Reactions from within the Velayat al-Faqih system about the execution of political prisoners in 1988 – the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 – a terrible crime against humanity – Chapter 8
In the eighth chapter of the series of articles regarding the massacre of political prisoners in 1967, we discuss the reactions from within the system about the execution of political prisoners in 1988. This collection of articles is compiled and published by the colleagues of Iran Human Rights Society.
Khomeini’s crime in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 was so horrific and inhumane that it caused reactions and positions from elements within the government.1
In order to avoid the infamy and hatred of the people, some people tried to distance themselves from this crime despite the initial biased positions.
It is clear that these statements and revelations show the tip of the iceberg of crime and are absolutely not indicative of the dimensions of the killing of political prisoners in prisons.
1.Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri:
The most important and high-ranking opposition and protesting official within the regime was Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s successor at the time. Khomeini, who did not accept any opposition to himself in any field, after Montazeri wrote to himself and warned against committing crimes in prisons, by the order and fatwa of Khomeini himself, immediately ordered his dismissal and house arrest, and with the worst and most humiliating Words responded to his objections and sought to silence Montazeri. Parts of Mr. Montazeri’s activities in opposition to this killing and crime against humanity mentioned below.
Letter to Khomeini on july 31, protesting the massacres
Letter to Khomeini on August 4, protesting the massacres
Mr. Montazeri’s letter to Mousavi Ardabili, head of the Judiciary of the Executioners,
Mr. Montazeri’s meeting with some members of the death commission on Agust 15, 1988
Memories of mr. Montazeri and the subject of the 1988 massacre
Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter to Khomeini
In one of his letters to Khomeini, Montazeri writes about the crimes committed in prisons and torture of political prisoners and massacre of political prisoners: “… do you know that there were crimes in prisons of the Islamic Republic in the name of Islam that have never been seen in the Shah’s infamous regime?”
is Do you know that many people died under the torture of the interrogators? Do you know that in Mashhad prison, due to the lack of doctors and the lack of access to young female prisoners, they had to mutilate about 25 girls by removing their ovaries or uterus?
You know that a fasting girl executed in Shiraz prison for a minor crime immediately after breaking the fast? Do you know that young girls taken by force in some prisons of the Islamic Republic? You know that it is common to use profanity when interrogating girls? Do you know how many prisoners have become blind or deaf or paralyzed or suffering from chronic pain due to arbitrary tortures and no one cares for them?
You know that in some prisons they even prevented prisoners from bathing and praying? Do you know that in some prisons, even daylight not allowed for a prisoner? Not one day or two days, but months? Do you know that even after the conviction, the prisoner was only treated with cursing and beating? They will definitely tell His Highness that this is a lie and some simple-minded person! Execution of several thousand people in a few days will not have good reaction and not be free of errors.
Ayatollah Montazeri’s letter to Mousavi Ardabili
After learning about Mousavi Ardabili’s correspondence with Ahmad Khomeini (Mr. Khomeini’s son), Mr. Montazeri wrote in a letter to him, who was the head of the judiciary at that time: “If your judges had not sentenced them to 5 or 10 years in prison, you were not responsible.
At that time, you told Ahmed Agha (Mr. Khomeini’s son) on the phone that they should be executed in Kashan or in Isfahan?… You went and talked to them yourself about someone who had been in prison for a while and sentenced to 5 years. In prison and in his soul, he does not know about the activities of Mujahidin. We have no way to execute him.”
Montazeri then wrote in a letter to Khomeini: “This kind of killing without trial for the captives and captives (your captives) is definitely in their long-term interest and the world condemns us and encourages them to further armed war.” Dealing with thoughts and beliefs through killing is wrong.
Ayatollah Montazeri’s meeting with the death commission
On 15 Agust,1988, Hossein Ali Montazeri held a meeting with the death panel, the audio tape of which later revealed and became one of the most important documents of the crime against humanity.
Below we mention parts of this audio tape and the conversations that took place in it. (the participants in this private meeting are Hossein Ali Nayeri, Mostafa Pourmohammadi, Morteza Eshraghi and Ebrahim Raisi).
At the beginning of the meeting, Montazeri said to those murderers:
“The biggest crime that has been committed in the Islamic Republic and condemns us in history, was in your hands and in the future you will be recorded among the criminals of history” and ” In the future, Khomeini will be nicknamed bloodthirsty, cruel and fatal.
Montazeri put his finger on the criminal verdicts and addressed the audience: judgments and verdicts should be in a healthy and emotionless environment, Laikd al-Qazi and Ho Ghadban, you all remember this story, now with our slogans and provocations, and the social atmosphere is unhealthy. This is the issue that Mr. Mousavi Ardabili, whom I know, says in Friday prayers that all of them should be executed. I was against amnesty in general, but he was the most against it. Now he says the opposite, then they tell him in Friday prayers. Mujahidin prisoner should be executed. We understand that they are creating an atmosphere, even when I speak, they say that I support the Mujahedin.”
He also says about the planning and design of the old executions: “Ahmed Agha (Mr. Khomeini’s son), three or four years ago, he said that the Mujahedin should be killed by those who read their newspaper, or read their magazine, or read their manifesto.” be executed. They were thinking like this; and now they have seized the opportunity to execute the Mujahedin “.
