Iran, December 2019—In a ceremony held at Ashraf 3, the headquarters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Albania, members of the Iranian opposition commemorated the heroes and martyrs of nationwide protests that spread to more than 190 cities.
“These martyrs are still alive because they are eternal. They are the flowers of a rebellious generation. They burst into life out of the sacred will and determination of an arisen nation. They are the harbingers of freedom in Iran,” Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said during her keynote speech at the Ashraf 3 ceremony. “You are the mothers and fathers of heroes who shook the clerical regime to its foundations, so much so that the regime has no escape from it.”
In the weeks that followed the protests, the MEK has documented at least 1,500 protesters killed by the repressive forces of the Iranian regime, including children as young as 13 years old. The regime has used heavy machine guns and armored vehicles to quell the protests. According to reports, more than 4,000 people have been injured and the regime has arrested more than 12,000 protesters. Information obtained by the MEK indicate arrested protesters are under inhumane conditions in the regime’s prisons and several MEK supporters and activists have already died under torture.
“Khamenei and his IRGC are dead wrong if they think that they can continue their rule by filling the marshlands of Mahshahr with the blood and corpses of our defenseless people,” Mrs. Rajavi said during her speech in Ashraf 3. “These massacres signal the end of the mullahs’ inhuman regime.”
Reports obtained from Mahshahr indicate the regime has conducted a brutal massacre in this southwestern city, killing at least 100 civilians in the marshes on the outskirts of the city with heavy machine guns. The regime’s own media have confirmed the massacre.
In her speech, Mrs. Rajavi stressed that despite the regime’s widespread use of violence, it has not been able to shut down the protests. “The residents of these cities are suffering from unemployment and poverty. They are deprived of many urban services and have, in many respects, been removed from the country’s population. These cities and towns have not emerged overnight; they are the product of the regime’s plunder and pillage particularly since the 1990s. The regime does not have any solutions because it is itself the one that has created so much misery, destitution and social calamities,” Mrs. Rajavi said. “Consequently, the mullahs are at impasse in confronting these hotbeds of rebellion and revolt. They will have to deal with them again in the near future.”
The regime’s massacre of Iranian protesters is reminiscent of the 1988 massacre, where the regime executed more than 30,000 prisoners in the span of a few weeks. Most of the executed prisoners were supporters and members of the MEK. Several survivors and witnesses of this crime against humanity were present at the ceremony held in Ashraf 3.
“In 1988, [Regime founder Ruhollah Khomeini] carried out a massacre in secret and inside prison walls. Now, Khamenei has resorted to committing a massacre in the streets, shooting young people in the head and chest at close range, killing protesters and throwing their bodies in dams and water channels, and striking wounded protesters with axes in the streets,” Mrs. Rajavi said, adding that the sheer violence used by the regime has only rendered the Iranian people “a hundred times more enraged than in the past.”
Mrs. Rajavi also called for an independent UN probe into the killings of Iranian protesters and called on the international community to stand with the people of Iran and hold the regime responsible for its crimes.
Said Mrs. Rajavi, “The world must support the legitimacy of the resistance waged by Iran’s rebellious youths against the ruthless Revolutionary Guards. It must recognize the struggle of the people of Iran to overthrow this regime. This is the same right stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the French Revolution, and in America’s Declaration of Independence. The people of Iran, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, have risen up and taken recourse ‘as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression.’ This right must be recognized.”
During the ceremony at Ashraf 3, MEK members commemorated the martyrs of Iran’s protests by holding their pictures and reading out their names. So far, the MEK’s network inside Iran has been able to gather the names of more than 600 protesters killed by the Iranian regime’s security forces.