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Hanging judge
Ayatollah Khalkhali's memoirs
Index pages
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April 2001
The Iranian

After the fall of the monarchy in February 1979, people had to become familiar with their new leaders. Of course many had already heard of Ayatollah Khomeini. Then within days, everyone knew Sheikh Sadeq Khalkhali -- "the hanging judge".

In his memoirs -- the complete memoirs Khaateraat-e Ayatollah Khalkhali (Nashr Sayeh, Tehran, 2001) -- Khalkhali does not say how many people he sentenced to death as the first chief judge of the Revolutionary Court. But they may have been hundreds. Victims included the Shah's top generals, ministers, entertainers, bureaucrats and opponents of the young Islamic Republic.

With anti-Shah sentiments at a fever pitch, Khalkhali's death machine did not raise many eyebrows at home. He was loved by the masses who demanded revenge for the thousands killed during and before the revolution.

Today many supporters of the revolution regret the gross excesses. But Khalkhali has no regrets at all. Here are excerpts from his book:

* Ayatollah Khomeini appoints Khalkhali
* Trial and punishment of leaders of the former regime
...... Pages 351-358
...... Pages 359-365
...... Pages 366-373
...... Pages 374-388
...... Pages 389-395
...... Pages 396-404
* Destruction of Reza Shah's mausoleum
...... Pages 341-345
...... Pages 346-351

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