It’s Thursday morning Nov. 24, In Karaj, a small city just off the Iranian capital city of Tehran. Just as the sun comes out, four people are hanged in the city’s central prison.
On what charges?
It is not important, the authorities will find something.
The night before, Prisoners met with their families for the last time. A day before four other Iranians were hanged in Qeshm, south of Iran. They were all young. On Thursday – the day after – another prisoner was hanged in the Kurdish city of Mahabad. On the same day one person was executed in central Iran. This was after he spent 18 years in prison. A week before, a month or a year before, … or a month after, the regime of Iran keeps executing its own people, many after weeks of imprisonment and torture. This has to be stopped.
The International community should react to save those other prisoners in Iran already listed for execution. Why should a government, like that of the Ayatollahs, maintain its power by perishing innocent human lives?
But despite the recent deceptive maneuver of changing the law and reducing the number of executions by the mullahs in Iran coincident with the general assembly session on the eve of elections shows the following.
One hundred non-government organizations from around the world have signed a statement that calls for prosecution of Iran’s authorities responsible for the 1988 massacre of political Prisoners. The statement reads in part, “According to a former deputy to the Ministry of Intelligence, 33,700 political prisoners were executed in the massacre carried out on Khomeini’s orders in July 1988.” The statement refers to a video tape released by the son of the late Ayatollah Montazeri, a top ranking clergyman who was supposed to replace Khomeini after his death, but Khomeini relieved him of the post after Montazeri denounced the executions. The statement of one hundred NGOs continues, “Ayatollah Montazeri wrote three letters of protest to Khomeini and the death commission, warning ‘the massacre of thousands of people in just a few days’ would have adverse consequences. The Mojahedin represent ‘an idea and a way of thinking,’ he wrote, and ‘their credibility will be enhanced” by the killings.'”
The regime in Iran at its weakest point ever, is worried that people’s exasperation and scattered protests will merge into a mass uprising such as what happened in 1988. The regime uses executions and imprisonments to suppress people and to postpone such an occurrence. The Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) reported on Nov. 23 that, Hassan Norouzi, a member of the regime’s Parliament, in a shocking confession said: “5,000 people aged 20 to 30 years old are on death row. Most of them are first-time drug offenders.” (Mehr state run news agency – November 23).
An NCRI report adds that Youssefian, another member of parliament, said: “We have executed so many, we execute every day … Rajaeeshahr 30, another place 20, another place 10, what was the result? In 1990 when I was the prosecutor in Mazandaran province, a report came from the office of education that when you execute one person, 20 to 30 other students don’t come to school … a lady said in the court … in Iran a whole family is executed, it is not the individual who gets executed.” (Farhag state-run radio November 23).
Actions To Take
One hundred of the world’s NGOs conclude their statement urging the world community:
- To strongly condemn the 1988 massacre and condition relations with the Iranian regime on an end to the current executions.
- UN to establish a truth commission about this massacre.
- UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council, the UN General Assembly and Security Council to put the investigation into this atrocity on their agenda, and to bring to justice its perpetrators and masterminds and to end the sorrows of families.
Actions we take to protest to president Rouhani or other officials in the Iranian government may save human lives. As one authority in Iran has said “5,000 young people of 20 to 30 years old in Iran’s prisons are on death row.”
5000 families will break out. 5000 families will lose a brother, sister, mom or dad. 5000 families, or more, will have their last visit and their last farewell.
We in the rest of the world have to do something forte about this. The catastrophe needs to be stopped.
Stes de Necker International Diplomatic Ambassador