Month: July 2017

Lights of Liberty on the 30th Anniversary of 1988 Massacre

Lights of Liberty on the 30th Anniversary of 1988 Massacre

In the summer of 1988, 30,000 Iranian political prisoners

supporters of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, were massacred. As the 30th-anniversary approaches, the families of the victims and the citizens of Iran still await justice and an international tribune.

Thousands of Iranian political prisoners were systematically executed during a state-sponsored, five month-long killing spree in 1988. The prisoners, some as young as 14 years old, were killed in groups—loaded onto trucks and hanged from cranes. Over the past three decades, the regime has blocked all attempts at investigating the extent of the massacre.  They have gone to great lengths to conceal the truth about the murders, including damaging cemeteries with bulldozers and toppling the headstones that mark the martyrs’ graves

There is neither a single government institution nor criminal justice system to deter crime and enforce a penal code in Iran. The Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, controls everything.  He sets the tone and direction of Iran’s domestic and foreign policies and has allowed many former members of the “Death Commission” to remain in power. Figures like Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi and cleric Ebrahim Raisi are heavily involved in contemporary Iranian politics. The former is presently the minister of justice under President Hassan Rouhani’s Administration and the latter was the Supreme Leader’s in the 2017 presidential election—both have defended the government’s actions starting on July 19, 1988.

“[A] dictatorship that appoints as its justice minister someone who killed 30,000 people is telling you everything you need to know about the core nature of the dictatorship,” said Newt Gingrich, 50th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, at the Free Iran Rally in Paris on July 1, 2017.  “[D]ictatorships like the one in Iran threaten freedom anywhere,” according to Gingrich, who called Iran the largest supporter of state terrorism in the world.

The massacre was ordered by a Khomeini decree, called a fatwa, that reads: “[P]olitical prisoners throughout the country who remain steadfast in their backing for the Mojahedin (MEK) are condemned to execution.”

Despite the preservation of policies that rely on crackdowns, tortures, and executions over the past three decades, , the regime has failed. “You will someday be proud to say you were a part of what freed Iran,” Gingrich said.

I want to salute you today for your courage and for your perseverance of the MEK and the NCRI,” Said Linda Chavez, Chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity and former director of the Office of Public Liaison, at the Paris gathering.  “You are the ones who remain committed to freedom and to democracy for Iran and to eradicate the suppression, the terrorism, and the regime’s demonizing campaign that has been directed at you.  Your perseverance gives us hope that we shall, in the end, defeat the phenomenon of Islamic fundamentalism, whose heart beats in the clerical regime in Iran.  I wish you a good meeting, and I wish that your message will be carried throughout the world.”

They have on their hands the blood of so many of your people,” said former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, “but they have on their hands the blood of my people, too, who they helped to kill in Iraq and who they’ve helped to kill for years and who they’ve held hostage.” Giuliani is an advocate for classifying the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization. He continues: “If they’re not a terrorist organization, there is no such thing as a terrorist organization.  And we should declare them a terrorist organization so we can cut them off of support around the world.”

Despite the dark legacy of Iran’s dictatorships, the “light of liberty can overcome and replace the darkness of the tyrannical Iranian regime,” remarked Tom Ridge, the former United States Secretary of Homeland Security, at the rally. “The light of freedom is kept going by all those who have lost their lives for the cause.”

Greek philosopher Xenophon wrote: “The true test of a leader is whether its followers will adhere to his cause from their own volition, enduring the most arduous hardships without being forced to do so, and remaining steadfast in the moments of greatest peril.”

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Italian lawmakers & NGOs urge UN HumanRights to launch a ‘Commission of Inquiry’ into ran’s 1988 Massacre of political prisoners

Italian lawmakers & NGOs urge UN HumanRights to launch a ‘Commission of Inquiry’ into ran’s 1988 Massacre of political prisoners

On July 26th, a conference was held in Italy about Human Rights in Iran and the 1988 Massacre of 30,000 political prisoners
Italian lawmakers & NGOs urge UN HumanRights to launch a ‘Commission of Inquiry’ into Iran’s 1988Massacre of political prisoners.

