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Hossein-Ali Nayeri, the Head of the Death Commission That Carried Out the 1988 Massacre in Iran, Appointed as Senior Advisor to Judiciary Chief Mohseni Eje’I


NCRI logoGholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje’i, the regime’s Judiciary Chief, appointed Hossein-Ali Nayeri, the head of the death commission in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 and a ruthless criminal, as his senior advisor. Before the massacre of 1988, Neyeri had sentenced to death thousands of members and sympathizers of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) and other dissidents.

In his fatwa for the massacre of PMOI members, the regime’s first Supreme Leader, Ruhollah Khomeini, wrote, “… those who remain steadfast in their position of nefaq [hypocrisy] in prisons throughout the country are considered mohareb [waging war against God] and are condemned to execution. In Tehran, this determination shall be made based on a majority opinion by gentlemen, Hojjatoleslam [honorific used for certain clerics] Nayeri, Mr Eshraghi, and a representative of the Ministry of Intelligence…”. Accordingly, Nayeri, along with the regime’s current president Ebrahim Raisi, sent thousands of political prisoners to the gallows in various prisons, especially Evin and Gohardasht.

The scale of the crime was so horrific that Khomeini’s successor Hossein-Ali Montazeri protested. He wrote in his memoirs, “On August 15, 1988, I met with Mr. Nayeri, the religious judge in Evin, Mr. Eshraghi, the prosecutor, and Mr. Pourmohammadi, the representative of the Ministry of Information. I told them they should stop the executions at least during the month of Moharram. Mr. Nayeri responded: We have executed seven-hundred and fifty people in Tehran so far, and we have identified another two hundred still steadfast people. Let us eliminate them…!” (Page 635).

A few months later, in an attempt to deal with “judicial problems” in the cities of Dorud and Sirjan, Khomeini, who had already tested Neyeri’s and Raisi’s absolute loyalty during the massacre, issued a directive to these two henchmen on January 13, 1989, in which he wrote, “Since senior judiciary officials showed no sensitivity whatsoever towards the above ‘shocking‘ issues, Hojatoleslam Neyeri and Raisi are assigned to act according to their own judgment and within the framework of the beloved Islam.”

In another ruling on February 21, 1989, addressed to the Supreme Judicial Council, Khomeini wrote, “All cases that the council has hitherto surprisingly neglected, and delayed the implementation of divine verdicts and God’s judgments, assign Messrs. Nayeri and Raisi to all cases that can be dealt with as soon as possible. Delay is not acceptable.”

Even 34 years after the 1988 massacre, Nayeri has served in the highest judicial positions and engaged in killings and crimes. Justifying the 1988 massacre, he said in an interview with the “Islamic Revolution Documentation Center” on July 9, 2022, “That era was very critical; the county was in turmoil. Were it not for [Khomeini’s] decisiveness, we may not enjoy such security today! The regime may not have remained in power.”

The current leaders of the regime, from the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to Ebrahim Raisi, to Majlis (Parliament) speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and Judiciary Chief Mohseni Eje’i, and most other senior judicial officials, such as Nayeri, are among the main perpetrators of crimes against humanity and genocide in the past four decades. They were directly involved in major crimes such as executions in the 1980s, the mass killing of the people of Kurdistan, the 1988 massacre, the murder of 1,500 people in the November 2019 uprising and the suppression of the current uprising. They should be prosecuted in future free Iran or by international courts.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

December 1, 2022