Thursday, December 22, 2016

Khomeini Killed 30,000 Political Prisoners In 1988 Alone

Khomeini fatwa 'led to killing of 30,000 in Iran': CHILDREN as young as 13 were hanged from cranes, six at a time, in a barbaric two-month purge of Iran's prisons on the direct orders of Ayatollah Khomeini, according to a new book by his former deputy.

More than 30,000 political prisoners were executed in the 1988 massacre - a far larger number than previously suspected. 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.

Gruesome details are contained in the memoirs of Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, The Memoirs of Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, one of the founders of the Islamic regime. He was once considered Khomeini's anointed successor, but was deposed for his outspokenness, and is now under house arrest in the holy city of Qom.

Published privately last month after attempts by the regime to suppress it, the revelations have prompted demands from Iranian exiles for those involved to be tried for crimes against humanity. The most damning of the letters and documents published in the book is Khomeini's fatwa decree calling for all Mojahedin (as opponents of the Iranian regime are known) to be killed.

Ayatollah Khomeini’s Deadly Fatwa

Issued shortly after the end of the Iran-Iraq war in July 1988 and an incursion into western Iran by the Iranian resistance, the fatwa reads: "It is decreed that those who are in prisons throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for the Monafeqin (Mojahedin) are waging war on God and are condemned to execution."

It goes on to entrust the decision to "death committees" - three-member panels consisting of an Islamic judge, a representative of the Ministry of Intelligence, and a state prosecutor. Prisoners were to be asked if they had changed loyalties and, if not, were to be executed.

Montazeri, who states that 3,800 people had been killed by the end of the first fortnight of executions, includes his own correspondence with Khomeini, saying that the killings would be seen as "a vendetta" and would spark opposition to the regime. He wrote: "The execution of several thousand prisoners in a few days will not have positive repercussions and will not be mistake-free."

The massacres, which came just before the Lockerbie bombing, were seen as a sop to the hardliners at a time when Khomeini was already in failing health and the battle for succession had begun between fundamentalists and moderates. He died the following year.

According to testimony from prison officials - including Kamal Afkhami Ardekani, who formerly worked at Evin prison - recently given to United Nations human rights rapporteurs: "They would line up prisoners in a 14-by-five-metre hall in the central office building and then ask simply one question, 'What is your political affiliation?' Those who said the Mojahedin would be hanged from cranes in position in the car park behind the building."

He went on to describe how, every half an hour from 7.30am to 5pm, 33 people were lifted on three forklift trucks to six cranes, each of which had five or six ropes. He said: "The process went on and on without interruption." In two weeks, 8,000 people were hanged. Similar carnage took place across the country.

Many of those in the ruling council at the time of the 1988 massacre are still in power, including President Mohammed Khatami, who was the Director of Ideological and Cultural Affairs.

"The massacre may have happened 12 years ago, but the relevance is that these atrocities are still happening", said Mohammad Mohaddessin, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Iranian National Council of Resistance (NCRI), the main opposition group, who was in London last week to present evidence to MPs.

The NCRI has prepared files on 21 senior members of the regime whom it alleges were "principal protagonists of the massacre", including Mr Khatami and Ayatollah Ali Khameini, Iran's "Supreme Leader". Mr Mohaddessin will travel to New York to present the files to the UN and call for a tribunal to try them for crimes against humanity.

Mr Mohaddessin said human rights abuses were continuing in Iran despite the election of Mr Khatami, who "presents himself as a reformist".
Khomeini's Child-Rape Fatwa.
Khomeini's Sex-With-Animal Fatwa.
Khomeini's Kill-Rushdie Fatwa.
Iran, 1988 Genocide, What happened?

IN THE summer of 1988, when its revolution was nearly a decade old and the disastrous war with Iraq was winding down, the Iranian government killed around 50,000 political prisoners. The event is not particularly well known, partly because Iran went to considerable effort to make sure this was so, and partly because there was so much going on elsewhere at the time.

