Geneva: Justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre Iran

Le Temps, a French-language newspaper published in Switzerland, printed an article about the formation of the organisation ‘Justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre Iran’. An English translation of the article can be found on the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) website.

They say how the recording of Hossein Ali Montazeri, the designated successor of Ayatollah Khomeini, that was recently released provides us with more information about what really happened during the summer of 1988 in which tens of thousands of people were murdered.

Montazeri’s family released the recording, undoubtedly proving its authenticity. Speaking to judges and perpetrators, Montazeri who would eventually have occupied the position of Supreme Leader, strongly expressed his opposition to the application of a fatwa issued by Khomeini. “What will you say to the families?” he asked. He said that the crimes “that you made with your own hands” will cause them to be remembered as amongst the worst criminals in history.

Le Temps says that this conversation changed the future of Iran. Despite the event happening nearly three decades ago, it is still something that needs resolves.

It is reported that in Geneva, a committee is planning prepare so that an inquiry is triggered which would look into current Iranian authorities.

The fatwa issued by Khomeini, only a few sentences long, is a scathing call to “wipe out” political prisoners, sympathizers of MEK/PMOI. The religious decree would soon be carried out, causing 30,000 deaths according to the opposition. These people were systematically killed and buried in mass graves across the country.

Montazeri refused to condone the killings which caused him to be side-lined right up to his death in 2009. Like a ghost voice, he has now returned to haunt Tehran.

Ingrid Betancourt, former Colombian presidential candidate who had been held hostage for six years said: “This record gets people talking. Iranian society was not necessarily aware of the magnitude of what really happened.” Betancourt, along with other well-known people, announced on Wednesday the formation of the Committee ‘Justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre Iran’.

The members of the committee are lawyers and other political figures. Lawyer Azadeh Zabeti confirmed that it is essential that the UN launches an investigation in Geneva, especially because some of the leaders who played a significant role in the execution of the fatwa are still in power. On this subject, human rights organizations have often spoken in the past about the current Justice Minister, Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi.

When the recording was released, families of victims started to disclose information about the location of several mass graves. The location of more graves that were once concealed have become known in recent years because of new construction work or following rainfall.