groups of six and hanged from cranes in half-hourly intervals."[12]

International reaction and criticism[edit]

On 30 August 2017, the United Nations Human Rights Council highlighted the 1988 massacre and distributed a written statement by three non-governmental organizations titled, "The 1988 Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran: Time for the Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence"[41] The statement points to the following: In 1988, the government of Iran massacred 30,000 political prisoners. The executions took place based on a fatwa by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Three-member commissions known as a 'Death Commission' were formed across Iran sending political prisoners who refused to abandon their beliefs to execution. The victims were buried in secret mass graves. The perpetrators continue to enjoy impunity.[42]

Another joint written statement by five NGOs with consultative status with the United Nations was circulated during the UN Human Rights Council in February 2018 urged "UN to launch fact-finding mission to investigate Iran's 1988 massacre in order to end impunity and prevent the same fate for detained protesters.[43]"

On 4 December 2018 Amnesty International asked the government of Iran to bring to light what happened to the political detainees in the country. Amnesty asked the United Nations to set up an investigation group to find the facts of crimes against humanity in Iran.[44]

In November 2019, Sweden arrested Hamid Nouri, accused of being an assistant prosecutor during the massacres and playing a key role during the mass executions. UN Special Rapporteur Agnès Callamard stated that Nouri's arrest was the first time that someone was held responsible for the mass killings.[45] His trial, initially scheduled to begin in June 2021,[46] began August 2021.[47]



Deputy Supreme Leader Hussein Ali-Montazeri condemned the executions. He was dismissed by Khomeini and later placed under house arrest

One of the consequences of the killings was the resignation of Hussein-Ali Montazeri as the heir-designate to Ayatollah Khomeini as Supreme Leader of Iran. Prior to the killings, Montazeri "had taken issue with the diehard cleric on a number of subjects – the trial of Mehdi Hashemi, the anti-hoarding campaign ..." When he heard of the killings Montazeri rushed off three public letters – two to Khomeini, one to the Special Commission – denouncing the executions "in no uncertain terms." He also took the Special Commission "to task for violating Islam by executing repenters and minor offenders who in a proper court of law would have received a mere reprimand."[48] Montazeri warned Khomeini: "The execution of several thousand prisoners in a few days will not have positive repercussions and will not be mistake-free."[12]

Montazeri was asked to resign, with Khomeini maintaining he had always been doubtful of Montazeri's competence and that 'I expressed reservations when the Assembly of Experts first appointed you.'" But the Assembly of Experts had insisted on naming Montazeri the future Supreme Leader.[49]

The regime published letters between the two Ayatollahs but "the selection dealt only with the Hashemi affair and scrupulously avoided the mass executions – thus observing the official line that these executions never took place."[50]

On 9 August 2016, a website run by followers of Montazeri published an audio recording from a meeting he held on 15 August 1988 with the special judicial tribunal (Tehran Prosecutor Morteza Eshraghi, Judge Hossein-Ali Nayeri, Deputy Prosecutor General Ebrahim Raeesi and MOIS representative in Evin Mostafa Pourmohammadi).[51][52] One can hear Montazeri condemning the mass executions. The Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) had the recording taken down the day after its release.[53][54]

Iranian position[edit]

Ebrahim Raisi (right) and Mostafa Pourmohammadi (left), two members of "Judges of Death" committee. Both would later become high-ranking officials.

Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who was speaking in the administrative council meeting in the city of Khorram-Abad in Lorestan province, on 28 August 2016 said: "We are proud we have implemented God's order about Mojahedin (PMOI or MEK)."[55] In 2017 Ali Khamenei defended the executions, stating that those killed were "terrorists" and "hypocrites".[56]

The Iran government accused those investigating the killings of "disclosing state secrets" and "threatening national security". According to Amnesty International, there has been an ongoing campaign by the Islamic Republic to demonize victims, distort facts, and repress family survivors and human rights defenders.[57][58]

Other criticism[edit]

One complaint made against the mass killings was that almost all the prisoners executed had been arrested for relatively minor offenses, since those with serious charges had already been executed. The 1988 killings resembled the 'disappearances' of prisoners in 20th-century Latin America.[59]

