After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the new Iranian regime consolidated its power through the mass removal of opponents: in the 1980s, thousands of political prisoners were secretly tortured and killed. The perpetrators were never prosecuted, and today hold high-ranking government positions.
More than 25 years later, in October 2012, the Iran Tribunal met in The Hague to investigate the executions. This international people’s court has no executive power, but aims principally to identify and investigate what went on. For three days, survivors and members of victims’ families – including the filmmaker Nami Sarvestani – give their testimony. The Iran Tribunal was broadcast live. From Sweden, an activist named Iraj follows the tribunal – he is one of the survivors, scarred for life. Like Mehdi, who works behind the scenes at the tribunal, Iraj dreams of confronting the perpetrators with their crimes. He has dedicated his life entirely to the struggle for justice. Footage of Iraj and of Sarvestani looking for evidence in Iran is interspersed with poignant testimony from the courtroom. Survivors describe the horrors of their captivity in detail, but will justice ever prevail?
If you are able to get the BBC, you can watch part of this on Storyville Global, with the viewing times shown here (50 mins):