On the Occasion of the 25thAnniversary
of the Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran
Islamic republic commenced on a secret campaign of elimination of political prisoners, in Iran. From
June till September 1988, in less than two months, the brutal henchmen of the reactionary regime
murdered an estimated, 18,000 political prisoners across the country. They included men and women,
young and old, communists, progressive and patriotic activists and intellectuals that were held in prison
across the country. Amongst those killed were activists who had already completed their prison
sentences but were recaptured and eliminated.
This heinous crime had remained uncovered until Khomeini’s designated successor, ayatollah
Montazeri, having lost his position to Khamenei (the current leader of Islamic republic), following
intense factional rivalries and power struggles, exposed some details of this genocide in his factional
Even today, after 25 years the exact numbers of the political prisoners murdered in Iran, in the summer
of 1988, is not fully known. However, since then, and following the discovery of mass graves, parents,
friends and the families of the murdered political prisoners have gathered in “khavaran” (one location
of such mass graves), to remember and celebrate the lives their loved ones. Every year, these
gatherings have been brutally attacked by the regime and its thugs.
The massacre of political prisoners in summer of 1988 was not the first nor was it the last of the brutal
crimes of the regime of Islamic republic against the people and their just struggles in Iran but it
certainly proved to be one of its most atrocious crimes uncovered to date.
Clearly, all factions and cliques of the regime without exception were complicit in this atrocious crime
against the oppressed people of Iran. From the present day “liberals”, such as Mr. Mousavi, who was the
prime minister of Islamic republic at the time, overseeing these crimes in 1988, to the leading members
of his “Green movement” (that was formed in the run-up to the presidential elections in 2009, that
include ex-president Khatmai (who was nicknamed “ the smiling mullah” in the Western media in 1997)
and the current president Mr Rouhani, to the “hardliners” such as khamenei, Rafsanjani and all other
shades and factions of the regime, were all fully aware and are responsible for the elimination of
thousands of political prisoners in the summer of 1988, not to mention other untold crimes and
atrocities perpetrated by the regime against people of Iran during the last 34 years.
Since coming to power in February 1979, the regime of Islamic republic has imposed an unprecedented
reign of fascist terror on the people of the country and has systematically demonstrated its brutal and
anti-people nature. From its first day in power, the regime has used religious demagogy to legitimise its
attacks on women, workers, peasants and other toiling masses, national and religious minorities, youth,
students and the intelligentsia. The regime specially has targeted communists and other revolutionaries
and progressive elements who continue to raise the banner of heroic resistance and causes of the
people in their struggle for democracy and freedom from the yoke of imperialism and all reaction.
Since then, and through out the reactionary rule of the Islamic republic, the resistance and struggle of
the workers and other toiling masses, the students and the youth, women and national minorities have
intensified manifesting in tens of uprisings and mass mobilisations demanding the complete overthrow
of the whole regime of Islamic republic.
The regime’s response has always been ruthless repression and as a consequence prisons have
continued to be filled with activists and those that the regime deems as dangerous or as it claims are at
“war with god”. Arbitrary arrests, summary trials, rape, torture, execution and the ill-treatment of
political prisoners are carried out as a matter of routine.
Despite the crimes and atrocities of the regime against the people and the massacre of political
prisoners in the summer of 1988 which effectively eliminated two generations of progressive and
revolutionaries and the best sons and daughters of the country, resistance and struggle continues
unabated and new generations of militants have continued to join the ranks of the opposition to this
reactionary and backward looking regime.
In the context of the recent diplomatic gestures between the US and Mr Rouhani (the new president of
Islamic republic) and the possible “thawing” of US-Iran relations, clearly, neither the sabre-rattling and
the anti-American rhetoric of leaders of Islamic republic nor the stream of West’s crocodiles tears shed
for the plight of people in Iran, should blind anyone to the fact that the regime of Islamic republic is an
integral part of the savage imperialist system and that the ominous plans and the designs of the
workers and the oppressed people of Iran and the region.
Clearly, the path to freedom, democracy and liberation for the workers and other oppressed people of
Iran is through the revolutionary overthrow of the whole regime of Islam republic with all its factions,
secured with the complete break in the chains of the imperialist system.
On the 25th anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners, in the summer of 1988, in Iran, we salute
the memory of the thousands of fallen martyrs of the cause of liberation of the workers and the
oppressed people of Iran.
We demand the freedom of all political prisoners in Iran!
Activists of People Fadaii Guerrillas of Iran in London
Democratic Anti imperialist Organisation of Iranians in Britain
5 October 2013