September 2008 was the 20th anniversary of when a three-man committee traveled from prison to prison across Iran, and evaluated each prisoner's "commitment" to the Islamic Republic's official ideology. The result: between 4,000 and 5,000 prisoners were secretly hanged for the crime of not recanting their beliefs.
The summer of 2008 was also the 30th anniversary of the tragic Cinema Rex fire, which was deliberately set in the city of Abadan by religious leaders and during which nearly 400 men, women, and children were burned alive. By starting that deadly fire, those revolutionary leaders achieved their goal of raising revolutionary fervor and, at the same time, sending a clear message to those Abadan residents who went to the movies during the month of Ramadan.
Currently in Iran anyone who publicizes human rights violations; anyone who takes part in an exchange program with America; any member of a religious or ethnic minority; and even those who fight polygamy can be accused of "acting against national security" or instigating a "velvet revolution." At this very moment, several civil rights activists are on death row.
Iran is second in the world for executing prisoners. China is first.