Mohammad Hossein Ahmadi Shahrudi
Mohammad Hossein Ahmadi Shahrudi was born in Najaf, Iraq in 1958. He is a seminary graduate.
- Director of “Al-Dirasat Centre” (affiliated with the Khorramshahr Islamic Propaganda Organisation), 1979- June 1981
- Interrogator for the Khuzestan Revolutionary Courts, June 1981-1982
- Religious judge for the East Khuzestan courts, 1982-1983
- Religious judge for the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Revolutionary Courts, 1982-1987
- Religious judge for the Khuzestan Revolutionary Courts, 1983- February 1989
- Head of the Supreme Leader’s Representative Office at Khuzestan Islamic Azad University, 1991- about 2001
- Director General of judge selection and recruitment, nation-wide, 2001-2010
- Member of the Assembly of Experts, 2006 to present date
Human Rights Violations:
- 1988 Massacre of Political Prisoners
As Khuzestan’s religious judge in 1988, Mohammad Hossein Ahmadi Shahrudi was part of a notoriously brutal committee, known as “the Death Committee.” This group decided which prisoners would live and die and based their judgements on only a few questions, asked of the prisoners about their political or religious beliefs.
In August and September 1988, thousands of political prisoners were executed under Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa (religious order), pursuant to the intelligence and judiciary authorities’ decisions. At the time of the mass executions, the victims had already served, or were currently serving, their prison sentences.
Momammad Reza Ashough is one of the few survivors of the 1988 massacre in Dezful’s UNESCO prison. In a video testimony he provided to JFI, Mr. Ashough recounts his experience before the Death Committee:
“On 30 July 1988, we were told a pardoning committee had arrived to release some prisoners. We were lined-up and taken to the prison yard. There were approximately 80 to 100 of us. We were blindfolded, denied the right to an attorney, and were defending ourselves. We were all serving prison sentences issued by the regime’s courts. They started interrogating us one by one. When it was my turn, I took off my blindfold. One of [the Death Committee members] asked me if I was Muslim, and I answered, “Yes I am. My father says we are Muslims.” He asked, “Is this what your father says?” I replied, “Yes.”
“Then he said, “If you are Muslim, are you prepared to fight for Islam?” I could not understand what he meant, so he asked, “Would you fight for Iran?” I replied, “I would, if my country were in danger.” He asked me, “If anybody attacked our country, would you fight at the frontier?” I answered, “I would, if it were necessary and I were not imprisoned.” He continued, “You say you are a Muslim, would you walk through a minefield and be prepared to die for Islam?” I replied that I was not a fool to walk through a minefield, just because I was Muslim.
“Religious judge Mohammad Hossein Ahmadi Shahrudi and the prosecutor, Alireza Avaei were seated. They had two lists of prisoners’ names. The representative from the Intelligence Ministry told them put my name on a special list and told me put my blindfold back on. Then, the other prisoners spoke, each of them for barely one minute, and the Committee issued their death sentences.”
The 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran is recognised as a crime against humanity by international human rights lawyers such as Geoffrey Robertson, as well as by the Iran Tribunal people’s court and Human Rights Watch.
The United Nations recognises the 1988 massacre victims’ cases as enforced disappearances. Enforced disappearance is a human rights violation and a crime under international law. The crime is not subject to statutes of limitations, and charges may be initiated at any time, until the person concerned is found or their fate is determined. According to international law, the Iranian regime should guarantee the families of victims their rights to knowing the truth about the fates and burial places of their loved ones, and hold accountable those responsible for such crimes.