Global Movement News

July 10, 2023

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The IEC received this report from the staff of Revolution Books in Berkeley

There was a full house at Revolution Books when Nasser Mohajer came to speak about his book Voices of a Massacre:  Untold Stories of Life and Death in Iran, 1988. The audience included a few young people from Mexico, Turkey, China, some Unitarians active in support of Iran’s political prisoners, revolutionaries from the U.S. and many Iranians. The event was co-sponsored by the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners Now.

The staff person from Revolution Books welcomed the audience, situating the event in Bob Avakian’s analysis that this is a rare time, when the US, citadel of global imperialism, is tearing apart from top to bottom, and contention between nuclear-armed imperialist powers is sharpening internationally, and something terrible, or something truly emancipating can come out of this, that it is possible that the chance to make an actual revolution could emerge in the United States. He said of a major feature in the world – the contention and clash of two outmoded forces - U.S. imperialism vs. Islamic fundamentalism –  “Both are cruel, exploitative, destructive of the environment; there has to be another way, and there IS another way.  Support for the prisoners and for the uprising of the people in Iran (since the murder of Mahsa Amini) is one important part of forging this other way.”

He said: “Supporting the struggle to free Iran’s political prisoners, goes to the bedrock of what our store is all about.  We are not talking about a revolution for the people inside what is now the US – we are talking about a revolution that has as its goal the emancipation of humanity, we cannot stand aside when great crimes are committed, and powerful resistance to those crimes emerges, anywhere in the world.”

As Nasser Mohajer began his talk about what happened in July of 1988, people listened in rapt attention. Voices of a Massacre is the only book on this Great Massacre published in English. In it Mohajer documents the unfolding of this massacre, the courage of the prisoners, as well as the ongoing and necessary struggle to demand justice.  Voices reveals many layers of the events of 1988, how the theocratic regime carried out a nationwide coordinated pogrom of secret retrials, torture and murder throughout Iran’s prisons, though much, including those individuals responsible and even the number of people murdered, is still hidden by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Voices contains many moving testimonies of political prisoners who survived this horror, stories of great courage and resistance in the face of the IRI’s terror and cruelty.

Among the audience were ex-political prisoners and relatives of people executed in 1988. Many listened with tears in their eyes, and Nasser Mohajer himself had to stop a few times to collect himself.

When asked what it was like to research and write about such a heavy, chilling historical event, he said: “I have been working on prison literature for 35 years, it was the most difficult thing in my life to write this book... the only way for me — sometimes you know after writing a paragraph you will cry, there is no way out, sometimes you cry when you are asleep, there are certain things that we cannot forget: when we think about those things, we tremble. But I think that for me, what was most helpful was that I forget myself.... I do not have the right, I do not have the luxury to think about myself. I have to be an honest person. In this book there is no exaggeration, prisoners in Iran... if you were a political prisoner… regardless of the organization, the group you belonged to. You went through hell. And it is my responsibility... to portray, write and make it clear what this person meant... and when I reread the writing you say that ‘OK, I have done justice. I have been her voice, I have been his voice.’”

Purchase from Revolution Books

Learning that so many were able to resist and refuse to submit to this raises the question of how people were able to look beyond profound human suffering to see a different future and resist. This is critical to understand in today's world where the future of humanity is at stake. Iran's political prisoners then and now truly are heroes and a much needed inspiration for our time! This book provides an objective and crucial understanding of the many complex political forces involved in the struggle in Iran.  This includes the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) that emerged from that horrific 1988 massacre and is fighting to lead a revolution in Iran today.

Note: Revolution Books plans to make video of the event available soon. We encourage everyone to get a copy of this important book and read it, to support the work of this important author, and the revolutionary work of our important bookstore.

(Report by Revolution Books’ staff,

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