According to Kaveh Shahrooz, writing in Gozaar, a publication sponsored by Freedom House, "it is baffling that two of the world's most powerful human rights organizations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have simply never written full reports on a crime as widespread as the 1988 extermination campaign."[60]

While Amnesty International's report "Iran: Violations of Human Rights 1987-1990" published in 1990 devotes a few pages to the massacre, the human rights organization has never written a full report on the killings.[10] The Amnesty International report states:

The political executions took place in many prisons in all parts of Iran, often far from where the armed incursion took place. Most of the executions were of political prisoners, including an unknown number of prisoners of conscience, who had already served a number of years in prison. They could have played no part in the armed incursion, and they were in no position to take part in spying or terrorist activities. Many of the dead had been tried and sentenced to prison terms during the early 1980s, many for non-violent offences such as distributing newspapers and leaflets, taking part in demonstrations or collecting funds for prisoners' families. Many of the dead had been students in their teens or early twenties at the time of their arrest. The majority of those killed were supporters of the PMOI, but hundreds of members and supporters of other political groups, including various factions of the PFOI, the Tudeh Party, the KDPI, Rah-e Kargar and others, were also among the execution victims.[10]

Similarly, Human Rights Watch devotes a mere handful of pages to the massacre in a background report concerning President Ahmadinejad's cabinet picks.[61]

Human Rights Watch (HRW) described the executions as "deliberate and systematic ... extrajudicial killings," and condemned them as crimes against humanity. HRW also accused Mustafa Pour-Mohammadi, Iran's Interior Minister from 2005 to 2008, of direct involvement in the killings.[61]

UN judge and human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC urged the UN Security Council to set up a special court, along the lines of the International Tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, to try the men involved "for one of the worst single human rights atrocities since the Second World War."[34]


Campaigners for justice for the executed, London, 2018.

A 2018 research by Amnesty International found that Ruhollah Khomeini had ordered the torture and execution of thousands of political prisoners through a secret fatwa. In 2016, an audio recording was posted online of a high-level official meeting that took place in August 1988 between Hossein Ali Montazeri and the officials responsible for the mass killings in Tehran. In the recording, Hossein Ali Montazeri is heard saying that the ministry of intelligence used the MEK's armed incursion as a pretext to carry out the mass killings, which "had been under consideration for several years."[62][63]

Scholars disagree over why the prisoners were killed. Ali Akbar Mahdi believes the intense overcrowding of Iranian prisons and the July 1988 Mojahedin Operation Mersad offensive "had much to do" with the massacre.[64] Ervand Abrahamian believes the "regime's internal dynamics" were responsible – the need for "a glue" to hold "together his disparate followers" and a "bloodbath" to "purge" moderates like Montazeri and prevent any future "détente with the West" from destroying his legacy.[65] In particular the killings destroyed any ties, or possibility of ties, between populists in the Khomeini movement on the one hand, and non-Khomeiniist Islamist and secular leftists on the other. Khomeini had been concerned that "some of his followers had toyed with the dangerous notion of working with the Tudeh Party to incorporate more radical clauses into the Labor Law as well as into the Land Reform Law" earlier.[66]

Iran Tribunal[edit]

