womenAmazon Books


email us

US Transcom
US Transcom


Amazon Books

Shahin & Sepehr

Iranian Online Directory

BBC: Story of the revolution

Sehaty Foreign Exchange

Advertise with The Iranian

    News & Views

    Human rights group calls for investigation

    Press Release

    Sept 4, 1998

    Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG) has issued the following statement in occasion of the 10th anniversary of Mass Execution of political prisoners in Iran. For more information please contact ihrwg@Tehran.Stanford.EDU

    IHRWG Statement on the Tenth Anniversary of Mass Execution of Political Prisoners in 1988

    September 1998 marks the 10th anniversary of the mass execution of political prisoners in Iran at the end of the Iran-Iraq war. While the exact number of prisoners executed is not known, it is believed that thousands of people may have been executed. The names of some of them have been publicized by opposition political organizations, and a partial list was included amongst the 1879 victims of executions in Iran in the reports of the former United Nations Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights, Mr. Raynaldo Galindo Pohl (documents E/CN.4/1989/26 and /CN.4/1990.24), but many still remain unknown. Even the whereabouts of the remains of most of those executed remain unknown.

    The execution of such a large number of individuals, within such a short time frame, is an appalling act under any circumstance. What makes this case even more of an atrocity is the fact that the executions were not preceded by proper judicial processes, in violation of half a dozen articles (articles 6 though 11) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), to which Iran is a signatory. Such a widespread, indiscriminate and concerted violation of the most basic rights of agroup of human beings must necessarily be characterized as a crime gainst humanity as a whole.

    According to a letter written by Ayatollah Montazeri -- the designated successor to the post of Supreme Leader at the time -- addressed to Ayatollah Khomeini, many of those executed had already been 'tried' and sentenced to lesser punishments in the past, or had even been found innocent of commiting any crimes, and had not engaged in any new activities.

    This act "shows total disregard for all judicial guidelines and the verdicts of judges", Ayatollah Montazeri noted. None of those executed was accorded a public trial by an independent and impartial tribunal. Nor was any accorded legal counsel or the right to appeal the verdict. None was granted the "right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law" as required by article 8 of the UDHR.

    Noting the recent emphasis by the authorities of the Islamic Republic on the rule of law and building a civil society, the Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG) demands from the current administration in Iran:

    * to launch a full investigation into the 1988 mass execution of political prisoners; to provide the public with the number and identity of the victims; and to reveal the burial sight of the victims;

    * to identity those responsible for violating the human rights of the executed prisoners; to establish a tribunal to publicly try those responsible for these executions (which were in violation of the IRI's own constitution and laws); to pledge to punish those found guilty of participation in the massacre of these prisoners.

    * to release the remains of the victims to their families; Furthermore, we demand from the Iranian government:

    * to immediately release all prisoners of conscience.

    * to pledge to provide fair and public hearings/trials by independent tribunals for all prisoners, regardless of their [alleged] crimes and/or political ideology or affiliation.

    * to pledge to provide legal counsel, and the right to appeal court decisions, to all prisoners, regardless of their political ideology and/or affiliation with the government.

    Finally, the mass execution of prisoners in 1988 is a stark illustration of the detrimental nature of the death penalty itself. We therefore once more urge the government of the Islamic Republic to abolish the death penalty altogether. Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG) September 4, 1998

    Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG) is an Internet-based community of individuals committed to campaigning for the improvement of human rights in Iran. The group's aims and objectives are contained in its Charter which also sets out the structure of the group and the domain of its activities. The group has no political agenda, and makes no judgment on the legitimacy of the authorities in dealing with them, nor does it take the religious or political beliefs or personal attributes of individuals into consideration when it defends their human rights. The group's Charter specifies its Aims and Objectives as follows:

    To discuss, inform, educate and campaign for the improvement of human rights in Iran and of Iranians abroad by all lawful means possible. In its activities, the group will campaign for the human rights of individuals regardless of their religious or political affiliations or personal attributes.

    The group recognizes and adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as its basic definition of human rights. From time to time the group may also stipulate and adopt other specific rights which are not in conflict with articles of the UDHR. The main means of communication will be electronic. The group's membership is open to all individuals who BELIEVE in human right values as stipulated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ACCEPT the group's Charter, and COMMIT themselves to take part in the campaign for human rights in an atmosphere of mutual trust. The group is run by an eight-member Steering Committee elected from amongst the membership for a term of two years.

    If you like to get more information, including the text of the group's Charter, please send a message to: ihrwg@Tehran.Stanford.EDU or see our web pages at: //www.ihrwg.org

    If you want to contact the group, get more information about the group, send information about individual cases of human right abuses, or make general comments, please send your message to:

    ihrwg@Tehran.Stanford.EDU or write to: Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG) PO Box 5095
    North Branch, N.J. U.S.A. 08876
    Fax: (+1 908) 534-8551

    Disclaimer: "IHRWG is not affiliated with Stanford University, and the opinions expressed herein do not neccesarily represent those of Stanford University, nor do they imply any obligations on the part of the university."


    * Iran News
    * Complete list of Iranian online media
    * Cover stories
    * Who's who


Copyright © 1997 Abadan Publishing Co. All Rights Reserved. May not be duplicated or distributed in any form