The Iranian regime has a history of cracking down on its opponents. Incommunicado detentions, arbitrary abductions, summary executions, torture and enforced disappearances are among practices commonly used against opponents.
Dissident intellectuals and students, ethnic groups and religious minorities, and members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) have always been targeted.
With the brutal suppression of the last demonstrations in Tehran and other cities which peacefully demanded freedom on June 20, 1981, the regime’s crackdown took a sharp turn and climaxed during the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners.
In summer 1988, a wave of intense killings began in Evin and Gohardasht prisons, in Tehran and Karaj, respectively. The mass executions then extended to other prisons all across the country. Tens of thousands of political prisoners mostly members of the PMOI were among victims of enforced disappearances in Iran and extra-judicially executed during the massacre.