London, 30 Aug – An article in Media Express posted by Craig Davidson, describes a solemn event that took place on August 23rd and 24th, when people came to view the exhibition in the Mayor’s office Paris’ 2nd district.
A remembrance of the 28th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), the largest single Iranian resistance group, was on display. Portraits of the victims, listing their name, age, and and occupation (many were university students), made a poignant statement on their own. Memorabilia, such as their possessions were included int the exhibit, evoking the personal lives and character of the slain dissidents. News articles from 1988, as well as later revelations about the extent of the killings were also on view.
The Mayor of Paris’ 2nd arrondissement, Jacques Boutault, attended and spoke with The Media Express at the exhibition. “This event commemorates the 28th anniversary of a massacre that took place in the greatest secrecy within Iran’s prisons for their opinions, for their political affiliation…Today, those responsible for the massacre are still in power in Iran. The international community must open with utmost carefulness and pressure political change in Iran so Iranians can practice democracy and a free form of Islam.” He added, “Yes, of course, the international community must first avoid the worst possible outcome: that Iran obtains a nuclear weapon. This being avoided, Iran has been allowed to return to the table of international negotiations; but this cannot be done naively, it cannot be done without speaking the truth about the Iranian regime, without demanding accounts [of the victims] from them and creating economic and political pressure for political change in Iran.”
In an attempt to suppress political dissent, the Iranian regime ordered mass arrests of PMOI members. Later, a fatwa was decreed, calling for their extermination. The summer of 1988 saw some 30,000 people hanged, in a massacre where life or death were based on just a single question, “What is your political affiliation?”
French politician Rama Yade spoke with The Media Express at the event.
“We have a duty, a mission, to help [Maryam Rajavi] to introduce liberty and human rights in [Iran],” she said. “Iran is a huge country; it is an important country for the world and for the security of the world; and it is a problem today to have a theocracy at the head of the state. So I hope that Mrs. Rajavi will tomorrow be the head of the state; because it is absolutely necessary to have political change in Iran.”
The populous knew that the massacre had occurred, but thought that only a few thousand had been executed. The full extent of this crime against humanity was not revealed until 2001.
In attendance was also, Rassoul Asghari, an Iranian journalist living in exile in France. Asghari, once the editor of Iranian state-run newspaper Sarmayeh, also spoke with the Media Express. When he was asked for the most important reason of the renewed interest in the 1988 massacre, he replied that it was because “the injury that occured in 1988 has still not been repaired…The families of the victims have not stopped seeking justice for their loved ones. By exhibitions like this, as well as other demonstrations, we can see the will to never forget what happened.”