Saturday, 29 August 2009

What really happened at Behesht e Zahra?

Behesht e Zahra is a massive, sprawling cemetery in south Tehran, containing the graves of many notable Iranians, and lately has been the subject of much scrutiny due to the reports of secret mass burials of those killed in recent weeks in the struggle against the regime. The graves were in Block 302 of the cemetery and are unnamed. The head of the cemetery was duly sacked for disclosing the mass graves, though in recent days he's had to backpedal and put it down to "retirement".

The Islamic Republic's government has predictably denied that they are responsible for this heinous crime, however yesterday evidence surfaced thanks to RFERL who discovered a blog by a family member of someone who works at the cemetery who says her mother was witness to the burials by government agents:

She started with the first night:

"No sooner had I entered the ground of the facility when I saw about 30 frozen corpses left to defrost, and many bearded men who took me along with some of my colleagues into a room. A man started telling us that tonight and in the coming nights we would be burying the corpses of some hypocrites. These were anti-revolutionary groups that had killed several of our soldiers. They had been found and brought here from deserted areas near the border for identification. Now they wanted to bury them behind the backs of the media and spies.

'If you spread the word to anyone, you and every single member of your family shall be in grave danger, be sure of that,’ one of the bearded men threatened.

They asked for our names along with the names of family members and they took our thumb prints. They emphasized that we'd better not forget what they had said and then guided us to our respective work places.

Male corpses had more attendees, and it was I, along with a few colleagues, in the female corpse section. We had been delivered about five female corpses that had been frozen, while there were about 20 male corpses in the other section. The manager of the graveyard who had come as well that night told us to finish the job before sunrise, even if we had to bury them without a complete wash and proper shrouding.

Therefore, we began. Some of the corpses had severe cuts and frozen blood on their faces. There were three middle-aged women and two women of 20 to 30 years of age. One of the girls had her head smashed so badly that we had to deliver her to the undertakers without thawing the corpse."

I asked my mother to tell me more of what she saw on the next night. She finally gave in to my persistent inquiries.

“Tonight, we went to the same facility again. The number of corpses this time was about four times more. More than 100!!! We were delivered 23 unidentified corpses in the female section. The bearded men were greater in number as well. There were guards at every entrance to the graveyard, and any possible traffic was being controlled..."

Nothing more to add really. I have no doubts that these acts took place, the Islamic Republic has a history of killing those who stand up to it, and then burying them in mass graves. Even though Mir Hossein Mousavi would never bring it up today, whilst he was Prime Minister in 1988, tens of thousands of political prisoners were killed in this manner, and the gullible fools on Facebook have formed a group demanding that he be given the Nobel Peace Prize!

Comments are most welcome.


  1. They'd have to find him first! Where exactly is Moussavi these days? His benefactor Rafsanjani has made his peace with the 'Supreme Leader' so I guess it will be only a matter of time before Moussavi follows suit. In the meantime all those brave young men and women in Behesht e Zahra remain dead.

  2. I think the reason muslims don’t show shame for this is, at the deepest level the same reason for your other questions. I think, underneath it all, the sense of ethics for many people come from their religion, and the fact is that Muslims who go back to what Mohammad said believe that non Muslims are evil and God wants enmity and war against them.

    They don’t feel guilty about lying because they think that by promoting hatred, they’re doing God’s work, they’re being good and pious.

    Some of the other problems in Arab countries stem from the rather extreme measures people go through to deal with the problems of having this brutal ideology ascendant. Having brutal secular tyrants is a way to counterbalance the terror of having brutal morality.

    The fact that most of the slaughter in Iraq was Muslims killing each other for being members of the wrong sect is evidence of my thesis that the basic values of Islamic societies are brutal.

  3. This is where our Iranian money goes:

  4. Mehran: I very much agree, what's going on in Iran is no longer about Mousavi, Karroubi or Khatami it's about the people beginning to wake up and realising that this criminal regime must go.

    Anonymous 1: I agree, Islamic states and Islamic jurisprudence are fundamentally flawed and lead to inequality and infringe on personal liberty, like most religious law.


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