During the conference data on human rights violations in Iran and illustrated initiatives to support an international investigation into the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran in 1988, recently made public in Iran and internationally have been provided.

 

The conference participants were Elisabetta Zamparutti (member of the Presidency of the Nonviolent, Transnational and Transparent Radical Party), Giulio Maria Terzi of Sant’Agata (President of the Global Committee for the Rule of Law), Riccardo Noury ​​(spokeswoman for Amnesty International), Antonio Stango (President of the Italian League of Human Rights (LIDU)), Mariano Rabino (MP, Civic Choice-ALA for the Free and Popular constituent-MAIE), Nicola Ciracì (MEP, Misto – Direction Italy), Stefania Pezzopane , Democratic Party), Luigi Compagna (Senator, Freedom Federation (Idea-People and Liberty – PLI)), Roberto Rampi (Deputies, Democratic Party), Esmail Mohades (Iranian Respected Iranian Friendship Association).

 

Elisabetta Zamparutti, Radical Party Presidency, Treasury of Nobody Cain, who chaired the conference, said: “According to the UN report, Iran is the first country for a number of executions in relation to the population. The human rights situation in Iran is still grave and has not changed during the presidential mandate of Rohani. ”

Giulio Terzi of Sant’Agata, in connection with the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, said that “it is time to have justice on the facts of 1988, but not only.” Iran is increasingly supporting the destabilization of the entire Middle East and Terrorist Organizations, and the militia who play their part.The Irgc (Guardians of the Islamic Revolution) is the key to Iranian strategy as such has been rightly included in the list decided by the US Congress on Organizations Terrorism. The same must do Europe. ”

President of Amnesty International denies the detention of a relative of the victims of the massacre of the 88-member who is guilty of wanting justice

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Maryam Rajavi’s Message on the Anniversary of the 1988 Massacre

Maryam Rajavi’s Message on the Anniversary of the 1988 Massacre

Mrs Maryam Rajavi, the president elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran ( NCRI)

sent a message urging the UN High Commissioner on human rights to immediately set up an independent committee to investigate the 1988 massacre and subsequently put those in charge before justice

On the 29th anniversary of one of the most hideous crimes against humanity since the Second World War, Mrs Maryam Rajavi, the president elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran ( NCRI) sent a message urging the UN High Commissioner on human rights to immediately set up an independent committee to investigate the 1988 massacre and subsequently put those in charge before justice

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Fellow compatriots, 29 years ago on these days, Khomeini, the century’s most ruthless murderer, launched the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners affiliated with the PMOI and other dissident groups.

He sought to uproot the resistance movement in a bid to preserve his own rule. He wanted to do something that no one would ever again think of change and of freedom. He found his answer in the hasty annihilation of the PMOI and all those who persisted on the ideal of freedom.

In the face of such unprecedented brutality, the PMOI prisoners took pride in going to the gallows in the thousands. They registered themselves in the historical conscience of their nation as symbols of dedication and loyalty to the cause of freedom. And the history of Iran was blessed with the light and hope of their unwavering resistance.

Throughout the years, their blood has continued to run in the veins of society, provoking the spirit of rebellion and protest in the struggle against the tyrannical clerical regime.

Our endless salutes to all the prisoners massacred in 1988 who persisted on their positions against the Velayat-e Faqih under interrogation and stood up for freedom. Their struggle and resistance has been battering the regime since then until now.

Khomeini concealed their names, but they are the most famous men and women of Iran’s modern history. The regime hid their graves, but they have remained the most spirited and obvious members of the nation fighting in the field. Long years pass since they kissed the gallows, but they continue to sing the crimson anthem of freedom.

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My fellow compatriots and courageous youths,

 

Last year, on July 28, 2016, the families of martyrs and political prisoners issued a statement announcing a campaign commemorating the victims of the 1988 massacre. The movement demanding justice for the victims of the massacre is now one-year-old. During this period, the campaign energized by the victims’ sacrifice and our nation’s will to achieve freedom has time and again shaken up the clerical regime that relies on massacre.

