Excerpts from the Memoirs of Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri
Khomeini’s decree on massacre of political prisoners in Iran
Q. It appears that Your Eminence wrote a letter to Imam Khomeini in connection with the execution of the [Mojahedin] in prisons after the Monafeqin offensive into the Islamic Republic, the Mersed or Eternal Light Operation. What was the situation and what made it necessary to write the letter?
Montazeri: ...What prompted me to write the letter was that at the Time (in 1988) certain people had decided to liquidate the Mojahedin and get rid of them once and for all. They received a letter from the Imam stating that all individuals from the Mojahedin who had been in prison from any time in the past must be executed if a majority of a three- man panel composed of the prosecutor, the religious judge, and an Intelligence Ministry representative in any area voted that the prisoner was holding firmly to his belief. In other words, if two out of the three members of the panel thought that prisoner X was still supporting the Mojahedin, even if he had been previously sentenced to one or two or five years or more in prison, he must be executed. The Imam’s letter was undated, but it was written on a Thursday.
On Saturday, a religious judge brought me a copy and was extremely distressed. I read the letter. It was very sharply written in response to the Mojahedin operation and it was said to be in [Khomeini’s son] Haj Ahmad’s handwriting. As the letter was sent to all the judges in the country, it is permissible to read it for you, so you can grasp the reality of the situation as it was at that time: