The summer of 1988 is truly the darkest times in modern Iranian history. Some 30,000 political prisoners were executed under the direct and written order or Fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini. The massacre is described as a political purge without precedent in modern Iranian history, both in terms of scope and cover up. Many of the prisoners were serving their prison terms and many were near the end of their sentences and were supposed to be freed. The massacre of political prisoners lasted a few weeks and their lifeless bodies were left inside unmarked mass graves in different cities and towns.
The majority of the victims belonged to the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran or PMOI. Number of individuals who belonged to lefties and other groups were also executed. The PMOI exposed this political genocide for the first time in the same year just a few months after the massacre.
Every year the Iranian dissidents around the world commemorate those brave souls for they were taken from somebody's parents, sister, brother, son and daughter, aunt, uncle, classmate, colleague or teacher....
My guest today is Sara Hassani whose uncle Mahmood was executed during 1988 massacre. Sara is a PhD student in Politics who studies middle eastern resistance and self-sacrifice. Sara is a Canadian of Iranian descent and never met her uncle, but as you will hear, you would agree with me that how much Mahmood Hassani's life and death has affected his niece's view of the world around her.