Montazeri continues his speech: “You questioned the judicial system of the country. For several years, Mr. Nayeri himself, this judge that judge. In this city and in that city, sentenced one to 5 years. One to 6 years, one to ten years, and one to fifteen years. It’s good that now w come to execute without any new activity, it means that we all… ate, all our system, our judiciary, was wrong, doesn’t that mean that?
Memoirs of Ayatollah Montazeri and the subject of the 1988 massacre
In the book published from the memoirs of Mr. Montazeri, the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 mentioned. In which he wrote in a part: “Finally, I read these materials to them (Nayeri-Eshraghi-Pourmohammadi and Raisi). Then I gave a copy of it to them. And told them verbally, “Now it’s the Muharram’s month, hold executions for a while.” Then I said to them: “If the Imam insist, you re-interrogate some, who are mischievous and active in prison with the correct method. And give them a proper trial, and if they are sentenced to death, execute them after the trial. In this case, at least no one say, the Islamic Republic executed someone who sentenced to five years in prison.”
In another part of his speech during the meeting with the members of the death commission, Montazeri said. “They are saying in the newspapers now abroad, now they don’t dare to say in the newspapers inside, later in the future. I didn’t want it to happen like this, the people are getting angry with Velayat-Al- Faghih, I didn’t want Velayat-Al- Faghih to reach here.”
“Now think for yourself, finally, in a month or two, the doors of the prisons will finally open, what will you answer the people? For example, they went to Bakhtaran, Isfahan. We killed his child, he had an opinion, why did you execute him for his opinion? Mr. Nayeri, who sentenced this child of mine to ten years, on what occasion did he commit a new activity that you executed? You have no answer to give. I am telling you very clear”.
2 . Mehdi Khazali:
Another official of this system who was working in the presidential institution during the 1988 massacre is Mehdi Khazali. In 2016, during a television interview with one of the Persian-language television stations. He mentioned some parts of the crime and genocide that took place in 1988.
Among other things, Khazali mentions the observations of Mortazavi Zanjani, the head of Evin prison at the time, about death corridors and prisoners with wills, in the execution queue and hanging groups of prisoners in Ward 209. Or Amir Rasouli’s observation of the cultural officials of the prison recounts how with cranes. An iron beam with 9 ropes hung on it, prisoners hanged and pulled up, and they beaten and beaten for a long time until they were killed. This scene was so terrible that every movement of the pandli, even the movement of the rosary in the hand of his little boy, reminded him of this horrible nightmare and he reacted to it
In another part of his speech during the meeting with the members of the death commission, Montazeri said: “They are saying in the newspapers now abroad, now they don’t dare to say in the newspapers inside, later in the future. I didn’t want it to happen like this, the people are getting angry with Velayat-Al- Faghih, I didn’t want Velayat-Al- Faqih to reach here.”
“Now think for yourself, finally, in a month or two, the doors of the prisons will finally open. And then what will you answer the people? For example, they went to Bakhtaran, Isfahan. We killed his child, he had an opinion, why did you execute him for his opinion? Mr. Nayeri, who sentenced this child of mine to ten years, on what occasion did he commit a new activity that you executed? You have no answer to give. I am telling you very clear”.
3. Mirhossein Mousavi:
Mirhossein Mousavi, prime minister at the time of Khomeini. In a private conversation in 2009. The audio tape revealed, tried to distance himself from this crime and to be acquitted from it. Mousavi tried to justify his initial affirmative stances at the time of the crime. Among other things, he said that the conditions at that time required him to defend the system.
4.reaction of other system officials:
Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, The deputy of the Commander-in-Chief (Khomeini) and Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1988. Supported Mousavi Ardabili’s words in Friday prayer, who said that the execution of the mujahidin did not require a trial. And years later, in a press interview with a foreign reporter said that these words are rumors by the mujahidin. Because Mojahedin want to cover up their casualties in their military operations. Finally, in order to absolve himself from this crime on the one hand and not to answer for what he had said in the past on the other hand, Rafsanjani completely kept silent about this in his memoirs and removed this issue from his memoirs.
Mousavi Ardabili also tried to put the blame on Khomeini. And said that although we said that they are not on the previous position and no need to execute them. But Khomeini insisted on being on the stand and killing everyone.
Saeedeh Montazeri, the daughter of Ayatollah Montazeri, wrote to Mousavi and Karroubi:
Karroubi also tried to maintain the veil of ambiguity on that horrible crime committed by Khomeini. And said”so far, the details of those cases never investigated. And the reason for it not determined, and not known to what extent they involved in this incident.”
An effort that did not go unanswered and Saeedeh Montazeri, the daughter of Ayatollah Montazeri, wrote to Mousavi and Karroubi:
“Why do we leave our deeds to history so that the future will be our critics?”. It is our duty to criticize our past and if we have made a mistake, try to compensate it. This is more important for statesmen. They should criticize their past before history and the future criticize their actions. You must know that honest criticism will also benefit the green movement.
It is clear that all perpetrators of this crime and genocide must brought to justice . And they have to answer for their inhuman acts. This crime and killing of more than 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988 . Has never and will not include the passage of time. And the petition for the blood of those martyrs will continue until justice is served.
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