Destruction and concealment of mass graves in Qorveh

Shocking example of mass graves 88 in city of Qorveh in Kurdistan province in Iran. Authorities bulldoze gravestones & destroy commemorative signs put up by grieving family members, saying the land is for “agricultural” use Buried Truth.

In the suburbs of the city of Qorveh in Kurdistan province, western Iran, near a Baha’i cemetery, there is a deserted area of land that is believed to contain the bodies of some of the prisoners
held for politically motivated reasons and executed in August 1988 in the cities of Sanandaj, Saqez and Kamyaran, all in Kurdistan province. The judicial authorities did not formally disclose the location of burial when they informed the families in September 1988 that their loved ones had been executed. However, low-level prison guards told some families that the corpses had been buried in barren pieces of land on the outskirts of Qorveh, without providing any additional information.

According to survivors and family members of victims interviewed by Justice for Iran, after weeks of searching covering hundreds of kilometres, families of execution victims ran into a local villager in November 1988 who said he had seen officials dumping bodies into a mass grave next to the Baha’i cemetery in September 1988 and offered to take the families to the site. The families subsequently went to the location with the villager, dug up the area with shovels, and discovered a mass grave containing the bodies of more than 20 men and women. They extracted these bodies, dug a series of individual graves in the same location and then reburied them.

The whereabouts of dozens of other victims, who were not in this group, was never discovered. Survivors and family members have told Amnesty International and Justice for Iran that, since then, the authorities have persistently damaged the gravestones and commemorative signs that the families placed over their loved ones’ graves. In July 2016, the authorities bulldozed gravestones and commemorative signs put up by grieving family members in July 2016.

According to a number of Kurdish media outlets, several family members subsequently tried to register an official complaint but did not succeed. They were told by an official in the Ministry of Agriculture that the private owner of the land, Khalil Eghdamian, was the only person who could officially make a complaint and that he would not have much chance of success both because the grave site had been classified as agricultural land and the individual graves and the mortuary were destroyed with the approval of the Office of the Prosecutor in Qorveh on the grounds that they constituted “illegal building” on agricultural land

Full report:

 

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