The victims of 1988 Massacre
How the victims' information have been provided?
Suffice it to mention that several prisoners and other Mojahidin activists in Iran have lost their lives while working on this project. The clerical authorities went to amazing lengths to prevent any leak to the outside world of the news of the massacre. All prisons across the country were placed in a state of emergency on the day the carnage began. All leaves for the personnel were canceled until further notice. All telephone lines were cut except one that was used by the death committee. All guards and staff members with knowledge of the massacre had to participate personally in the killings, so that they would be party to the crimes and would not reveal their knowledge afterwards. In many prisons and wards, prisoners were executed to the last person to ensure that the secrets would be buried forever. Only a few prisoners have emerged to tell the shocking tales of what went on inside the mullahs’ jails in the second half of 1988. Non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International have also received eyewitness reports and interviewed former prisoners. These witnesses, coming from different prisons in Iran, tell a story that is the same in all its major aspects and varies only in details that are specific to every prison. The present list of victims, while incomplete, does provide a representative sample of the executed prisoners.
The victims by statistics
A statistical breakdown reveals that 38 percent of the victims were hanged, 48 percent were executed by firing squads, and 14 percent were killed under a variety of circumstances: some died under torture, some were murdered when the guards blew up part of the prison, and some were hanged in public.
There are numerous reports of political prisoners who were hanged in public during that time. Groups of Mojahedin prisoners, varying in number between seven and 20, were hanged in the full view of the people in the cities of Kermanshah, Harsin, Ilam, Dezful, Garmsar, Saveh, Varamin, Karaj, Tabriz, Mashad, Bandar-Abbas, etc.
As last as early 1989, political prisoners were reportedly being hanged in public under the pretext of drug trafficking. Of the victims listed here, 35 percent were executed in Tehran, the majority of them in Evin prison. Fourteen percent were executed in Gohardasht prison in Karaj. Forty-six percent were killed in provincial jails. The place of execution of five percent is unknown. According to former prisoners, only 300 inmates out of the thousands who were being held in Gohardasht survived the killings by mid-September 1988. They were all transferred to Evin. More than Forty percent of the victims listed here were executed within three weeks after the executions began in late July.
Of the more than 3,000 victims in this list, the Iranian regime has officially announced the execution of only 354 of them. Victims include teenagers as young as 13 and 15. Twenty-five percent of the victims were under 25 years old. Fifty-eight percent were under 30.
Many like Saeed Daniali, Ahmad-Ali Vahabzadeh, and Massoud Darabi had been in jail since the time when they were only 13 years old. More than fifteen percent of the victims held university degrees. Twenty of the victims listed here were over 50.
A 60-year-old woman, Sadat Hosseini, was executed in Shiraz. Another woman, known as Mother Shokri, was arrested after she protested the execution of her children. She was tortured to the point of becoming paralyzed and was then executed in Qaemshahr, northern Iran.
Mohammad Ebrahim Rajabi, 58, father of seven, was executed in Gorgan, after five years in jail. Her daughter, Parvaneh, was executed in 1981.
Mrs. Fatemeh Zarei in Shiraz, Shahbaz Shahbazi in Rudsar, Zohreh Einol-Yaghin in Isfahan were among Mojahedin candidates in the first post-revolutionary elections in 1980. Other victims, such as Ashraf Ahmadi, Mohammad Golpayegani, Qolamali Rahbari, Ali Tab, Mehdi Jalalian, and Parviz Zolfaqari were political prisoners under the Shah’s regime.
Many servicemen and members of the mullahs’ armed forces, who supported the Mojahedin, were among the victims of the massacre.
Col. Mir Fakhrai, Major Khalil Minai (ground forces), Major Maghsoudi, Seyed Mohammad Ziai (officer in the navy), Seyed Ahmad Seyedian (airborne special forces, 23rd Nohed Division), Hossein Razaghi (commando in the ground forces) and Mohammad MirzaMohammadi (police corporal) were among them.
Profesional background of the victims
The wide range of professional background of the victims is another indication of how deeply the massacre cut into Iranian society, leaving practically no family unscathed in a country where extensive families are still predominant. The victims include workers, farmers, businessmen, physicians, military personnel, engineers, accountants, teachers, university professors, sports champions, and the list goes on.
In the city of Tabriz, the regime’s agents hanged in public two physicians who sympathized with the Mojahedin, Dr. Firooz Saremi, a Cancer specialist, and Dr. Tabibi Nejad, an obstetrician. Both were in their 50s.
The geographical distribution
The geographical distribution of the executions shows that every region of the country was affected by the massacre. In some major provincial cities thousands were executed during the killings. Another shocking reality about the carnage is that many families were wiped out in their entirety by the executioners. Some families lost three, four and even up to ten of their members. The Shoja’i family in Shahr-e Kord, central Iran, has lost 12 of its members. In Zanjan, the execution of Jaafar Hariri in 1988 raised the number of victims of executions in this family to six. In Isfahan, two sisters and a brother, Fariba, Farahnaz and Mohammad Ahmadi, were executed on August 3, 1988. The other brother, Mansour, was executed in Shiraz a month later.