It has brought about broad-based knowledge in Iranian society particularly among the youth about the dreadful crimes committed by the Velayat-e Faqih regime. It shattered the mullahs’ conspiracy of silence to cover up the 1988 massacre and compelled the ruling clerics to confess to their involvement in this crime against humanity.

The justice seeking movement dealt a heavy setback to Khamenei who had nominated a death-commission member for presidency. It defeated the regime in its totality in the elections sham, as the nation embraced the movement’s slogan of “no to the executioner, no to the charlatan.” The campaign also resuscitated this case internationally while it had been silenced by the western governments’ policy of appeasement.

These efforts led to the point where the UN Secretary General noted the 1988 massacre in his annual report this year.

This year-long campaign proved that the Velayat-e Faqih regime is extremely vulnerable with regards to the slaughter on which the pillars of its rule rest. As a result, every effort by the mullahs to incriminate the PMOI immerses them even further in a quagmire of disgrace.

Since the outset, when the news of this massacre began to leak out of prisons, the Iranian Resistance has endeavored to expose this crime on the international level. In a letter to the UN Secretary General at the time, Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian Resistance, wrote, “The international community must compel the regime to answer questions about the identities of all those executed, the date, place and manner of executions and their place of burial. It must introduce those in charge and those who carried out this major crime.”

In the past year, too, supporters of the Iranian Resistance risked their own lives to collect the previously unannounced names of victims of the massacre and addresses of their graves, as well as information about members of the death commissions in the provinces.

I thank all of them and everyone who joined the justice seeking movement over the past year. I thank all the youths and students who voiced their demand for justice for victims of the 1988 massacre at any opportunity, and the prisoners who supported the movement under the most difficult circumstances.

Nevertheless, everything done so far has been only the first step. The Iranian people and Resistance will not relent until those in charge of the massacre of political prisoners, namely those who hold the highest positions of authority in this regime, face justice.

In the start of the second year of the movement calling for justice, I urge everyone to help further expand the movement. This is part and parcel with the Iranian people’s quest for freedom and the overthrow of the regime in its entirety. Accordingly,

1. I call on all the courageous youths of this land to stage protests to compel the regime’s leaders to publish a complete list of names of those massacred, addresses of their graves, and names of those in charge of the slaughter.

2. I call on the families of martyrs and political prisoners to gather at the gravesites of their martyrs and in this way force the clerical regime to recognize their trampled right to hold memorial ceremonies for their heroic children.

3. I call on my fellow compatriots to actively participate in the national campaign to collect the information of the martyrs, find their tombs and expose the mullahs and murderers involved in this crime.

4. I call on young seminary students and the clergy who have distanced themselves from the ominous regime of the velayat-e faqih to openly condemn the massacre and distance themselves from Khomeini and the inhuman and anti-Islamic velayat-e faqih regime.

5. I call on parliaments, political parties, human rights organizations, religious leaders, political and social personalities in various countries to strongly condemn the massacre of political prisoners in Iran in an act of solidarity with the Iranian people. They should urge their governments to make their continued political and commercial relations with the mullahs’ religious dictatorship contingent on end to executions and torture in Iran.

6. I urge the UN High Commissioner on human rights to immediately set up an independent committee to investigate the 1988 massacre and subsequently put those in charge before justice. I urge the UN Security Council to make the arrangements for prosecution of the regime’s leaders for committing crime against humanity.

All the major cases of carnage and repression in the past quarter of a century in Iran are linked to the person of Khamenei and his corrupt offices. He earned succession to Khomeini by actively participating in the 1988 massacre, and must be prosecuted for crimes against humanity before all the other leaders of the regime.

Dear compatriots, the main target of the massacre in 1988 was the PMOI. Khomeini taught his successors that to preserve power, they must annihilate the group that persists on its positions. In the past three decades, Khamenei and his accomplice, have put this lesson into practice.

In contrast, the PMOI and the National Council of Resistance of Iran, as the democratic alternative to the regime, are the force of victory and freedom. They will realize their glorious goal by relying on the people of Iran. On that day, the victims of the 1988 massacre and all the 120,000 martyrs fallen for Iran’s freedom will live in the determination of Iran’s youths, in 1000 bastions of rebellion, 1000 Ashrafs, and in the army of freedom. They will thus start a blessed era of freedom, democracy and equality.