Soviet Union began pulling out of Afghanistan in May and a year later the Berlin Wall came down. A tribunal sitting in London until June 22nd is attempting to fill in the gaps, hearing testimony from survivors of the purge and from the relatives of those who went missing.

The killing was ordered by a fatwa issued by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who became Supreme Leader of Iran after the revolution. It was relentless and efficient. Prisoners, including women and teenagers, were loaded onto forklift trucks and hanged from cranes and beams in groups of five or six at half-hourly intervals all day long. Others were killed by firing squad. Those not executed were subjected to torture.

The victims were intellectuals, students, left-wingers, members of the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (MEK), other opposition parties and ethnic and religious minorities. Many had originally been sentenced for non-violent offences such as distributing newspapers and leaflets, taking part in demonstrations or collecting funds for prisoners' families, according to a report published by Amnesty International in 1990.

The tribunal in London, which has no legal standing, will hear from 60 witnesses in total. They have come from the many countries where they live in exile and some asked not to be identified because they fear for the safety of relatives still in Iran. They describe prisons in which torture was routinely used to extract information, gather more names of people to arrest, and also to make prisoners repent and publicly repudiate their political and religious affiliations and beliefs.

One witness said that one of his cellmates, a boy of 16, was raped by guards every night.

Siavash Daneshvar, who was arrested in 1982 for being a member of Kurdistan's Kumele party, described rooms underneath the wards at Evin prison from which could be heard the cries of prisoners being tortured at all hours. “They also had ‘coffins' where prisoners stayed in for two, three, five or more months,” he said. 

Rahman Darkeshideh, who was arrested at 16 for possessing written slogans against the war, spent eight years in prison, including three in solitary confinement.  “It was dark 24 hours a day. I had to relieve myself in the same cup I used for my tea," he said. "I will suffer physically and mentally for the rest of my life.”

These testimonies, translated simultaneously into English, corroborated what was already known of the executions. In 2001 Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, former designated successor to Khomeini, published a memoir which contains details of the 1988 massacre, including a copy of Khomeini's fatwa calling for the execution of all Mojahedins as “fighters against God” and all leftists as “apostates from Islam.”

“There is a coherence amongst all the testimonies. They confirm the same story and match what was already known,” said Eric David, professor of public international law at Brussels University.

Iran had killed a large number of political prisoners throughout the 1980s, so why the sudden increase in 1988? The witnesses' testimonies suggest that the regime was worried about the large number of unrepentant political prisoners due to be released after the end of the war with Iraq, and so decided to purge its prisons of troublesome elements once and for all.

Witnesses described how, in the months preceding the massacre, they were questioned and separated according to their political and religious beliefs, and moved across various prisons.  Then they were called one-by-one in front of a makeshift court made up of an Islamic judge, a state prosecutor and a representative of the Ministry of Intelligence.

They were asked: “Are you a Muslim”, “Do you pray?”, “What is your political affiliation?” and “Do you recant your beliefs and political activities?”  If their answers didn't satisfy the court they were sent for execution. Many must have had no idea why they were sent to the gallows. A witness told the commission that one of the clerics was holding his son on his lap. The little boy said: “Dear Papa, please also execute this one.”

Families were informed of the deaths months after they took place and were never told where their bodies were buried.  “Four months after my brother's death, my father was called to Evin prison and told that his son had been an apostate and there was no place in this world for him and no place in the other world either,” said Lawdan Bazargan.

The tribunal, which has enthusiastic backing from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has no power to do anything bar publicising the testimony of witnesses. A second tribunal will then convene in The Hague at the end of October. Neither gathering is likely to concern the people who arranged the killings too much. But at least they remedy what the relatives of victims mind about most—the forgetting of what happened one summer almost a quarter of a century ago.

(Ahmad Mossavi, former political prisoner and survivor of the mass executions of the early 80s and 1988 massacre. He has written his own memories in the book entitled “Good Night Comrades”. He spent ten years(1981-1991) in various prisons of the Islamic Republic of Iran.)

Twenty years have passed since the mass execution of Iranian political prisoners during thesummer of 1988. The magnitude of this barbaric atrocity was such that Amnesty International rightly referred to it as a “Crime against Humanity”.

