International Assembly Anniversary of 1988 Massacre in Iran

Iranians worldwide memorialize the 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners on August 25th.

Feeling threatened by the dissent against his absolute rule, less than 10 years into the Islamic revolution, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a religious decree, known as the “death decree” to execute all political prisoners, most of whom were members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.

some of the 30000 dead

Statement from Iranian Communities in Europe on the Saturday event

Iranian associations in 30 major cities in Europe and North America plan to hold gatherings and link up online

30th anniversary of the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners – Iranian associations urge support for the Iranian people’s uprising and a firm policy regarding human rights abuses

Iranian associations in 30 major cities and capitals in Europe and North America, on Saturday, August 25, will simultaneously hold commemorations for 30,000 political prisoners who were massacred in 1988.

The simultaneous events will take place against a backdrop of anti-government protests that have continued for the past eight months and have shaken the regime to its core.

The gathering, titled “30th anniversary of the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran – the roots of the uprising and its prospects,” will take place on the initiative of the Iranian associations, supporters of the Resistance, throughout Europe and North America. The events will be connected to each other through live visual communications and will include live exchanges of various locations.

Representatives of Iranian associations and political and social dignitaries from various countries will address the events. Thousands of Iranians, members of the associations, will take part in the events that will be held in 30 cities including Paris, London, Berlin, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Rome, Oslo, Brussels, Ottawa, Vancouver, Bucharest, Helsinki, Gothenburg, Stuttgart, and Aarhus. The survivors of the 1988 massacre and relatives of the victims will share their stories. Scores of dignitaries in various countries will participate in the events in solidarity with the Iranian people and their aspirations.

The Iranian associations taking part in the event are comprised of various strata of the Iranian society, including the youths, students, technocrats, entrepreneurs, businessmen, academics university professors and women’s rights activists, all of which seek the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime.

the mullahs

The simultaneous gatherings are part of an international campaign to call on the UN to launch an inquiry into the 1988 massacre and to put an end to the impunity of the authorities involved in it. According to international human rights organizations and human rights experts, the massacre is one of the most egregious cases of crimes against humanity since World War II.

Yet many of its perpetrators are currently among the most senior officials of the regime and are directly involved in suppressing anti-government protests.

Patrick Kennedy, former US Congressman and son of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, will be among the participants in the Paris gathering.

Background information

Following a fatwa by Khomeini, the founder of the clerical regime, more than 30,000 political prisoners, who were serving their terms and remained loyal to the cause of democracy and human rights, were executed in a few months in 1988. The overwhelming majority of the victims were activists of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) who remained loyal to the organization.


Upon Khomeini’s order for speedy executions, “Death Commissions” were established throughout the country. The commissions condemned the prisoners to death in hearings that lasted only a few minutes. The victims were buried in secret mass graves.

Recently, Amnesty International has warned of the regime’s efforts to destroy the evidence of this massacre, including some of the mass graves. So far, no independent international investigation has been carried out into the massacre, and there has been no accountability for the perpetrators.

In an audio file recorded at the height of the massacre in 1988 and released in 2016, Khomeini’s successor at the time, Hossein Ali Montazeri, explicitly told the Tehran Death Commission that this was the most horrific crime in the history of the Islamic Republic, prompting Khomeini to sack Montazeri in March 1989. Subsequent to Khomeini’s death in June 1989, Ali Khamenei became the supreme leader of the regime. Following the revelation of Montazeri’s audio file in August 2016, a massive social movement to call for justice for victims of this massacre pervaded Iran.

Iranian Communities in Europe

August 20, 2018