November 12, 2017
In a new report, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres examined the ongoing calls for truth and justice over the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran, as wells as human rights abuses towards campaigners demanding justice over the massacre.
An advance edited version of the report “Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran” (A/HRC/34/40) was distributed to member states at the Human Rights Council’s thirty-fourth session on March 30th, 2017.
The report includes the following paragraphs related to the 1988 massacre:
31. In October, Akbari Monfared, who was serving a 15-year prison sentence in relation to her alleged membership of the banned opposition group known as the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, was reportedly denied medical treatment after publishing a letter demanding justice for her brothers and sisters who were reportedly executed in 1988.
54. During the reporting period, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) continued to receive a large number of complaints from families of the victims of executions which took place in 1988. In a joint statement issued in March, 20 human rights organizations called on the authorities to stop the harassment, intimidation and prosecution of human rights defenders seeking truth and justice on behalf of individuals who were summarily executed or forcibly disappeared during the 1980s and of their families. Among them are Mansoureh Behkish, Maryam Akbari-Monfared and Raheleh Rahemipour. In February, Mr. Ahmad Montazeri, the son of the late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who released an audio recording of his father denouncing the executions and was sentenced to 21 years of imprisonment in November 2016 was taken to Evin prison to serve his sentence but was released a couple of hours later”.
62. In November, Ahmad Montazeri, a 60-year-old cleric, was sentenced to seven years in prison by a clerical court in the city of Qom on charges of acting against national security and releasing a classified audio file, and for propaganda against the system. In August, he had released an audio recording of a discussion dating back to 1988 in which his father, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, reportedly argued with leaders of the judiciary and condemned the execution of thousands of prisoners in 1988. The trial of Mr. Montazeri was reportedly held behind closed doors and he was prevented from choosing his own lawyer. The Secretary-General’s predecessor expressed deep concern over the imprisonment of Mr. Montazeri and the apparent lack of investigation into the revelations contained in the audio recording.(27)
Footnote 27 — During the last months of 2016, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights received copies of 31 letters addressed to the High Commissioner and to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The letters were complaints from families of persons killed in the mass executions which reportedly took place in 1988.