The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) is shocked by the recent mass execution of Sunni prisoners in Gohardasht prison in Iran. These executions were carried out by the authorities as Iranians in the country and around the world commemorate the 28th anniversary of massacre of political prisoners in Iran.

During a few months in the Summer of 1988, the Iranian regime executed tens of thousands of political prisoners in its prisons following a fatwa (religious decree) by the first ‘Supreme Leader’ of Iran, Khomeini.

According to reports, the majority of those 30.000 executed were either serving prison sentences for their political activities or had already finished their sentences but were still kept in prison.

Just like today, anyone who did not repented his opposition to the ruling theocratic regime and was not willing to totally collaborate with the regime was sentenced to death under the pretext of “Waging war against God”.

These latest executions come as the Iranian authorities intensify pressure on political prisoners by imposing severe punishment and denying them medical care in its prisons.

It is once again clear that the human rights situation in Iran has not change but rather has worsened in many areas including arbitrary arrest of dual citizens, suppression of women and of Iran's religious and ethnic minorities.

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) strongly condemns Tehran's continued use of death penalty, which aims to silence popular dissent.

The Iranian regime can no longer be allowed to hide behind the notion of “moderation” and the international community must speak up against the systematic atrocities taking place on a daily basis.

In our endeavours to advance human rights and democracy in Iran, we urge the government to recognise the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in the country as a crime against humanity and to take appropriate steps with our Western allies in the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Security Council to make sure that those responsible for these executions be brought to justice in an international tribunal.

In the meantime, the government should increase pressure on the Iranian regime.

British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom

05 August 2016