No exact records of Reza Saremi’s life and career are available.
- Head of the Khuzestan Prisons Organisation, 1985 – May 1996
Human Rights Violations:
- Execution of political prisoners in the summer of 1988
As the head of the Khuzestan Prisons Organisation, Reza Saremi had a deciding role the mass killings of political prisoners at Ahvaz’s Fajr Prison, during the summer of 1988.
In August and September 1988, thousands of political prisoners were executed under Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa (religious order), pursuant to the intelligence and judiciary authorities’ decisions. At the time of the mass executions, the victims had already served, or were currently serving, their prison sentences.
Mehri Alghaspour, who had been held in Ahvaz’s Fajr Prison between 1986 and 1989, told Justice for Iran about Reza Saremi’s role in the executions:
“It was July 1988. I remember one night at 10 p.m., the lights suddenly turned off and Saremi, who wasthe head of Khuzestan prisons at that time, burst out shouting through loudspeakers, ‘you, hypocrites and disbelievers… we will annihilate you all!’
“When he stopped yelling, the prison officials started shooting. We all ducked under the window as if to protect ourselves. The following morning, they told us to get ready and wear our chadors. Then, interrogations started. The executions and interrogations of 1988 were conducted in Fajr prison. Interrogations continued for three days. We were blindfolded in the last session.
“I was the first prisoner called to interrogation in the morning. Saremi asked me whether I believed in God, in the Islamic Republic, and in my organisation. I denied any belief in God and the Islamic Republic and confirmed that I believed in my organisation.
“The next day they called us again. They blindfolded me, Parvin Baqeri, Sakineh Delfi, and another woman and took us to the interrogation room. Saremi asked the same questions from Parvin and Sakineh, and they defended their beliefs. Sakineh Delfi and Parvin Baqeri were not supporters of the Mojahedin.
“Sakineh was executed, Zahra was executed, Nadereh was executed, Zeinab was executed, Parvin was executed, Mehrdad was executed… twelve Mojahedin women in our ward were executed. They massacred all the Mojahedin. Zeinab had completed her prison sentence and was about to get released, but she was returned to detention and executed two months later.”
Ebrahim Alasvand, another political prisoner held in Fajr Prison in 1988, told JFI about the 1988 massacre:
“Prisoners were ushered into the yard, and Saremi talked to them. A number of them were selected and moved to solitary confinement and others were returned to the ward. The prisoners in solitary confinement were scheduled for a second trial which lasted one minute… Saremi was very harsh against prisoners and knew about all their case files.”