According to eyewitnesses interviewed by Amnesty International and Justice for Iran, the bodies of prisoners detained for political reasons and executed in August 1988 in the prison in Rasht, Gilan province, were dumped into three or four trenches dug in an outlying part of Rasht’s Tazeh Abad cemetery, which is the city’s main burial ground. Each trench was estimated to measure around 9m.

Since 2008, the authorities have constructed new individual burial plots on top of the mass grave site and sold many of them. Satellite and photo evidence obtained by Amnesty International and Justice for Iran reveal the construction work that occurred between 2008 and 2016.

Justice for Iran interviewed a family member who had talked to several owners of the new burial plots and reported that they consistently said that the authorities had not informed them about the mass graves lying beneath the plots they had bought.