Enforced disappearance is an ongoing crime against Iranian dissidents
By : Ali Latifi
August 30 is the international day of the victims of Enforced disappearance, but under the mullahs’ rule in Iran, each day is an August 30. In fact, Iran is going through one of the worst eras of its history. 40 years ago, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini [founder of the Islamic Republic regime] seized a popular revolution against monarchic dictatorship. He deceived the protesters with hollow promises he never kept!
Khomeini aimed to establish a religious dictatorship and consolidate his power by suppressing all freedoms. But he faced an organized movement that was dedicated to defending the right of the people of Iran. The organized movement was the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) under the leadership of Mr. Massoud Rajavi.
The PMOI refused to give in to listen to the rhetoric of Khomeini and his officials, and insisted on the need to respect the freedoms of all of the people as the main and real course of the Iranian revolution. Khomeini began to inflame his thugs against the PMOI/MEK, which resulted in deadly attacks against PMOI/MEK centers in different cities. More than 70 PMOI/MEK members and supporters were killed and hundreds were wounded during these attacks. But the PMOI/MEK refrained from any retaliatory reactions.
Finally, Khomeini was forced to reveal his true brutal nature and gave the order for the mass killing of PMOI/MEK members, supporters and everyone connected with them. Khomeini’s thugs, who are currently known as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), committed unprecedented crimes against PMOI/MEK members and their families. They seized everyone suspected has the relationship with PMOI/MEK without any lawful excuse and tortured them. IRGC members also took PMOI/MEK families as hostages to catch their targets. They showed no mercy to PMOI/MEK members and executed a large number of them.
But the most heinous crime was the massacre of more than 30,000 political prisoners ( Enforced disappearance )during the summer of 1988 by the direct order of Khomeini. Most victims were PMOI/MEK members and supporters. The perpetrators of this savage crime against humanity never informed the families about the location where their love ones were buried. According to evidence, the victims of this extra judiciary executions were buried in mass graves in various cities.
In this regard, Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director at Amnesty International says:
“It is misguided to view the 1988 mass killings as historical events. The Enforced disappearance are ongoing and, 30 years later, victims’ families continue to be tormented by anguish and uncertainty over the fate of their loved ones.”
Therefore, as the Amnesty International’s statement emphasized:
“Under international law, the crime of enforced disappearance continues until the state reveals the fate or whereabouts of the individual concerned and this requires, when the disappeared person is found to be dead, returning the remains of the victims to their families.”
In conclusion, the international community has a responsibility to indict the perpetrators of this crime against humanity. The families of victims have the right to know about the fate of their loved ones.