The mass executions of summer of 1988 were so widespread and savage that our society and the relatives of the victims still haven’t come to terms with the ruthless murder of their captive children who had fallen victim to the melancholic minds of the heads of the Islamic Republic in such a brutal manner.

Mothers, wives, children and fathers of the victims of summer of 1988 are still agonised by these horrific monstrosities; mothers, who still don’t want to believe that such crimes took place inside the Islamic Republic’s jails.

After twenty years, the mothers still haven’t quite recovered from the inflicted trauma and still daydream the return of their beloved. How painful and heartbreaking this is. It is even more agonising for us, the survivors of the summer 1988 genocide, to reflect the sorrow and the futile awaiting of these mothers.

The Islamic Republic has committed countless crimes during its thirty years of existence; crimes which have been and are deeply rooted in the nature of their religion and the reactionary minds of its leaders.

The mass genocide of thousands of political prisoners in the summer of 1988 which took place during less than two months is a reminder of the unforgettable era of barbarity and the driving forces of the medieval ages; times well remembered in the historical registers of all civilised societies and conscious humans.

Naturally, our intention and that of all freedom loving and socialist humans would be to keep the memories of these barbaric crimes of the Islamic Republic Regime alive. Twenty years have passed since the holocaust of the summer of 1988. However, the true magnitude of this genocide still preys upon everybody’s minds. A better measure of the extent of the crimes is revealed by knowing that the victims of these crimes were all political prisoners who were supposed to be serving their sentences.

Here, I must stress the fact that although all crimes committed by the Islamic Republic are carried out as a direct consequence of Khomeini’s reactionary and melancholic school of thought, but the mass murder of thousands of political prisoners during the summer of 1988 were carried out following Khomeini’s personal written decree. Carrying out crimes in such magnitude, would have not been easy if not impossible, had they not been initiated by Khomeini’s direct orders.

Only Khomeini’s direct orders would have had enough clout to consolidate and unify all executive factions within the regime in order to massacre the political prisoners. Even after twenty years, justifying the mass executions of the summer of 1988 defines the regime’s unanimity.

As we have been witnessing, up to now all the ruling factions within the regime, be it fundamentalist or “reformists”, have remained faithful to it. The essence of ending any life is criminal. But taking a human life for his/ her political beliefs is a disaster. What signifies the act of murder, irrespective of its magnitude is the timeline during which it is carried out.

To put it into context, the significance of crucifying one human being today, would be considered more disastrous than thousands of humans who were crucified during the time of slavery or in the medieval period. Should one look at the mass genocide of the summer of 1988 from such an historical view point, then one will realise the horrific scales of the Islamic Republic’s crimes.

The magnitude of his crime horrified and silenced the nation for years to come. By vanquishing thousands of political prisoners, Khomeini had hoped to rid himself and his regime of all the political opposition forces and the most intelligent and dynamic individuals. How did the mass executions of the summer of 1988 happen?

The mass execution of the summer of 1988 struck like lightning. It came down on Iran’s prisons like lightning and took thousands of political prisoners’ lives. The mass killings happened so fast on such an unimaginable scale that even after twenty years, it still brings shivers down the spine when remembered.

Evin and Gohardasht prisons, where most political prisoners were held, became prisoners’ slaughter chambers. The mass executions followed a brief interrogation session in a two minute court hearing. The clock had turned back. The death squads in their medieval cloaks had once again appeared in prisons. Every few minute, a prisoner was being sentenced to death by execution by the decree of the medieval interrogation courts. And this is how the bells of death began their chime!

Every day hundreds of prisoners were sent to their deaths. They were vanquished by Khomeini’s hand picked squads. The genocide of political prisoners continued until 16 September 1988 in this way and in less than two months thousands of political prisoners met their deaths by execution. The killings were taking place as fast and furious in other provinces outside Tehran as in Evin and Gohardasht prisons.

