Editor’s note: Mahmoud Royaee is a survivor of the 1988 massacre in Iran. In this testimony, Royaee has provided descriptions of the extreme cruelty of the Iranian mullah regime and how their collaborators such as Hamid Nouri, who is currently on trial in Sweden for crimes against humanity had slaughtered innocent people in the country. He also narrates the role of Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s president elected through a bogus election, who was the boss of the Death Committees. Raisi in infamously known as the Burcher of Tehran.
It was 12 o’clock at night, and we were sitting in the hallway with another prisoner named Farid. I still did not know anything about what was going on in prison. From under the blindfold, we noticed that the prisoners were grouped together and taken to a corridor, which was later named “Corridor of Death”. Around 12 or 12:30 midnight, all prisoners had been taken away.
A few minutes later, Farid and I were sent to cell 4, ward 2. As soon as I opened my blindfold, I saw Siamak in front of me. A friend, whom the last time I saw, was five years. We were looking for each other for the past five years. As soon as Siamak saw me while squeezing his throat with hatred, he hugged me and told me that they killed everyone! Surprised by what I heard, I said: What!? He repeated and said, they killed everyone! I said it is not possible. I could not believe it. I said, how is this possible? He explained to me: “Since Thursday and Friday last week, the Revolutionary Guards have changed their behaviors. They have banned watching television; no prison visits have been allowed, the newspaper distribution has been stopped. They actually had started the massacre on Saturday, August 29.
There are two major prisons in Tehran, Gohardasht Prison and Evin Prison. The main prison in Tehran, where thousands of executions took place, is the infamous Evin Prison, located near the city of Tehran. Gohardasht Prison is located near the city of Karaj, west of Tehran, and housed a large number of political prisoners.
A death Committee was assigned to both Evin and Gohardasht prisons, determining whether a prisoner remained opposed to the Khomeini regime. If the answer was yes, an execution sentence was issued. The Death Committee also oversaw the execution process. The Death Committee for these two prisons consisted of Hossein Ali Nayeri, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, Morteza Ishraqi, and Ebrahim Raisi. Ebrahim Raisi, who has become the regime’s president today, has been a member of both the Evin and Gohardasht Death Committee. Underneath the Death Committee, a group of three people, including Mohammad Moghisehaei, Davood Lashgari, and Hamid Nouri, were in charge of executing the orders issued by the Death Committee.
Hamid Nouri is currently on trial in Sweden for crimes against humanity.
Hamid Nouri took the people sentenced to death by the Death Committee to the hanging room and tied the rope around their necks. Hamid Nouri often grabbed the prisoners who had the rope around their necks and pulled them down to speed the process to showcase his barbarism and mercilessness.
God knows he has repeated this hundreds or thousands of times. The word killer cannot fully define him. Hamid Nouri was one of those who carried out the execution orders, but the important ones were those who issued the verdict and issued the death sentence.
The Death Committee of Morteza Eshraghi and his successor at that time, Ebrahim Raisi, were busy issuing speedy execution orders from Thursday, August 27, to the end of September. They issued between 20 – 300 execution orders every single day. He issued execution orders, as simple as ordering a cup of tea and enjoying it, truly unimaginable! When Farzin Nosrati was brought into the room, as soon as they asked his name and as soon as he said Farzin Nosrati, they issued an execution sentence for him. It took the Death Committee less than 10 seconds to send a young man to the hanging ropes!
The members of the Death Committees were awarded higher government positions and incentives if they had fulfilled all their inhumane atrocities. For example, Ibrahim Raisi, who was the deputy prosecutor at the time, later became the head of the country’s inspector general, the head of the judiciary, and later was appointed as Iran’s president. Mostafa Pourmohammadi, who represented the Minister of Intelligence in the Death Committee, later became Khamenei’s security adviser. In Ahmadinejad’s cabinet, he was given the post of Minister of Interior and is now the head of the General Inspectorate. Ismail Shoushtari, who was the head of the Prisons Organization, became Minister of Justice during the presidency of Rafsanjani and Khatami.
The appointment of a president as the regime’s president embodies the unparalleled cruelty of the mullahs’ regime. Raisi played a unique role in the killing of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, according to Khomeini’s fatwa. More than 90 percent of those massacred prisoners were members and supporters of the MEK, the regime’s main opposition. Khomeini’s fatwa stated that all MEK, the sworn enemies of the Iranian regime, should they insist on their beliefs, that is, to oppose this evil regime, they should be executed only because of their beliefs.
In addition, Raisi, as the head of the judiciary, has been involved in numerous executions and the suppression of widespread protests, such as the November 2019 uprising, in which more than 1,500 protesters were killed in the streets of different cities across Iran.
Raisi’s appointment as president was meant to break down and stop the growing waves of uprisings and demonstrations throughout Iran. The uprisings currently being led by the Iranian youths, in the form of small groups, are called Resistance units. These resistance units advocate the ten-point plan of Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, which calls for equality between men and women, the separation of religion from the state and a non-nuclear solution. The arrival of Iran’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, marks the end of the mullahs’ system.
Similar to the past presidents, Ebrahim Raisi’s confrontation with the rest of those in power and the people’s just demands have already had a fresh start. A maximum turnout of 10 percent in the regime’s presidential election in June 2021 is the beginning of this confrontation. All indications are that this time the winner will not be the regime.
At the same time, Raisi’s presidency is a historic test for the international community. Will the world’s governments interact with the president who has succeeded in his generational massacre, or will they stand by the Iranian people!
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