PARIS, Sept. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Iranian opposition's call for justice for victims of Iran's 1988 massacre of political prisoners received a boost on Saturday from U.S. and European dignitaries.
In a seminar of Iranian communities in Europe on September 3, 2016, Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi called on the international community, and Western governments in particular, to bring to justice the Iranian regime's leaders in international tribunals for committing crimes against humanity in Iran, in particular the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988.
The seminar was held in the headquarters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), in the northern suburbs of Paris.
The vast majority of the political prisoners who were executed in 1988 were affiliated to the main Iranian opposition group People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK).
Rajavi denounced Western silence and inaction in the face of continued mass executions in Iran.
"Standing up to the violations of human rights in Iran is also the responsibility of Western governments, because its consequences do not remain within Iran. The terrorism and fundamentalism emanating from it, have been hurting defenseless people in Nice, Paris, and Brussels," Rajavi said.
A number of relatives of the massacred prisoners and former political prisoners spoke about their bitter experiences and memories of this horrific catastrophe.
Last month an audio file emerged from 1988 of top Iranian officials acknowledging that the massacre took place. Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Khomeini's one-time heir, could be heard telling members of a "Death Commission" that they and the founder of the regime, Ayatollah Khomeini, will go down in the annals of history as criminals.
Edward Rendell, Chairman of the U.S. Democratic National Convention in July 2016 and former Governor of Pennsylvania, told the seminar: "What could be more galling than to hear that Iran's current Minister of Justice was a member of the Death Commission in 1988?"
"There is so much in common between what the MEK (PMOI) have fought for and what the original American patriots fought for. I was taken by Mr. Montazeri's comment on the tape that the MEK - or the PMOI - is a school of thought, it's a school of logic, and you can't end it by killing people. It's an ideal, and these people are standing up for an ideal," he said.
"There is only one way that freedom will come to the people of Iran, and that's with regime change," Gov. Rendell added.
Bernard Kouchner, former French Foreign Minister and co-founder of Doctors without Borders (MSF) said: "I ask myself what were the human rights defenders doing at that time?" He called for a "special tribunal to prosecute the mullahs for their crimes."
"The massacres did not take place only in 1988. Iran continues to have the highest execution rate per capita. The executions have even increased after the nuclear deal," Kouchner added.
Struan Stevenson, President of European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) and former President of European Parliament Delegation for Relation with Iraq, said: "What has happened about the 30000 who were massacred in 1988? Nothing from the West at all. If the United Nations is to retain one ounce of credibility they must take this take this up at the UN Human Rights Council this month in Geneva. It must be a key item on the agenda. It must go before the UN Security Council. The perpetrators and murderers must be held to account; they must be brought to justice."
Tahar Boumedra, a former UN Human Rights Chief in Iraq, assessed that "it is possible to bring those who committed crimes against humanity, those who committed illegal, summary, arbitrary executions in Iran, to justice. We have all the means of doing so."
Referring to Mr. Montazeri's audio file on the 1988 massacre, Maryam Rajavi said: The recent revelation has provoked a wave of wrath, protest, query, and a movement to obtain justice, among the people of Iran. The mullahs are shaking as the regime and the principle of Velayat-e Faqih have been undermined among the Iranian public, while popular support for the Mojahedin has grown. At the same time, the regime has been cracked at numerous points and the majority of the regime's senior clerics have refrained from defending the anti-Islamic fatwa for the massacre.
Maryam Rajavi emphasized that demanding justice for the 30,000 victims of the 1988 massacre is part of the campaign to overthrow the Iranian regime. She called on the Iranian public to rise in support and solidarity to expand the movement.
SOURCE Iran News Update