Endless salutes to the shining stars of the Iranian Resistance, the proud martyrs of 1988.

And hail to the pioneers who have risen to call for justice for the victims and continue their path and cause on a higher level for Iran’s freedom.

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Those Who Massacred PMOI Members Should Be Rewarded, Senior Iranian Official Says

Those Who Massacred PMOI Members Should Be Rewarded, Senior Iranian Official Says

Ahmad Khatami, a board member of the Iranian regime’s Assembly of Experts, used the Tehran Friday prayers sermon to express his anger over the ever-increasing scope of the justice movement related to the 1988 massacre. He called for the perpetrators of the atrocity of executing over 30,000 political prisoners to be awarded medals.

“Then we see some people who on their websites switch the place of martyrs and murderers. It was a divine move by [Iranian regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini] to force the [PMOI (People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran)] out of the country. All those who acted based on these orders should be rewarded with medals… however, those who on their websites have switched the place of martyrs and murderers should repent and beg for forgiveness,”

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Nobel Laureates Condemn Executions in Iran, Call on UN

Nobel Laureates Condemn Executions in Iran, Call on UN

A group of Nobel laureates expressed grave concerns over continuing human rights violations in Iran. 21 Nobel laureates from the United States, Canada, Germany and Norway issued a letter asking United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterresto to use his good offices

“through the UN Human Rights Council to closely monitor the human rights situation in Iran, inform the world of the violations taking place in that country and to strongly condemn such violations … ” and “an immediate halt to intractable arrests, torture and arbitrary executions. The perpetrators of such executions must be held accountable.”

The 21 Nobel laureates have praised the Secretary-General’s last report on the human rights situation in Iran, in which he referred to the 1988 massacre of more than 30,000 innocent human beings in Iran on the charge of loving freedom, said Dr. Richard J. Roberts, a Nobel laureate in medicine from the US who led the initiative. The 1988 massacre has currently become a very challenging internal matter for the brutal clerics in Iran.

The prominent laureates reiterated their previous communications with the UN about the fate of members of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq who were under constant missile barrage attacks.

“In previous communications, we had expressed our utter abhorrence over the massacre of refugees in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq, all of whom were opponents of the crackdown and human rights violations in Iran. We also voiced our support regarding their safe and sound transfer outside of Iraq. Fortunately, under international community supervision, these residents have now been transferred to other countries, including Albania. We are witness to your direct efforts as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in aiding the issue of Ashraf and Liberty residents, and we express our humble gratitude,”

they wrote.

From 2011 to 2016, as the top UN refugee officer, Guterres UNHCR supported a safe and secure transfer of MEK members out of Iraq. He personally intervened with former Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki to prevent attacks against the residents. al-Maliki and Iran-backed Shiite militias regularly stormed the MEK members at the behest of Tehran.

We are seeking that you in your new position call on the Iraqi government to pay the compensation to these Ashraf and Liberty residents for their property in Iraq, valued at $600 million. During their confinement in Iraq the government did not permit them to sell their property and refused to provide compensation. This money would have allowed the residents to pay for their current accommodation in Albania, which from a humanitarian perspective is both necessary and vital,” the Nobel laureates’ letter to Guterres continues.

“In addition to our scientific obligations to advance science and improve human life, we also consider defending human rights across the globe as our duty. We believe the two endeavors of science and human rights must advance in lock-step to establish a better world. The wanton trampling of basic human rights in the 21st century is completely unacceptable,” they added, shedding light on their motivation behind this humanitarian initiative to condemn executions in Iran as it has highest number of executions per capita in the world.

Executions have continued since the May farce presidential election in Iran that the incumbent Hassan Rouhani remained in the presidency. For the past few months many people have been hanged in public. The hangings are despite the Iranian regimes’ lobbyists around the world, particularly in the U.S., portraying the Iranian government and Hassan Rouhani as moderate.

