Mass Graves

The 1988 massacre gave rise to the phenomenon of mass graves. Every day hundreds
of people in Evin and more in Gohardasht and other prisons in Tehran and in prisons
all over Iran were being executed.

The regime’s agents did not have the time to bury them one by one, so the only way was to bury them in mass graves. This method had been used occasionally in Tehran and other cities since 1981, but in 1988 it became a systematic procedure in the major cities.

A witness recalls: “The scale of the massacre was so vast that bodies of the executed were carried away on trucks to mass graves. I was able to see the truck from between metal window shades covered with a canvas sheet in order to hide the mess.”

Amnesty International recorded similar observations in its report: “One woman described to AI how she had dug up the corpse of an executed man with her bare hands as she searched for her husband’s body in Jadeh Khavaran cemetery in Tehran in August 1988 in a part of the cemetery colloquially known as Lanatabad,(the place of the damned), reserved for the bodies of executed political prisoners.

The list around th country

The mass graves listed on the following pages are located in different cities across
the country. They have been located by local residents, eyewitnesses, former prisoners, families of victims, or from testimonies by former prison officials.

1 – Ahwaz,

Khuzistan Province

2 – Amol,

Mazandaran Province

3 – Arak,

Central Province

4 – Bandar Anzali,

Gilan Province

5 – Borazjan,

Bushehr Province

6 – Gatchsaran,

Kohkiluyeh Province

7 – Gonbad,

Mazandaran Province

8 – Gorgan,

Golestan Province

9 – Hamedan,

Hamedan Province

10 – Isfahan,

Isfahan Province

11 – Kerman,

Kerman Province

12- Kermanshah,

Kermanshah Province

13 – Lahijan,

Gilan Province

14 – Mashad,

Khorassan Province

15- Orumieh,

West Azerbaijan Province

16 – Qazvin,

Qazvin Province

17- Saleh-Abad,

Ilam Province

18 – Shiraz,

Fars Province

19 – Tabriz,

East Azerbaijan Province

20 – Tehran,

Tehran Province

21 – Zahedan,

Sistan & Baluchistan Province

An investigation by Justice for Victims of 1988 Massacre in Iran (JVMI) that began in 2016 has traced the existence of 59 mass graves across Iran. The findings are based on eye-witness reports, information provided by family members of victims and documentary and photographic evidence from the sites.

The JVMI has published an interactive map that highlights the mass graves.

Amnesty International: Ahvaz-grave-desecrating

Amnesty  International:

The desecration of a mass grave site in Ahvaz, southern Iran that contains the remains of at least 44 people who were extrajudicially executed would destroy vital forensic evidence and scupper opportunities for justice for the mass prisoner killings that took place across the country in 1988, said Amnesty International and Justice for Iran.

Photo and video evidence obtained by the NGO Justice for Iran and reviewed by Amnesty International shows bulldozers working on a construction project directly alongside the mass grave site at Ahvaz, as well as piles of dirt and construction debris surrounding the grave. Although the Iranian authorities have made no official announcements about Ahvaz, families learned through a construction worker that the plan is to ultimately raze the concrete block marking the grave site and build over the area.

desecrating mass graves of PMOI memebers in Tabriz

Following the disclosure of a plan to desecrate the graves of MEK martyrs massacred by the Iranian officials in Ahwaz and Mashhad, Iran also resorted to the same crime in the city of Tabriz, northwestern Iran.
According to MEK supporters, on June 22, 2017, the Iranian regime in Wadi Rahmat in Tabriz, where the martyrs of the unknown MEK slain massacred in 1988 are buried, the regime began to raze and demolish the graves of the martyrs using construction machinery.
MEK reporters say that six people were involved in this heinous crime at the site. They removed the stones on the graves and threw them away and then poured 10 centimeters of concrete onto the graves.

Amnesty International 4 September 2017
The Iranian authorities must urgently stop the destruction of a mass grave in the southern city of Ahvaz said Amnesty International today, launching a campaign to urge authorities to protect the site, where dozens of prisoners killed during a wave of mass extrajudicial executions in August and September 1988 are buried.

Construction near the area began earlier this year. Recent footage obtained by the organization shows the site is gradually being buried beneath piles of construction waste. The campaign is being launched along with a video highlighting the imminent risks posed to the site.Amnesty International: Ahvaz-grave-desecrating

“Bulldozing the mass grave at Ahvaz will destroy crucial forensic evidence that could be used to bring those responsible for the 1988 mass extrajudicial executions to justice. It would also deprive families of victims of their rights to truth, justice and reparation, including the right to bury their loved ones in dignity. By joining Amnesty International’s campaign, people can help to press Iran’s authorities to stop the imminent destruction of the site,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Instead of desecrating the mass grave with piles of rubbish and waste and further tormenting families, who face repression for their efforts to protect the memory of their loved ones, the authorities should be upholding their duty to preserve all Iran’s mass grave sites so that investigations can be carried out into the 1988 extrajudicial executions and other mass killings.”

This month marks 29 years since the mass prisoner killings took place across the country.

The organization is calling on people to join the campaign by sending appeals to Ahvaz City Council and Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, amongst other targets, and promoting the hashtag #MassGraves88 on social media.

Mass graves video gallery

These videos show some identified graves of the political prisoners who have been massacred in Khavaran, Beheshte-Zahra in Tehran, Ahvaz and Bandar-Anzali.

Mass Graves discovered by the victims' family

Mass Graves discovered in Ahvaz &Mashhad

Beheshte-Zahra massacreds' graves

Khavaran cemetery

Ahvaz, Bandar-Anzali

Iran: Exposing the crimes of desecrating MEK martyrs’ graves

in Ahvaz and Tabriz