Montazeri’s second letter to Khomeini in protest to mass executions

In his second letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini on August 2, 1988, after failing to receive a response to his earlier appeal, Iran’s former Deputy Supreme Leader Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri once again notified him of the way his death decree was being carried out and taking the lives of thousands of political prisoners.

The following is the full translation of his second letter:

Date: August 4, 1988

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,

His Exalted Eminence Imam Khomeini,

With greetings, pursuant to my letter of July 31, 1988, I write the following out of my sense of religious duty: Three days ago, a religious judge from one of the provinces, who is a trustworthy man, came to see me in Qom and was in great distress because of the way Your Eminence’s decree is being implemented.

He said: The intelligence chief or the prosecutor (I forget which) was trying to ascertain if a prisoner was still holding fast to his beliefs.

He asked the prisoner if he was prepared to condemn the Monafeqin [Mojahedin], he said yes.

He asked him: ‘Are you willing to go to the front to fight in the war with Iraq?’ He said, ‘Yes.’

They asked, ‘Are you willing to walk over mines*?’ He said, ‘Do you mean all the people are willing to walk over mines? Moreover, you must not have such high expectations from someone who has  just changed his views.’ They said, ‘It is obvious that you are still holding on to your political beliefs,’ and dealt with him in the same way they dealt with those who had held onto their previous political positions (and executed him).”

The judge told me how much he insisted that the verdict be issued by consensus, or a majority, but this was not accepted, because it is the intelligence official who has absolute control and others are under his influence.

Your Eminence can see what type of persons are implementing your grave decree that affects the lives of thousands of prisoners.

Hossein-Ali Montazeri

* By “walk over mines,” the prosecutor was referring to the commonly used tactics by the Revoultionary Guards in the Iran-Iraq war of sending waves of boy soldiers across minefields to clear the way for the Guards’ advance. Hundreds of thousands of young Iranians perished in these “human wave” attacks.

Montazeri second letter to Khomeini Original
Montazeri second letter to Khomeini Original

Download PDF version of Montazeri’s second letter to Khomeini on 1988 massacre