Paris, 14 July (IPS) The arrest of Mrs. Bahareh Hedayat and Mohammad Hashemi, two student activists and the escalation of crackdowns on the civil society by the ruling ayatollahs in Iran is a follow up to the mass executions of 1988, says an Iranian political analyst in Germany.
Political prisoners were simply asked two questions: "Do you believe in God" and "Would you renounce your organisations?"
About 20 years ago, from August to September 1988, collective crimes were committed in Iran. To calm down his frustration of accepting the humiliating peace treaty with his arch foe, Saddam Hossein, Grand ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini not only drank the “chalice of poison”, but also by ordering the executions of Iranian political prisoners who were spending their prison terms and some of them must have already be released.
The exact numbers of executions of 88 and the conditions of executions have never been revealed by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) or by the media and factions of the regime. Neither have been the cruel dimensions of these crimes mentioned or reported by IRI’s lobby groups in the West which primordially are defending IRI's parasitic survival.
Various figures are speculated by both IRI’s deserters and rescuers, varying from some 4485 to 30.000 people, according to different sources
Political prisoners were simply asked two questions: “Do you believe in Allah (God)?”, “Are you prepared to renounce your political organisation?” The prisoners had no idea about the consequences of their answer. In fact a ‘No’ to any of the above questions would automatically lead to immediate execution. Furthermore, according to some survivors, many repentant got killed because the regime did not take them seriously and didn’t believe in their answers at the first place.
Although many of those prisoners had already finished their prison sentences, they were further kept in captivity. Some of them were even recaptured after being once released. Many of them were jailed, aged 12 to 14.
On orders from Grand Ayatollah Royuhollah Khomeini, thousands of political prisoners, mostly leftists, were executed in Iran.
The prisoners were from all segments of society, students, intellectuals, leftists, young boys, girls and women.
During the months of August and September, all prison visits were cancelled; families were told not to bring any medicine or food for their loved ones. During this time the killing inside Iran’s prisons continued. The slaughter was well-organised and ruthless.
All day long, prisoners were loaded on forklift trucks and hanged from cranes and beams in groups of six at half-hourly intervals. Others were killed by firing squads. Those not executed were subjected to horrific torture.
The killing was an act of unprecedented violence in the course of Iranian recent history, unprecedented in form, content and intensity”, wrote the historian Ervand Abrahamian in his book on Iranian prisons Tortured Confessions.
The executed were buried in unmarked mass graves on the outskirts of the towns. In Tehran, one mass burial was accidentally discovered by an Armenian priest who had become curious as to why stray dogs kept digging there for bones. Most victims were young sympathisers of the leftist organisations and Mojahedeen Khalq Organisation, an Islamist-Stalinian group. Many of them were arrested in their teens for reading or distributing an opposition pamphlet or a banned newspaper.
Soon after the 1979 Islamic revolution, the paramilitary thugs of Hezbollah regularly attacked and intimidated opposition groups and ravaged their offices and media.
The IRI’s version of Islam justifies both categories of “Enemy of Islam” interpreted as “Molhed” (atheists), term used against communists and “Monafegh" (hypocrite), term used for, the MKO. It not only implicitly justifies Muslims’ jihad against non-believers, but to some extent, also killings within a Muslim community, where different interests and power-thirsty ambitions can lead to killing of any outsider “enemy of Islam.”
These two categories molhed and monafegh were the most unfortunate victims of IRI’s atrocity, including that of the massacre of summer 88. Nevertheless, the massacre had also roots in the early years of the IRI, when the newly established Shi’ite dictatorship began nationwide crackdown on the leftists, democratic and secular opposition groups. Soon after the 1979 Islamic revolution, the paramilitary thugs of Hezbollah regularly attacked and intimidated opposition groups and ravaged their offices and media.
Many newspapers were shut down, women were humiliated, minorities and ethnics were discriminated, and Friday prayer sermons turned into a place to spew venoms and hatred against any voice calling for gender equality, social justice, democracy, Identity of Persian or pre-Islamic civilisation, separation of religion from state and the values of secularism.
In the twentieth year of the massacre, we all freedom-loving Iranians along with the families who lost their loved children in summer 88 demand the UN to officially condemn this massacre. It is in the nature of the IRI and obvious evidence that such massacres can repeatedly be committed in Iran as soon as the IRI exists.
Iranians expects the international judicial authorities to summon the murderers of this genocide before an international tribune to be tried. Such a process will not exceed their rights, as seen from their decision concerning the Sudan dictator. ENDS MASS EXECUTIONS 14708
Editor's note: Mr. Jahanshah Rashidian is a Germany-based Iranian political analyst and campaigner, contributing to many Iranian foreign-based media, including Iran Press Service.