In 2012, the families of the victims, along with the survivors of the mass executions initiated an international Commission, the Iran Tribunal, in order to investigate the mass killing of Iran's political prisoners. "Iran Tribunal" is aiming to hold Iran's government accountable on charges of crimes against humanity.[67] The first session of court hearing was organized in London and the second one at The Hague Peace Palace.[68]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Akhlaghi, Reza. "Canada Recognizes Iran's 1988 Massacre as Crime against Humanity". Foreign Policy Blog. Archived from the original on 18 May 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b "More Than 100 Prominent Iranians Ask UN to Declare 1988 Massacre 'Crime Against Humanity'". Center for Human Rights in Iran. 7 September 2016. Archived from the original on 26 May 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  3. ^ "1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran". National Council of Resistance of Iran. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  4. ^ Naderi, Mostafa (22 August 2013). "I was lucky to escape with my life. The massacre of Iranian political prisoners in 1988 must now be investigated". The Independent. Archived from the original on 28 February 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Iran still seeks to erase the '1988 prison massacre' from memories, 25 years on". Amnesty International. Archived from the original on 5 April 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  6. ^ Iranian party demands end to repression Archived 24 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand, Tortured Confessions, University of California Press, 1999, 209-228
  8. ^ "Blood-soaked secrets with Iran's 1998 Prison Massacres are ongoing crimes against humanity" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  9. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand (1999). Tortured Confessions Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 210. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2013.
  10. ^ a b c "IRAN: VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS 1987 - 1990". Amnesty International. 1 December 1990. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  11. ^ von Schwerin, Ulrich (2015). The Dissident Mullah: Ayatollah Montazeri and the Struggle for Reform in Revolutionary Iran. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9780857737748.
  12. ^ a b c d Lamb, Christina (4 February 2001). "Khomeini fatwa 'led to killing of 30,000 in Iran'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 July 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  13. ^ The World's Most Notorious Dictators. Athlon Special Issue. 2017. p. 80
  14. ^ Basmenji, Kaveh (2005). Tehran Blues: Youth Culture in Iran. Saqui Books. ISBN 978-0863565823.
  15. ^ "احمد خاتمی: امام خمینی با اعدام‌های ۶۷ خدمت بزرگی به ملت کرد". Deutsche Welle persian. 19 August 2016. Retrieved 10 June 2021.
  16. ^ Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), 218
  17. ^ "Blood-soaked secrets with Iran's 1998 Prison Massacres are ongoing crimes against humanity" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Iran: Top government officials distorted the truth about 1988 prison massacres". Archived from the original on 12 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  19. ^ a b Abrahamian, Ervand, Tortured Confessions, University of California Press, 1999, p. 210.
  20. ^ Upholding the truth (Pasdasht e Haghighat) (رضایی و سلیمی نمین، پاسداشت حقیقت) by Mohsen Rezaee and Abbas Salimi-Namin. Page 147. 2002
  21. ^ "Ayatollah Khomeini's Decree Ordering the Execution of Prisoners 1988". Human Rights & Democracy for Iran. Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  22. ^ a b "Nasrin Sotoudeh: Investigate Iranian Presidential Hopeful Ebrahim Raisi for 1988 Mass Executions". Center for Human Rights in Iran. 17 April 2017. Archived from the original on 13 June 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  23. ^ a b Abrahamian, Ervand (4 May 2017). "An Interview with Scholar and Historian Ervand Abrahamian on the Islamic Republic's "Greatest Crime"". Center for Human Rights in Iran. Archived from the original on 5 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Blood-soaked secrets with Iran's 1998 Prison Massacres are ongoing crimes against humanity" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  25. ^ "Iran: Top government officials distorted the truth about 1988 prison massacres". Archived from the original on 12 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  26. ^ Kaveh Sharooz, "With Revolutionary Rage and Rancor: A Preliminary Report on the 1988 Massacre of Iran's Political Prisoners", Harvard Human Rights Journal, Volume 20, p. 233.
  27. ^ Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), pp. 209-10.
  28. ^ Suguayani (2018). "1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners". Better Choice. Archived from the original on 29 December 2019. Retrieved 29 December 2019.
  29. ^ 'Interview with Two Survivors of the Mass Killings,' Ettehad-e Kar 41 (August 1997), quoted in Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p. 212.
  30. ^ Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p. 212.
  31. ^ Editorial, 'The Islamic Law of Repentance,' Aksariyat 18 May 1989 quoted in Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), pp. 212-3.
  32. ^ E. Mahbaz (pseudonym, 'The Islamic Republic of Iran – The Hell for women: Seven Years in Prison" (unpublished paper, 1996), quoted in Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p. 215.
  33. ^ Ebadi, Shirin, Iran Awakening, by Shirin Ebadi with Azadeh Moaveni, Random House New York, 2006, pp. 87, 88.
