Mass Executions of 88 in Iran


Jahanshah Rashidian
by Jahanshah Rashidian

About 20 years ago, from August to September 1988, collective crimes were committed in Iran. As Ayatollah Khomeini drank the “poison chalice” and accepted the humiliation of peace treaty with his arch foe, Saddam Hossein, he calmed down his frustration by ordering execution of the Iranian political prisoners who were spending their prison terms. Khomeini named execution-commissions to fulfill his order within all political prisoners in Iran.

The exact numbers of executions of 88 and the conditions of executions have never been revealed by these commissions and not reported by IRI’s media, factions and IRI's lobby groups in the West.

Different rates are speculated by both IRI’s deserters and rescuers. It varies from at least 4485 names published in the opposition media up to 30000 executions, as estimated by others.

Iran’s political prisoners were simply asked two questions each, “Do you believe in Allah?”, “Are you prepared to renounce your political organisation?” The prisoners had no idea about the consequences of their replies. In fact a ‘No’ to any of the above questions led automatically to immediate execution. Furthermore, according to some survivors most of the victim, no matter repentanced or not, would get killed because the regime did not take them seriously and didn’t believe in their answers at the first place.

Although, many of those prisoners had already finished their prison sentences, they were further kept in captivity. Some of them were even recaptured after being once released. The prisoners were from all segments of society--included teenagers, whole families, men and women.

During the months of August and September, all prison visits were cancelled; families were told not to bring any medicine or food for their loved ones. During this time the killing inside Iran’s prisons continued. The slaughter was efficient and relentless.

All day long, prisoners were loaded on forklift trucks and hanged from cranes and beams in groups of six at half-hourly intervals. Others were killed by firing squad. Those not executed were subjected to horrific torture.

The killing was an act of unprecedented violence in the course of Iranian recent history, unprecedented in form, content and intensity”, wrote the historian Ervand Abrahamian in his book on Iranian prisons Tortured Confessions.

The executed were buried in unmarked mass graves on the outskirts of the towns. In Tehran, one mass burial was accidentally discovered by an Armenian priest who had become curious as to why stray dogs kept digging there for bones.

It is a moral duty to mention that such massacres can repeatedly be committed in Iran as soon as the IRI exists.

The historical justification of such massacres has roots in the epoch of the Prophet Muhammad when he came up with the idea that it is perfectly legitimate to kill “unbelievers” –the teaching of the Koran confirms it: “Those who resist Allah and his messenger will be humbled to dust”: the Koran 58-5. Or: “I will instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers”, the Koran 8-12.

These verses implicitly justifiy not only Muslims’ jihad against non-believers, but in some extend killings within a Muslim community, where different interests and power-thirsty ambitions can lead to mutually kill each others under the pretext of “ Enemy of Islam.”

The IRI’s version of Islam justifies both categories of “Enemy of Islam” interpreted as “Molhed” (atheists), term used against communists and “Monafegh" (hypocrite), term used for, Muslim, Mojahedins.

These two categories of “enemy of Islam” were subject of the massacre of summer 88.

The Massacre had also roots in the early years of the IRI when the newly established Shiite dictatorship began nationwide to crackdown on the leftist, democratic and secular opposition groups. Soon after the 1979 revolution, the paramilitary thugs of Hezbollah regularly attacked, sabotaged and intimidated opposition groups and ravaged their sieges and media.

Many newspapers were shut down, women were humiliated, minorities and ethnics were discriminated, and Friday prayer sermons turned into a place to spew venoms and hatred against any voice calling for gender equality, social justice, democracy and secularism.

In the twentieth year of the massacre, we all freedom-loving Iranians along with the families who lost their loved children in summer 88 demand the UN to officially condemn this massacre.

The international judicial authorities should summon the murderers of this genocide to an international tribune to be tried. Such a process will be similar to the case of the Nuremberg Court which rightfully brought the Nazi criminals before the court due to their crimes against humanity.


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IRI is too soft on evil

by AnonymousXXX (not verified) on

IRI is just too soft on certain individuals who betray their country and attack God.

They should take care of troublemakers like Saddam did or China is doing today.

I guess their softness and mercy is due to Islam, who knows.


Terror Group members such as MKO deserved it ...

by ./. (not verified) on

There were a lot of killings of government and elite in Iran several months after the revolution. After it became clear that CIA and some other foriegn intelligence services were paying terror groups insiode Iran to do so, it was determined that MKO members were among them. Khomeini was smart enough to recognize the roots and cause of terror. Khomeini's people masacred several hunderd MKO members and the rest fled to Iraq to pay "homage" to Saddam. MKO deserved it.


Look at Zionazis

by XerXes (not verified) on

Filling this site with propaganda. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the kindest regime that Iran has ever had. Those who have forgotten what kind of systems we have had historically are uneducated or dreaming. During the Shah, we could not even talk on the streets.
You could not speak to your parents about politics being scared that they come and get you. Have you forgotten those days or just trying to ignore what we had.

