Iran Human RightsIranian-Americans and Members of Congress mark 1988 massacre with...

Iranian-Americans and Members of Congress mark 1988 massacre with exhibition


PRNewswire: Twenty-five years have passed since the summer 1988 massacre of some 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. To mark the occasion Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC) and Members  of Congress sponsored an exhibition in the House of Representatives. 

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ — Twenty-five years have passed since the summer 1988 massacre of some 30,000 political prisoners in Iran.  To mark the occasion and highlight this manifest case of crime against humanity, Organization of Iranian American Communities (OIAC), its network of Iranian exile communities, and Members  of Congress sponsored an exhibition in the United States House of Representatives. 

The regime’s Supreme Leader at the time Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa (religious decree), ordering the massacre of political prisoners who were serving time in prisons across Iran. None had been sentenced to death. About 90 percent were members and sympathizers of the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).  “Whoever at any stage continues to belong to the Monafeqin (MEK) must be executed” Khomeini stressed, decreeing for his forces to “annihilate the enemies of Islam immediately.”

Several Members of Congress, including Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Lacy Clay (D-MO) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) attended and spoke at the exhibition. In her remarks, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of Subcommittee on Middle East, called the 1988 massacre, “a tragedy that continues today because we have Camp Liberty in Iraq, where the people are not afforded the protection that the Iraqi government and the US government promised to provide to them.” 

Underscoring the need for policy makers to remain vigilant of Iranian government’s true intentions, Tom Cotton said, “Iran is a sham democracy, and they had a sham election” with which they are attempting to “dupe people in the West.”

On Khomeini’s orders, a “Death Commission” was created and tasked with determining whether a prisoner was a “Mohareb”(Enemy of God) or not.  Thousands of students, children, mothers, fathers, and the elderly were summarily executed.  Thousands were buried in mass graves across Iran, while many others were never identified or found.

The exhibition should serve as a wake up call for those who still wish to continue the failed negotiations scheme with the Iranian regime. Indeed, the so-called moderate President-elect Hassan Rouhani (Rowhani) was the Deputy Commander-in-chief of Iran’s armed forces in 1988. From 1982 and into early 90s, he also served on the regime’s Supreme Defense Council. In those positions, he was fully aware of, condoned, or aided in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.

The exhibition, held in the Rayburn House of Building Foyer Room, was co-sponsored by 12 bipartisan Members of Congress.


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