by Malik Alavi

The last time I saw him was back in Ashraf in September 2012, embracing me with the same humble face as always. Little did I know that I will never see him again!… Many years ago when I was in high-school in Iran, despite our age differential, he was one of my best friends while he was only 13 or years old. He was my young cousin, Fariborz.

What added more to just a family relationship was our common belief in the cause of freedom and our support for the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). However, since the fundamentalism regime ruling Iran could not tolerate freedom of beliefs and human rights, it launched a major wave of crackdown across Iran. Known supporters of opposition organizations, especially the PMOI, were arrested in groups and sent to the gallows. Following the executions of thousands of innocent people by the regime, Fariborz and I had no choice but to continue our struggle by spreading leaflets and spraying slogans on walls at nights, risking being arrested, tortured and eventually executed… We continued these activities until I was forced to exit the country due to the various threats I had received. However, I kept in touch with Fariborz inside Iran. This was around the same timing of the summer 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran that motivated human rights activists like me and Fariborz to redouble our efforts and expose the crimes of Iran’s ruling dictators. Such efforts allowed us, and others like us, to find many of the names of the massacre victims that were executed in secret. Even their bodies were buried in mass graves at night, with one major site found near Tehran by the name of Khavaran.

However, neither me nor Fariborz knew that one day Fariborz himself would be a victim of the Ashraf massacre along with 51 of his friends in September 2013. They were all brutally gunned down and murdered by forces associated to former Iraqi prime minister Nouri Maliki. And they all received their orders from Iran. Around two years later, despite being condemned by the US, EU, the UN Secretary-General, UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, UN High Commissioner of Refugees and numerous governments, no independent report has been published at all. Even the Iraqi government has not published a forged report.

This is how I and other relatives of these victims seek to join in voice with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran to establish freedom and democracy in Iran. We want to rid this world of the fundamentalist rulers in Iran. We call on all freedom-lovers across the globe to join and support Maryam Rajavi in the grand June 13 rally for a free, democratic and non-nuclear Iran that is against fundamentalism and terrorism.