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IHRDC Commends Canada’s Parliament for Adoption of Motion on 1988 Massacre

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center Commends Canada’s Parliament for Recognizing the 1988 Prison Massacre in the Islamic Republic of Iran as Constituting Crimes Against Humanity

(June 5, 2013) – The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) commends Canada’s Parliament for adopting—by unanimous consent of all the members—a motion recognizing the massacre of political prisoners by the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) in the summer of 1988 as constituting crimes against humanity. The motion was proposed by the Massacre88 campaign—a group of Iranian-Canadian human rights activists seeking justice and accountability for the atrocities committed by the Iranian authorities in 1988—and was presented to Canada’s Parliament today.

The text adopted by Canada’s Parliament reads as follows:

That this House condemns the mass murder of political prisoners in Iran in the summer of 1988 as constituting crimes against humanity, honors the memory of the victims buried in mass graves at Khavaran cemetery and other locations in Iran, and establishes September 1st as a day of solidarity with political prisoners in Iran.

In reaction to the adoption, Iranian-Canadian lawyer and Massacre88 spokesperson Kaveh Shahrooz said, “On behalf of the Massacre88 Campaign and the thousands of families who lost their loved ones in the Iranian regime’s prisons in 1988, I want to thank all of Canada’s Parliamentarians for the bold step they took today. Those responsible for the 1988 killings continue to hold positions of great power in Iran, but today Canada stood up for accountability and the rule of law.”

The 1988 prison massacre remains one of the single most brutal periods in the history of the IRI.  Pursuant to a fatwa­—or religious edict—issued by then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, the IRI systematically interrogated, tortured and summarily executed thousands of political prisoners for their ideological and religious beliefs. In its report Deadly Fatwa: Iran’s 1988 Prison Massacre, IHRDC concluded—on the basis of interviews with survivors and family members of the victims of the 1988 massacre and from other documentation—that the crimes committed by the IRI in the summer of 1988 undoubtedly constituted a crime against humanity.

For further information please contact:

Gissou Nia

Executive Director

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

Email: gnia@iranhrdc.org

Phone: +1 203 654 9342