hanging judge is dead
After taking so many
innocent lives, the grim reaper visits Khalkhali
By Iran Watcher
December 2, 2003
Whenever I look at his face, I see thousands of dead.
So many innocent lives were taken because of his ignorance. As
the Islamic Revolutionary Courts, Hojatoleslam Sadegh Khalkhali
was in charge of overseeing the cases of the Shah's generals and
The "trials" of
these men were a mockery of the judicial system.
who had committed crimes were executed. Yet many others were
killed because of their love for their country. Some believed they
would be getting a fair trial yet their hopes were dashed.
As I sit here looking at pictures of Khalkhali and
those he ordered killed (See under "tribunals" in Revolution
photo section), the story of two of men catch
my attention: General Mehdi Rahimi and Prime Minister Amir Abbas
Rahimi had been one of the most loyal generals of
the Shah until the last cold February day he was alive. Many
who knew him saw him as a kind and gentle man. Many
wonder if the Revolution could have been stopped if Rahimi had
full control of the armed forces and if the Shah had allowed him
to shoot at all protests even in those late
months (November 1978-January 1979).
That will never be known but
what is known is that he was fully loyal to his country. In February
1979, while Rahimi was in the hands of the
constantly berated them by saying that they were not "true" Iranians
because they and Ayatollah Khomeini claimed to be descendants of
Prophet Mohammad, an Arab.
By mid-February, the general's fate
was decided. Khalkhali
said he and three other generals had gone against the forces
of Islam and were to be executed. On a cold February night,
was brutally murdered on a roof of the building he was being
held at in South Tehran.
The next man that I think of when I hear the
name Khalkhali is Prime Minister Amir Abbas Hoveyda. Many historians
as one of the Shah's last diplomats (while his successor, Jamshid
Amouzegar, was a technocrat). Hoveyda had become Prime Minister
in February 1965 when his predecessor, Hassan Ali Mansur,
by Islamic militants on his way
Hoveyda was a very educated man (studied at
the Sorbonne in Paris) and was known amongst foreign diplomats
and Iranians for his love of roses and his signature pipe. In late
1978, the Iranian state was beginning to collapse. The economy
was failing as inflation was skyrocketing and strikes were common.
Protests choked all the major streets in the capital. Some
foreigners so kindly observed: "all of Iran is protesting
on Shah Reza Avenue".
The Shah's military government needed to calm the
protests by taking action against "corrupt" officials.
Hoveyda, who had been the longest serving prime minister, was arrested
in November of 1978 and held in prison.
When the monarchy fell in
February 1979, Hoveyda believed he was going to receive a fair
trial. While waiting for his court date, he read books on
prepare for his defense in the front of Revolutionary Judge.
1979 when Hoveyda went to court, he had documents and legal
papers. But they were not needed.
Khalkhali read off
of "crimes" Hoveyda had committed and did not
allow Hoveyda to defend himself. On April 7, Hoveyda was executed,
shot twice on the same roof that many others had been
put to death. Many say that it was Khalkhali, the "judge" himself,
who proudly executed Hoveyda.
These two men were not the only ones that were ruthlessly
murdered by Khalkhali.
bureaucrats and military officials were also killed for "betraying
Islam" and "having ties" to SAVAK secret police.
of the same military officers who were innocently killed could
have helped in defending
in the wat with Iraq and while saving millions
from death and destruction. Yet sadly that did not happen.
fell out of favor under the suspicion of corruption in the
early 1980's. As head of the anti-drug task force, he supposedly
from captured drug lords to his
own bank account!
As time went on, the ruling clergy thought
less and less of Khalkhali and many chose to
ignore him. This weekend he died of brain and cardiac complications.
I and many
that the faces of the people he murdered without mercy haunted
him to the last day of his life.
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