London, 3 Aug – Iranian prison authorities invited prisoners families to pay one final visit to their loved one before Iran executed them.
However, Iran had already executed the prisoners before the first of the families had arrived, according to The Express. The families were instructed to go to the coroner’s office to retrieve their relative’s bodies.
It is believed that prison authorities wanted to avoid a protest from the families.
Gohardasht Prison, where the mass execution is supposed to have taken place, had declared a state of emergency prior to the executions which cut off contact with the outside world; disconnecting the prison’s phone lines and putting all non-death-row inmates on lockdown.
Maryam Rajavi the Iranian Resistance’s President-elect called the execution “an appalling crime against humanity.”
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) decried the executions.
Shahin Gobadi, of the NCRI Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “There’s a long precedent by the regime in first executing prisoners and then informing their families. One explanation for this is that the regime is afraid of a public backlash and protests outside the prison by the families to halt the executions. It is particularly cruel as none of the mothers and fathers managed to say goodbye to their loved ones.”
Prior to the mass- execution, the prisoners were moved to a secret location; their hands and feet were chained, their mouths taped shut and their heads covered with bags.
Among those executed was Shahram Ahmadi who had been sentenced to death for waging war on God. He was excessively wounded at the time of arrest and suffered 43 months of torture in solitary confinement.
The hangings happened during the 28th anniversary of the 1988 Iranian executions, in which thousands of prisoners were executed over a five-month period.
Iran has executed over 200 people this year and maintains the highest execution rate per capita according to Amnesty International.
Earlier this month, 100,000 people gathered in Paris for a Free Iran rally to protest the country’s poor human rights record.