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Montazeri family warned.

The family of the late Grand Ayatollah Hassan-Ami Montazeri says the Intelligence Ministry has ordered it to hand over any and all tape recordings it has in its possession.

The family says it has refused to do so.

Last August, the office representing the late ayatollah released an audiotape from 1988 concerning the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners, mostly members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq..

Now, according to Montazeri's grandson, Hamed Montazeri, who spoke to the Center for Human Rights in Iran (formerly the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran (ICHRI)), the Intelligence Ministry has demanded the family hand over any other tapes it has.

In the audio tape released last summer, Ayatollah Montazeri can be heard arguing with three members of the so-called "death panel" appointed by Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini. Montazeri told the officials the mass executions would be remembered "as the biggest crime in the Islamic Republic a crime that will condemn us all in history." Ayatollah Montazeri was once heir apparent to Ayatollah Khomeini.

According to grandson Hamed Montazeri, his father, Ahmad Montazeri, rejected the demand. "We will not publish other files until it becomes necessary," he told the agents. "The files are safe with the family and they will not be given to anybody."

Following the release of the tape last year, Ahmad Montazeri was charged with acting against national security, "propaganda against the regime" and the pub lication of classified secrets. On November 27, Iran's Special Clerical Court sentenced him to 21 years in prison and stripped him of his status as a cleric. But an appeals court ruled that he had to serve only six years of his service because he does not have a criminal record and because his brother, Mohammad Montazeri, was a "martyr" who died in a 1981 bomb attack carried out by the Mojahedin.

"This is a truly unjust verdict," Ahmad Montazeri told IranWire following the sentencing. "I explained that whatever agency produces a document must decide whether that document is secret or not. Neither Ayatollah Montazeri's office nor he himself had stamped the tape as secret or confidential. Secondly, all the contents of the tape had been already published in his memoirs."

He called the reduced prison time "illegal" and said: "Nowhere in the law does it say that a martyr's brother gets a reduced sentence.... They want me to owe them a debt of gratitude because they say that they did me a favor." According to Hamed, on March 4, Ahmad Montazeri presented himself at the Special Clerical Court to start serving his sentence but was told that the sentence had been suspended. The same day, Qom's Special Clerical Court issued a statement saying Ahmad Montazeri had promised to "behave."

"The convict has given a written pledge not to repeat the crimes that he had committed and has been temporarily released," said the statement, quoting an unnamed official. "The convict Ahmad Montazeri has promised to seriously prevent any activity deemed to be against the regime."

But Hamed Montazeri disputed the statement. "My father has made no pledge," he said. "He said, 'We have never acted against the regime for such a pledge to be necessary.'" His denial was followed by a similar official statement from Montazeri's office.


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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:Mar 17, 2017
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