  34. ^ a b "The Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran, 1988" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2010. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  35. ^ Anonymous, 'I Was Witness to the Slaughter of Political Prisoners in Gohar Dasht,' Cheshmandaz, n.14 (Winter 1995): 68, quoted in Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p. 212.
  36. ^ K. Homayun, 'The Slaughter at Gohar Dasht', Kar 62, (April 1992), quoted in Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p. 212.
  37. ^ N. Mohajer, 'The Mass Killings in Iran' Aresh 57 (August 1996): 7, quoted in Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p. 212.
  38. ^ Amnesty International. Iran: Violations of Human Rights, 1987–1990 (London, 1991) 12.
  39. ^ a b Super User. "NCRI – National Council of Resistance of Iran – Ex-Khamenei crony: 33,000 executed during 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran". Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  40. ^ Ebadi, Shirin, Iran Awakening, by Shirin Ebadi with Azadeh Moaveni, Random House New York, 2006, pp. 90-1.
  41. ^ "United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and NGOs condemned human rights violations in Iran". Archived from the original on 28 January 2018. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  42. ^ "On the 29th anniversary of the 1988 mass extra-legal executions of political prisoners in the Islamic Republic of Iran". Archived from the original on 16 September 2017. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  43. ^ "Written statement by NGOs on Iran, during Human Rights Council" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 17 March 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  44. ^ "Iran committing crimes against humanity by concealing fate of thousands of slaughtered political dissidents". Archived from the original on 10 December 2018. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  45. ^ "Sweden Jails Iranian Prosecutor Implicated In Mass Execution In Prisons". RFE/RL. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  46. ^ "Suspect in Iran 1988 mass executions to be tried in Sweden in June". Al Arabiya English. 26 March 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  47. ^ "Sweden tries Hamid Nouri over 1988 Iran prison massacre". BBC News. 8 August 2021. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  48. ^ editor, 'Montazeri's Letters,' Cheshmandaz, n.6 (Summer 1989), 35-37, quoted in Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p.220
  49. ^ Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p. 220.
  50. ^ Ranjnameh-e Hazrat Hojjat al-Islam va al-Muslman Aqa-ye Hajj Sayyed Ahmad Khomeini beh Hazrat Ayatollah Montazeri (Tehran, 1990), quoted in Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p. 220.
  51. ^ "audio.rferl.org/FRD/2016/08/09/f2720a29-b951-4fc6-855a-c18cd25baef0.mp3". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 12 August 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  52. ^ "Iran's Intelligence Ministry Tries to Hide Evidence of Massacre of Thousands of Political Prisoners in 1988". International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. N/A. 12 August 2016. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
  53. ^ "Iran News Round Up – August 10, 2016". criticalthreats.org. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  54. ^ "Audio file revives calls for inquiry into massacre of Iran political prisoners". The Guardian. 11 August 2016. Archived from the original on 11 August 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  55. ^ "پورمحمدی درباره اعدام‌های ۶۷: افتخار می‌کنیم حکم خدا را اجرا کردیم" [67 executions: proud to have performed the commandment of God] (in Persian). 28 August 2016. Archived from the original on 31 August 2016. Retrieved 1 September 2016.
  56. ^ "Khamenei defends Iran's 1980s political executions that killed thousands". Al Arabiya English. 6 June 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  57. ^ "Blood-soaked secrets with Iran's 1998 Prison Massacres are ongoing crimes against humanity" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  58. ^ "Iran: Top government officials distorted the truth about 1988 prison massacres". Archived from the original on 12 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  59. ^ Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p. 217.
  60. ^ Twenty Years of Silence: The 1988 Massacre and the Quest for Accountability Archived 28 January 2009 at the Stanford Web Archive, Gozaar
  61. ^ a b "HRW – Pour-Mohammadi and the 1988 Prison Massacres". Archived from the original on 16 March 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  62. ^ "Blood-soaked secrets with Iran's 1998 Prison Massacres are ongoing crimes against humanity" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  63. ^ "Iran: Top government officials distorted the truth about 1988 prison massacres". Archived from the original on 12 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  64. ^ Mahdi, Ali Akbar (2000). "Tortured Confessions: Prison and Public Recantations in Modern Iran by Ervand Abrahamian, Review by Ali Akbar Mahdi". International Journal of Middle East Studies. 32: 417. doi:10.1017/S0020743800002567. S2CID 162676627. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  65. ^ Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions, (1999), p. 219.
  66. ^ Abrahamian, Ervand, History of Modern Iran, Columbia University Press, 2008, p. 182.
  67. ^ "– "May this Tribunal prevent the crime of silence"...?". Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
  68. ^ "- "Court Hearing in The Hague for 1980s Massacre in Persia"...?". 27 October 2012. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2012.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]