Iran: 1988 Mass Executions Evident Crimes Against Humanity: Senior Officials Implicated Should Be Investigated, Fairly Prosecuted

Dennis Brasky

Overwhelming evidence shows that the Iranian authorities’ mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 amounts to crimes against humanity, Human Rights Watch said in an in-depth question-and-answer document released today.

In 1988, Iranian authorities, acting on the orders of then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, summarily and extrajudicially executed thousands of political prisoners across the country. The number of executions is not known, but according to estimates from former Iranian officials and lists compiled by human rights and opposition groups, Iranian authorities executed between 2,800 and 5,000 prisoners in at least 32 cities. Evidence links several past and current senior officials to the executions, including President Ebrahim Raeesi.

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