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He won't be missed
Judging Chief Judge Mohammad Yazdi

By Soma in Tehran
August 11, 1999
The Iranian

Peering down the staircase of the new Ershad Judiciary Complex in Bucharest Street, ruffled and vertigo-ed, is XY, awaiting her sentence to be carried out, as her sister and father dillydally around in utter helplessness.


It is one of the great feats of the judiciary to turn new buildings with such amazing speed into impossible hell-holes. One should not be going into them without a length size condom for protection, if nothing else.

And the Ershad Complex is no exception; thick film of grime covering stair-rails, watermarks filtering sunlight coming through windows, shy-bored graffiti etched on walls in brown study, an-aesthetic pieces of broken furniture splattered around perhaps because someone thought that it was time to experiment with Japanese Zero-inventory technique.


Forty lashes. The judge had announced his sentence earlier that morning for desecrating Islamic deities and compromising public health. Six hours later XY was still waiting.


It must be the greatest historical hyperbole when evaluating his tenure as Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi, who is soon to be replaced, announced a couple of weeks ago that he was happy with his decade at the helm.

He went on to elaborate on his claim, bringing sheet-rolls of statistics to prove the point: cases determined, executed, terminated.

But truth is, in a most-hated contest, Yazdi would doubtless come on top, hands down -- no contest.

Though the occasional spectacle of his inflamed face -- crimson after percolating words poured forth -- provided many with entertainment at the Friday Prayer, the consequences of those effusions were never limited to the altar.

Many a Judiciary directives where issued from that sacred launch-pad, never to show up in law books.

It was from that very spot that the irate Judiciary Chief attacked a fledgling K2 (Khordad 2nd) newspaper, Jame'eh (riding the very crest of popularity at the time), accusing it of provocation and dissemination of lies. The next day, Whiteshirts duly bulked the paper, uprooting the very tree whose branches the Judiciary Chief had pruned.

And so on with other some such luminosities of judgemanship, down to a pronouncement not too long ago that enough was enough with dog owners and their najess pets.


The wait finally came to an end. Six moral delinquents, all under 20, including XY, were trundled down the sharp-descending stairs to the basement, sight of today's smack-the-back lesson.

Some, flanked by their parents, looked cui bono for support; a loner Rappy boy with studded boots and ripped pantaloons busily searched for under-shirt stuffing. It couldn't have been his first, nor, perhaps, his last time.

XY looked flustered as she came out. The sentence was quick. She was fortunate (her sister had sopped the executioner) though perhaps not enough, when she was picked up by police the day before holding her dog, Penny, in her arm outside Africa Market Center.

Penny was the luckier. She left the premises unscathed.

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