In the Northern provinces where I was held, the bells of death started to sound from the morning of 30 July 1988. On that day the governor of the prison entered the section with his appointed guards. One by one the prisoners were threatened with death. The same evening the massacre began. The first group of victims were selected. They called 17 prisoners and marched them to meet their deaths by hanging. Half an hour later, the second group of 16 were sent to the slaughter chamber.

The massacre continued the next day. On July 31, the prisoners were taken out of the section in pairs and hanged. This is how the days passed. There was no sign of the killings stopping. In less than ten days 95 of my inmate comrades and friends became the victims of Khomeini and his mob’s insanity. Out of 120 prisoners in our section, only 25 survived. The section had been cleared.

The nightmare of death was dominating the prison’s atmosphere and in our dreams we kept hoping to see our inmate friends and comrades in another prison. We could not believe such crime. We could not comprehend it in any way. The scale of the disaster was of such magnitude that exceeded the powers of our imagination. As time went by, the dreams of seeing our friends and comrades once again, turned into disappointment. In the agonising silence of the prison, we had to come to terms with the death of thousands of our comrades.

Notorious Evin Prison for political prisoners.
Infamous Gohardasht Prison for political prisoners.

The Forgotten Mass Execution of Prisoners in Iran in 1988

On the 25th anniversary, it is time for those responsible to be held to account. The massacre of political prisoners by the Iranian regime, which took place in the summer of 1988 has never been acknowledged by Tehran and remains one of the darkest stains in recent history, although it is relatively unknown in the West.

The executions began in late July and continued for several months. As many as 30,000 political prisoners or more, the overwhelming majority of them activists of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) were slaughtered.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a decree in July 1988:  “Whoever at any stage continues to belong to the PMOI must be executed. Annihilate the enemies of Islam immediately!” He went on to add: “… Those who are in prisons throughout the country and remain steadfast in their support for PMOI are waging war on God and are condemned to execution…It is naive to show mercy to those who wage war on God.”

The executions soon began and every day hundreds of political prisoners were hanged and their corpses were buried hurriedly in unmarked mass graves in all of Iran’s major cities, in particular in Khavaran cemetery in south Tehran.

Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, a cleric who had for ten years been the designated successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, strongly protested against the mass executions and called for a moratorium, but Khomeini insisted that there should be no mercy shown and ordered that all prisoners, including even teenagers and pregnant women, be put to death immediately.

Because of his opposition to the killings, Ayatollah Montazeri quickly fell out of favor with Khomeini and was eventually sacked in March 1989. In December 2000, Montzaeri published his memoirs and revealed shocking details about the massacre and the brutality of Khomenei.

In 2008, on the 20th anniversary of this massacre, Amnesty International renewed its call for those responsible for the “prison massacre” to be held accountable, stating “there should be no impunity for such gross human rights violations, regardless of when they were committed.”

The Iranian regime continues to deny the 1988 elimination of political prisoners. None of the perpetrators have yet been brought to justice and none of the regime’s senior officials, including the Supreme leader Ali Khamenei, have been held accountable.

The new so-called “moderate” President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, was Deputy Commander-in-chief of the regime’s armed forces at the time of the massacres and, since 1982, was a member of regime’s Supreme Defence Council, so was fully aware of the crime and in full conformity with it.

In another report in 2009, Amnesty International called on “the Iranian authorities to immediately stop the destruction of hundreds of individual and mass, unmarked graves in Khavaran, south Tehran, to ensure that the site is preserved and to initiate a forensic investigation at the site as part of a long-overdue, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into mass executions which began in 1988, often referred to in Iran as the “prison massacres”.

The organization fears that these actions of the Iranian authorities are aimed at destroying evidence of human rights violations and depriving the families of the victims of the 1988 killings of their right to truth, justice and reparation.”

On the 25th anniversary of one of the most hideous crimes against humanity since the Second World War, time has come to call for those responsible for to be held to account.

How can Islam be a religion, for the Imams frequently issue so-called Fatwas
letting their followers kill countless numbers of people 
all over the world last 1,300 years. 
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Islam Is A Perversion Of Christian Doctrine: St. Aquinas