Iran: Hossein-Ali Nayeri appointed as senior advisor to Judiciary Chief Mohseni Eje’I
Gholam-Hossein Mohseni Eje’i, the regime’s Judiciary Chief, appointed as his senior advisor Hossein-Ali Nayeri, the head of the death commission in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988 and a ruthless criminal. Prior to the 1988 massacre, Neyeri had executed thousands of members and sympathizers of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and other dissidents.
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…”. As a result, Nayeri and the regime’s current president, Ebrahim Raisi, executed thousands of political prisoners in various prisons, particularly Evin and Gohardasht.
The enormity of the crime outraged Khomeini’s successor, Hossein-Ali Montazeri. “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,” he wrote in his memoirs. “I told them that the executions should be halted at least during the month of Moharram. Mr. Nayeri responded, ‘We have executed 750 people in Tehran so far, and we have identified another 200 people who are still steadfast. Let us get rid of them.!’”
A few months later, in an effort 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.”
Khomeini issued another ruling to the Supreme Judicial Council on February 21, 1989, saying, “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 an option.”
Nayeri has served in the highest judicial positions and engaged in killings and crimes 34 years after the 1988 massacre. In an interview with the Islamic Revolution Documentation Center on July 9, 2022, he justified the 1988 massacre by saying, “That era was very critical; the country was in turmoil. We might not have such security today if it hadn’t been for [Khomeini’s] decisiveness! The regime might not have survived.”
They were directly involved in major crimes such as 1980s executions, mass killings of Kurdish people, the 1988 massacre, the murder of 1,500 people in the November 2019 uprising, and the suppression of the current uprising. They should be tried in a free Iran or by international courts in the future.