In the early days of this regime after the 1979 revolution, Rouhani had called for the public execution of dissidents during Friday prayers. His justice minister is a member of a four-man commission that supervised the execution of more than 30,000 political prisoners and prisoners of conscience back during the 1988 massacre.

Currently, the relatives of the executed victims are active in social media calling for justice to be done and bring the henchmen and those who ordered the executions to justice. The Nobel laureates letter to the United Nations Secretary General emphasizing that “The perpetrators of such executions must be held accountable” is certainly giving a new international dimension to this issue and a stronger voice to the demand for justice to be done.

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ANALYSIS: Unveiling the secrets of Iran’s 1988 massacre

ANALYSIS: Unveiling the secrets of Iran’s 1988 massacre

By Heshmat AlaviSpecial to Al Arabiya English Saturday, 22 July 2017

Ali Fallahian, Iran’s intelligence minister during the tenure of Rafsanjani’s presidency back in the early 90s, is a name most notoriously known for his role in a series of chain murders across the country that saw the elimination of many dissidents.

Fallahian has recently been heard making shocking revelations in reference to mass executions, especially targeting members and supporter of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

A German court raised charges against Fallahian for his direct involvement in the September 1992 assassination of Iranian Kurdish dissidents in Berlin. In 2007, Interpol placed Fallahian on its most wanted list for his role in the 1994 bombing the AMIA in Buenos Aires Jewish center that left 85 killed.

The 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly MEK members and supporters, has in the past year inside Iran become a major issue for the general public, especially the younger generation who are beginning to demand answers.

Fallhian’s remarks, aired in a recent interview, have caused quite a stir in social media inside Iran and amongst Iranian communities living abroad. In this interview, Fallahian sheds light on his role in the Iranian regime’s die-hard enmity against the MEK as the only opposition truly threatening their rule.

Q: “Can we blame only the MEK for taking up arms, or did we also make mistakes… for example, attack their gatherings, pressure their members and supporters…?”
Fallahian: “They had such an analysis. [Iranian opposition leader Massoud] Rajavi had maybe written 36 articles against armed conflicts.” (Khazar website – July 18) This is Fallahian acknowledging the fact that the MEK had sought to continue their peaceful political activities. The mullahs’ regime, however, dispatched their forces to attack, arrest, torture and kill MEK members. Fallahian moves on to discuss the 1988 mass executions across Iran.

Q: “Did the Intelligence Ministry suggest the 1988 executions to [Iranian regime founder Ruhollah] Khomeini?”
Fallahian: “Khomeini himself ordered it… saying the ruling for all moharebs [term used for MEK members, meaning enemies of God] is execution. There were discussions in this regard back then. Mr. Mousavi Tabrizi believed there was no need for prosecution, arguing prosecuting those who are at war with us has no meaning. Others believed those arrested should be prosecuted… however, [Khomeini] constantly emphasized to beware they don’t slip out of your hands… [Khomeini] would always say be careful in this regard… how? For example, if there was a confusion about someone being a murderer or not, execution would not be the first option of punishment. However, about the MEK [Khomeini] would say an opposite approach is needed. I know them, he would say, they must not slip away and their rulings are execution. This was his constant ruling, before and after the 1988 issue…

“… there are discussions and some are asking why were those sentenced to prison terms again condemned to death? First of all, keep in mind their rulings are execution, even if a judge hadn’t ruled for an execution, he had violated the law… If an armed mohareb was arrested, his/her ruling would be execution, even if he/she hadn’t killed anyone… the ruling for a hypocrite (another term used for MEK members) and mohareb is execution. This was [Khomeini’s] fatwa. There was no discussion in this regard. In 1988… the discussion reached the point that all of them must be executed, even those not sentenced to death. [Khomeini] would ask why have you still kept them alive.”

It is worth noting that the Iranian opposition has for the past year launched a justice movement shedding light on the 1988 massacre both inside Iran and across the globe. These efforts went into full gear weeks prior to Iran’s May 19th presidential election, forcing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to sack his plans of engineering election results as he desired.

Conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, known to be Khamenei’s preferred candidate to replace the incumbent Hassan Rouhani as president, suffered a major defeat due to revelations of his role in the 1988 massacre. Raisi was a member of the notorious four-man “Death Commission” appointed by Khomeini himself to facilitate and hasten the execution process.

Q: “Raisi was in the commission. Who were the other members?”
Fallahian, however, refrains from naming other Death Commission members and begins discussing the process which political prisoners were executed and the summer 1988 massacre. He placed all the blame on Khomeini, emphasizing he had issued the execution and massacre ruling long before.”

Fallhian: “Yes, the poor guy [referring to Raisi] insisted he hadn’t issued the ruling, the ruling was issued in advance… but no one would listen, and they would also think the executed were innocent… if we hadn’t killed them there would be no country today. These are not my words, they are the words of [Khomeini]…”

The reporter seeks to make a reference to a groundbreaking sound file unveiled last September of Khomeini’s then successor, the late Hossein Ali Montazeri, in which he sheds light on unknown aspects of the 1988 massacre.

“What was Mr. Montazeri’s mistake?”
Fallahian: “He came in disagreement with [Khomeini]… [He] believed history would judge these executions against us and Islam. He would say it would be better to refrain, as when the enemy begins to write, they won’t cite us harshly. However, [Khomeini] ordered to carry out your religious duty and don’t wait for history’s judgement.”

Q: “Were all those executed arrested while armed?”
Fallahian: “No, not all of them were involved in the armed revolt. However, many of them were living in team houses. We would go there and find only one or two weapons, or arrest them on the street without any arms.”

Q: “So how were they linked to the armed revolt?”
Fallahian: “Well, they were part of the organization.”

Q: “Wasn’t it necessary for each individual to have taken up arms to be convicted of being a mohareb?”
Fallahian: “No, when someone is a member of an armed current, the individual being armed or not, their ruling is mohareb.”

Q: “Even if they are arrested with a newspaper?”
Here the interviewer is referring to the fact that many MEK members and supporters were arrested, and eventually executed, for the mere fact of having a pro-MEK newspaper at their possession.
Fallahian: “Yes. They were part of that organization and were operational. Now, its possible someone would merely buy bread for those living in ‘team houses’, another would, for example, procure other necessary items. They were all involved.”
On a side note, Fallahian referred to the extensive MOIS role in dispatching its spies abroad under various pretexts.

Revelations and shocking remarks about the 1988 massacre are made by numerous senior Iranian officials recently. What has made these figures acknowledge the nature of the mullahs’ regime of carrying out such massacres and mass murders?

This has been the true, yet unfortunately cloaked, nature of the mullahs ruling Iran. Nearly three decades after that horrific summer of 1988, the efforts placed by the Iranian opposition through its vast network of brave activists inside the country and abroad have forced the mullahs to literally confess to their role in these killings.

It is now high time for the international community to demand a fact-finding mission, and bring to justice all perpetrators of the 1988 massacre and all the atrocious human rights violations throughout the past 38 years.

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Mukhtar Heydarzadeh

Mukhtar Heydarzadeh

Position during 1988 Massacre: provincial Prosecutor and member of the provincial death committee.

Current Position: Head of the logistics section of Administrative Justice Court

He was the Prosecutor of the Islamic Revolutionary court in Tabriz, East Azarbaijan during the 1988 massacre. He was involved in repression, torture, and execution of opponents of the regime as well as the massacre of political prisoners held in Tabriz in 1988.

He together with Mullah Mirza Najaf Aghazadeh the Sharia judge of Azarbaijan province and Mohammadi the representative of Intelligence ministry, were members of the provincial death committee. In July 1988 He executed more than 200 PMOI members in the city of Tabriz and 79 of them in the city of Ardebil.

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Shamsedin Kazemi

Shamsedin Kazemi

Position in 1988 massacre: Director of ‘Samt’ prison.

Present post and occupation: Unknown

He was a member of death committee in Dezful Younesko prison during 1988 massacre and together with the prosecutor Ali Avai and the representative of the intelligence ministry Naser held martial court style interrogations by asking the prisoners whether they were ready to fight with PMOI or not? And executed those who had a negative response.

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