Condemn the massacre of 18,000 political prisoners in Iran in the summer 1988

On the Occasion of the 25thAnniversary

of the Massacre of Political Prisoners in Iran

execution325 years ago, following its humiliating defeat in the eight years reactionary war with Iraq, the regime of

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

rhetoric. Continue reading

Iran Trade Unionist, former Political Prisoner, on the Iranian election: “neither free nor fair”

June 13, 2013

Reading Marx in Tehran

By MANSOUR OSANLOO

IRAN’S presidential election on June 14 will be neither free nor fair. The candidates on the ballot have been preselected in a politically motivated vetting process that has little purpose other than ensuring the election of a compliant president who will be loyal to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Regardless of the outcome of the vote, the most urgent challenge for both the next president and Ayatollah Khamenei will be to confront a rising tide of discontent resulting from a rapidly deteriorating economic situation.

The outside world is primarily focused on whether the election will signal a shift in the Iranian regime’s stand on the nuclear issue. But for the average Iranian the most important issue is the impact of this election on her pocketbook — especially for the hardworking masses, whose purchasing power has drastically decreased as they struggle to provide the most basic necessities for their families.

Iran’s industrial workers, teachers, nurses, government and service-sector employees have been hit hard. The profound mismanagement of the economy by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government, coupled with stringent international sanctions, has made these workers’ plight the most important aspect of Iran’s domestic politics. Continue reading

“Hands off the People of Iran” exposes Tribunal on Iran’s 1980’s massacre of prisoners

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by “Hands Off the People of Iran”

1. Payam Akhavan (chair and spokesperson of the tribunal’s steering committee) has links to organisations that have accepted large amounts of money from the US government

2. The tribunal refuses to take a stand against war and sanctions on Iran
3. Mainstream lawyers and politicians like Sir Geoffrey Nice, John Cooper QC and Maurice Copithorne ideologically support the tribunal – why?
4. The pro-war Mujahedeen is closely involved with the tribunal
5. Many organisations and witnesses have withdrawn
6. Critical voices have been silenced
7. Conclusion: The tribunal has become part of the campaign to legitimise war and sanctions to enforce pro-western ‘regime change from above’.

The arguments in more detail: Continue reading

The Iran Tribunal and the crimes of the Islamic Republic

12 November 2012. A World to Win News Service. “I was only 19 years old when I went to the coffin room, but I… can’t escape thinking about it… I was with those who lost their lives, or lost their minds. I live with them all the time. I still both work and cry, I both live and mourn, I think about what happened.”

Another person testified, “Once they came for me and asked if I had repented. I said yes. They asked me if I was prepared to take part in executions. I said yes. I wanted to pretend that I had repented, others had thought the same way, but one day…”

These are the examples of testimony given by witnesses at a symbolic tribunal held in The Hague (Netherlands) on 25-27October that found the Islamic Republic of Iran guilty of crimes against humanity for the mass execution of political prisoners in the 1980s.

The Iran Tribunal, as it was called, took place in two stages. The first was held 18-22 June this year in London, where 75 witnesses testified in front of a “Truth Commission”. At the second session, in The Hague, around 20 witnesses testified in front of a commission of international judges.

Johann Kriegler, who led the judges, introduced himself as a member of the Truth Commission held in South Africa after the end of apartheid. Other judges had experience with similar tribunals, including British barrister Michael Mansfield who is a member of the jury panel on the Russell Tribunal inquiry on Palestine.

According to the organizers, the Iran Tribunal was inspired by the original Russell Tribunal initiated by the philosophers and Nobel Prize winners Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre and other intellectuals in 1966 to put the United States on trial for its war crimes in Vietnam. This current campaign was launched after a gathering of survivors and families of the victims. Continue reading

Hague tribunal to investigate Iran massacre of political prisoners

Mahsa Alimardani, published on The Vancouver Observer (http://www.vancouverobserver.com)

Oct 26th, 2012

The world’s seat of international law, the Peace Palace in The Hague is host to a historic event this week – an investigation into the massacres of Iran’s political prisoners throughout the 1980s.

While this is the home of the International Court of Justice, this tribunal is a symbolic event underway through the voluntary efforts of human rights lawyers, judges, academics, and activists.

The event is modeled after Bertrand Russell’s tribunals for war crimes committed by the United States in Vietnam throughout the 1960s.

Amnesty International in London hosted the first session of the tribunal this past July. This session resulted in a report of details from over 30 prisoners, and 75 witnesses, with testimonies from officials and experts on Iranian law and punishment.

The legal team leading the second session this week includes key figures in international law. Sir Geoffrey Nice, the former prosecutor on the trial of Slobodan Milosevic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY); and South African constitutional judge Johann Kriegler who helped transition the South African government out of Apartheid are amongst those participating.

The tribunals only hold a symbolic truth and reconciliation platform for the victims of the massacres.

In his opening statement, the chairman of the steering committee, Payam Akhavan stated the Tribunals mean to prove that, “despite the lack of rightful rule of law, there is a way to find peace. There may never be justice and retribution for those responsible for these crimes, but a future democratic Iran will use this information for tangible justice.” Continue reading

Death by stoning for Iranian women under the Islamic Republic

[The Guardian (UK) on 22 July 2010 reported, “Iran has put fresh pressure on the woman it last month sentenced to death by stoning, demanding the names of those involved in the campaign for her release….The 43-year-old mother of two has been interrogated inside Tabriz prison over the names of the people who have been in touch with her family and the way her photo has been distributed among the media, the Guardian has learned.”-ed.]

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

19 July 2010. A World to Win News Service.

The news that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was about to be executed by stoning stunned and outraged millions of people everywhere.

The 43 year-old widow, a mother of two, was arrested by the Iranian Islamic regime in the northern city of Tabriz in 2005. She was convicted of an “illicit relationship” in May 2006 and received 99 lashes with a whip. Later the authorities opened another investigation against her for the murder of her husband, but in the end she was found guilty of “adultery” instead and sentenced to death. The Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic upheld the verdict. The death sentence for adultery in Islamic Republic is usually carried out by stoning.

In the face of international disgust the Islamic regime had to back down. On 12 July the country’s judiciary chief announced that her execution “will not be carried out for the moment.” If she is not killed by stoning, this does not reduce the threat of her being executed by other means, such as hanging. Continue reading