In 1988, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a secret fatwa (a religious edict) ordering judicial authorities to execute between 4,500 and 5,000 political prisoners. The inmates were men and women, young and old who had been arrested over the previous ten years for their dissident views or participation in street demonstrations. Some were teenagers at the time of their arrest.
TWO NEW BOOKS surface, with urgency, the 1980s executions of thousands of political prisoners in Iran. Voices of a Massacre: Untold Stories of Life and Death in Iran, 1988 provides a multifaceted record of state violence and its astounding impacts. It arrays testimony and analysis from prison survivors, grief-mobilized activist mothers, and the grown children of the executed, placing these alongside historical essays and documents that consider both the event and its aftermath. Survivors here provide not just testimonial but analysis, vision, and leadership. Nasser Mohajer’s substantial compilation is a vital contribution to the record of this still-suppressed history […]