Anniversary of 1988 Iran massacre: Mock execution held outside Downing Street

The Independent has reported that protesters have staged a mock execution outside Downing Street as they enter the last day of their hunger strike. They want to pressure the UK government to condemn the horrifying executions that take place in Iran.

On Saturday they started their three day protest to coincide with the anniversary of the 1988 massacre in which approximately 30,000 political prisoners were killed in Iran. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran at that time, issued a secret fatwa targeting those who were considered to be “at war with Allah”.

During a period of five months, the majority of the people executed were part of the main opposition party – the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI or MEK) – or from other smaller left-wing groups such as the Iranian Communist party. There were also many members of the minority Sunni Islamic community that were killed.

Anglo-Iranian and British supporters gathered over the weekend to protest against the executions that have taken place in Iran since Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013. It is said that there have been more than 2,500 executions during his tenure so far.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) organised the protest and is calling on the UK government to acknowledge the executions and human rights abuses in Iran. They said: “The hunger strikers and protesters are urging the UK government to categorically condemn the incessant cruel hangings that are taking place unabatedly in Iran and act with its Western allies to press for an immediate halt to the executions and torture in Iran. They also called on the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council to refer the human rights dossier of the mullahs’ regime to the International Criminal Court for the prosecution of its leaders including the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani.”

The NCRI’s president-elect, Mrs Maryam Rajavi, said the 1988 massacre was an “appalling crime against humanity”. She said that the UN has to now “end their silence and bring the record of the Iranian regime’s crimes before the International Criminal Court”.

One of the British supporters was MP Matthew Offord. He said: “I would like to send my best wishes to all of you who are protesting against the horrific events we have seen happening in Iran over this past few weeks. The mass execution of Sunni political prisoners is deeply disturbing and has rightly been condemned.”

Offord also mentioned that he was at the Free Iran rally in Paris a few weeks ago where he spoke to over 100,000 people who came to show their support for the NCRI. He said: “It was a great opportunity for myself and fellow parliamentarians to express our concerns over these events and we will continue to stand with you all and highlight your concerns in Parliament.”