The desecration of a mass grave site in Ahwaz, southern Iran that contains the remains of at least 44 people who were extrajudicially executed would destroy vital forensic evidence, according to an Amnesty International report.
The report reveals that the Malali regime seeks to scupper opportunities for justice for the mass prisoner killings that took place across the country in 1988.
Photo and video evidence obtained by the NGO Amnesty International report. and reviewed by Amnesty International show bulldozers working on a construction project directly alongside the mass grave site at Ahwaz, as well as piles of dirt and construction debris surrounding the grave.
Although the Iranian regime have made no official announcements about Ahwaz, families learned through a construction worker that the plan is to ultimately raze the concrete block marking the grave site and build over the area.
By attempting to destroy the mass grave in Ahwaz, the Iranian authorities appear to be embarking on a sinister and deliberate effort to destroy crucial evidence of their past crimes, said Magdalena Mughrabi Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Mass graves are crime scenes that require professional forensic expertise to undertake exhumations and ensure preservation of evidence and accurate identification of bodies.
By desecrating the site, the authorities will be destroying vital evidence that could one day be used to shed light on the number and identity of those killed in state custody.
The Ahwaz mass grave is located on a barren piece of land 3km east of Behesht Abad Cemetery.
It is believed to contain the bodies of dozens of people who were among several thousand political prisoners killed in a wave of extrajudicial executions across Iran in the summer of 1988.
The prisoners were rounded up and forcibly disappeared before being killed in secret. Their bodies were then dumped into freshly dug trenches overnight.
In Ahwaz, the authorities poured concrete over the mass grave immediately after the burial, apparently to prevent family members from digging up the ground and recovering the bodies of their loved ones.