Islamic Republic is a great system that requires our participation. Unlike what most of LA crowd are used to and Zionazis want, IR is not like Kuwait or Saudi Arabia or Shah, that you just sit and government does everything for you. Get up and help Iran succeed. The world wants Iran back, meaning wants Iran to be the Yes sir type of country. We won't let it, you might, we won't.
The holly soil of Iran deserve better than traitors.


AnonymousXXX: Are you saying

by curious (not verified) on

AnonymousXXX: Are you saying that this massacre did not happen??


I wish IRI was like what you say

by AnonymousXXX (not verified) on

Unfortunately IRI is too kind to do all those things that you say Mr Rashidian.

Maybe some day we can hope that they will kill all those pigs just as you say. They should kill them and empty the jails from traitors and atheists.

One can only hope.


More information on Zanjan's

by abc (not verified) on

More information on Zanjan's protest:

حقایق تکان دهنده درباره واقعه دانشگاه زنجان

شرح ماوقع میان استاد حسن مددی و دانشجو"الف"(1)



Excellent as usual. Off

by abc (not verified) on

Excellent as usual.

Off topic.

Thousands of of Iranians Rise Up & Protest Corrupt Regime

are reporting on a massive protest in Mashad, Iran againt the corrupt regime in control of Iran.
Up to 10,000 people were reported to have taken part in the Mashad demonstration.
Azarmehr has video from the massive protest.

The AFP reporting this on the major student protest in the northwestern Iranian city of Zanjan against the university.

Thousands of university students in an Iranian city have held a protest against the attempted sexual harassment of a female colleague by a top university official, the press reported on Monday.




About 3,000 students at the university in the northwestern city of Zanjan staged the sit-in protest over the weekend at a sports hall on campus, the reports said.

They demanded that the board of directors resign and an apology from the higher education minister following the alleged offence committed by the vice chancellor, the reformist Etemad newspaper said.

The vice chancellor is alleged to have sexually harassed the girl while she was in his office to resolve a problem with the committee of conduct -- a disciplinary body which monitors students' activities, the reports said.

"Students broke into the vice president's office and handed him over to security after finding out that he had sought to (sexually) harass a student," Etemad said.

Its report said the unnamed official had on several occasions tried to shut down the students' Islamic association "under the pretext that its members have moral problems and do not have an Islamic behaviour."




Dear Mr Rashidian

by IRANdokht on

I hope you have a nice time with your family.

Thanks again for the reply, I must have missed the article you're speaking of.

Don't worry, you have not missed anything new, the same arguments about politics and religion are still going strong, and they will still be on after you're back from your vacation.

Enjoy your trip


Jahanshah Rashidian

Dear Irandohkt

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

I am now guest in your host country, visiting some members of my family, and am not very aware of all previous developments on 

I just surffed the site a couple of days ago and saw an article from Dr. Bagherzadeh reminding us of the close 20th. anniversaries of the sad event--this piece is rather a realated reaction.

So, I have not seen any petition. If there is one, please let me know to sign it.

Thanks for your candid replay and sorry for the misunderstanding. 

Concerning Bush and his flawed policy, as you know, I share your views.


relative support?

by IRANdokht on

Dear Mr Rashidian

Reading the last paragraph of your blog, I originally thought maybe you know of a petition to sign or an office that we could write letters to, in order to bring this massacre's gloomy anniversary to the world's attention.

I am not sure why you think that I deserved a "relative (?)" acknowledgment for my support of this cause...

I certainly would not just nag about it either, I do recognize and have fallen victim to this regime myself. A regime that I did not vote for, did not advocate for and did never fight for, unlike some who denounce IRI now , I was totally against them from the very beginning.

I have a lot of respect for the folks who write and express their opinions against this regime and the way the world's politics are playing us. Unlike many, I do not belong to any "group". I do realize that Bush's mentality of "you're either with us or against us" applies to many of our even intellectual Iranians, but I do not approve of it. I think our intellectuals should show better reasoning than some cowboy C average student like Bush!

Thank you for your reply


Jahanshah Rashidian

Dear Irandokht

by Jahanshah Rashidian on

Tank you for your relative(?) support. No, there is no appropriate campaig against this massacre yet. Alas, the IRI and its lobby groups in the West and all its apoplogists on this site can still relieve. 

But at least a simple denunciation of such a massive massacre does not reduce us to "passive" naggers.


more info?

by IRANdokht on

Mr Rashidian

Is there a petition to sign or a letter to send out?

It's clear that if the news didn't travel fast those days. These atrocities would not only continue but they would be elevated to more inhumane levels if they were not held accountable every now and then in front of the international community. Unfortunately, we couldn't do anything to stop these 20-yr old murders on time. Nowadays we can show the world what is happening and even pressure the regime to slow down.

Of course the root of all evils saghat shod and the ones who are left are more after stuffing their own pockets rather than taking revenge, but we are still witnessing all sorts of injustices and crimes against humanity from the ones imposing their will on the helpless people.

There is one other element working in our favor nowadays: there are so many more people actively speaking out against the IRI, we have some organized voices outside of Iran and the internet has helped the spread of information inside Iran and abroad. The world is shrinking and the crimes are harder to hide.

Thank you for remembering those fallen victim of those barbaric acts...