by Staff writer, SF
The 2018 Free Iran Rally began in earnest in Paris on Saturday, June 30th, 2018. Alex Taylor, Annette Burgdorf, Ramesh Sepehrrad, and Massoud Kalani welcomed the magnitude in attendance and reiterated their support to the Iranian resistance movement.
The auditorium in Villepinte was a sea of red, white and green as the first speakers took the stage to applause. However, it was a moment remembering the victims of the 1988 massacre that drew the strongest reactions.
The clip showed a man in prison awaiting his execution. Blindfolded, he walks the corridors in line with other prisoners, first to his trial, then to the gallows. The unidentified prisoner enters the courtroom. When asked his charge, he replied “mujahedin”. The judge informs him he will be hanged in 50 minutes.
30,000 political prisoners were sent to their deaths in 1988
In 1988, the Supreme Leader Khomeini issued a fatwa, ordering the roundup and systematic execution of members of the Iranian opposition movement. More than 30,000 members of the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK) were arrested, tried in arbitrary court rulings that lasted barely an hour, and sentenced to death by an approved Death Committee.
The video at the Free Iran Rally showed the final moments of one man awaiting his execution. He describes his feeling of “anxious” and “calm”. Anxious because he is about to go to his death. But calm in his decisions to admit to his involvement in the mujahedin.
He remembered his daughter, flitting scenes of happiness which he laments were not long enough.
He files through the prison corridors on his way to his execution, his eyes covered, his hand on the shoulder of the prisoner in front for guidance. He knows his end is near and risks a look under his blindfold. He describes seeing many bodies and wonders aloud why Khomeini is committing these atrocities. What does he hope to achieve?
Now he is at the gallows, he says the weight of the noose feels heavy on his head. It is almost time.
As the video ends, and our protagonist has met his end at the hands of the mullahs, he says defiantly, “they executed me thirty years ago, but I am still alive.”
They are still alive
Looking around the Free Iran Rally, is it evident all 30,000 are still alive. As the video ends, many of the Iranians gathered at the rally are holding photos of victims. They made the ultimate sacrifice on the road to freedom, but their determination is very much alive in the Iranian opposition and within the brave Iranian people.
Those responsible for the 1988 massacre were never brought to justice. A member of the Death Committee, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, is Rouhani’s Justice Minister today.
The MEK and Maryam Rajavi remain committed to exposing the mullahs’ atrocities everywhere they can. The mullahs wall of silence on the atrocities committed by the clerical regime in 1988 must be brought down and those responsible should be brought to justice. For the families of the victims of 1988, it is a matter of urgency.