H.Res.627 “recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran.”
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, July 28, 2023– The U.S. Representative Office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI-US) welcomes the introduction of the bipartisan House Resolution H.Res.627, which condemns Iran’s regime for the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners and calls on the U.S. government to ensure the full protection of Ashraf 3 residents in Albania. The resolution also “recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran.”
Ms. Soona Samsami, the U.S. Representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, described the bipartisan resolution as “timely and focused on bringing Tehran’s rulers to justice for their crimes against humanity and genocide as well as the continued murder and arrest of protesters involved in the uprisings over the past few years.”
She added, “U.S. Congress, for decades, has been focused, in a bipartisan way, on the safety and security of MEK members in Ashraf 3, since they were Tehran’s target in Iraq, and is now focused on their protection and full rights as political refugees in Albania under the Geneva Convention 1951.”
U.S. Congress, for decades, has been focused, in a bipartisan way, on the safety and security of MEK members… and is now focused on their protection and full rights as political refugees in Albania.”Soona Samsami, U.S. Representative, National Council of Resistance of Iran
Ashraf 3 is home to the members of Iran’s main opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), also known as the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), who were relocated to Albania a decade ago as political refugees.
During a Senate confirmation hearing on July 26, 2023, Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, described the need for the security of Ashraf 3 residents as “important.” He added, “If you seek refuge, you ultimately have to be in a position to know that that refuge is secured, and we moved these residents into Camp Ashraf from their previous location, and I appreciate the Albanians having made that possible; we need the continuing guarantee of security.”
The H.Res.627, introduced by Congressman Lance Gooden (R-TX) along with Steve Cohen (D-TN), Ranking Member of the Helsinki Commission and the lead Democratic co-sponsor, in addition to over 40 bipartisan lawmakers, notes that:
— “Over 900 women and men of Ashraf 3 are former political prisoners who witnessed prison crimes of the Iranian regime, and many of them are witnesses of the 1988 massacre and other political killings in Iran, among them eyewitnesses of crimes committed by Ebrahim Raisi, who must be fully protected for potential testimonies before any international courts investigating the killings in Iran.
— “In November 2021, the Swedish Judiciary moved the whole court in Stockholm to Albania for two weeks to facilitate hearing testimonies of seven former Iranian political prisoners now residing in Ashraf 3, who were considered key witnesses for a trial related to the 1988 massacre.
— “In an April 19, 2016, letter to a European Parliament Vice-President, the Prime Minister of Albania wrote, ‘Albania is fully engaged and committed to ensure for the Iranian refugees all rights stipulated in the Geneva Convention 1951, in the European Human Rights Convention and in the whole international legislation.’”
The bipartisan resolution “calls on the United States Government, in cooperation with our ally Albania, to ensure the full protection of the Iranian political refugees in Ashraf 3 in Albania and for them to benefit from all rights stipulated in the Geneva Convention 1951 and the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to life, liberty, and security, and protection of property, as well as freedom of expression and assembly.”
Regarding the 1988 massacre of political prisoners and the formation of “Death Commissions” on July 19, 1988, the H.Res.627 underscores that:
— “The  massacre was carried out pursuant to a fatwa, or religious decree, issued by then-Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, that targeted the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), also known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK).”
— “The killings of as many as 30,000 political prisoners in 1988 were carried out based on the fatwa to execute all political prisoners who remained loyal to the Iranian Resistance, and subsequent death commissions were formed on July 19, 1988, whose members included the current Iranian regime’s President, Ebrahim Raisi, an official from the Ministry of Intelligence, and a state prosecutor, to implement the fatwa.”
— “According to Amnesty International, ‘the majority of those killed were supporters of the MEK/PMOI.’”
— “In a disclosed audiotape, the late Hussein Ali Montazeri, a grand ayatollah who served as Khomeini’s chief deputy, noted the regime’s efforts to target the MEK and said that the 1988 mass killings were ‘the greatest crime committed during the Islamic Republic, for which history will condemn us.’”
— “The United States should be involved in any establishment of an international investigation into the 1988 extrajudicial killings of Iranian dissidents as well as the murder of protesters.”
The resolution states that it:
— “Urges the Administration and the United States allies to publicly condemn the massacre and pressure the Government of Iran to provide detailed information to the families of the victims about their loved ones and their final resting places.”
— “Urges the Administration and the United States and its allies to put on their agenda to help the families of the victims of the Iranian regime to identify and prosecute the perpetrators of the 1988 massacres and the massacres of protesters against this regime in the recent uprisings.”
— “Calls on the United Nations Human Rights Council to include the massacre of thousands of political prisoners in 1988 in the agenda of the fact-finding commission for an independent investigation launched on November 24, 2022, to investigate the ongoing deadly violence against protesters.”
The H.Res.627, entitled “Condemning the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 and the uprisings of recent years, including 2018, 2019, and 2022 uprisings, and calling for justice for its victims,” affirms that it:
— “Stands with the people of Iran, who are legitimately defending their rights for freedom against repression and condemns the brutal killing of Iranian protesters by the Iranian regime,” and
— “Recognizes the rights of the Iranian people and their struggle to establish a democratic, secular, and nonnuclear Republic of Iran.”
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is a democratic coalition of Iranian opposition organizations and personalities and was founded in Tehran, Iran, in July 1981, as the alternative to the clerical regime, a month after the onset of the nationwide resistance to overthrow the ruling dictatorship.
The NCRI is committed to the affirmation of the people’s sovereignty in a republic founded on universal suffrage and pluralism; gender equality; separation of religion and state and freedom of religions and faiths; freedom of thought, press, and association; support for peace in the Middle East; plan for the autonomy of Iranian nationalities and ethnicities; and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as embodied in Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-Point Plan for Future Iran.
The NCRI would serve as a provisional government led by its President-elect Mrs. Rajavi, and its primary responsibility will be to hold free and fair elections for a national and constituent assembly within six months to ensure the peaceful transition of power to the elected representatives of the Iranian people.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), Iran’s largest, most organized opposition group, is the principal member of the NCRI.