“Do You Also Sleep With a Clear Conscience?” (An Open Letter to Candidate Raisi’s Wife)
In 2017, when Iranian Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi launched his first presidential campaign, Effat Mahbaz–the widow of a political prisoner killed during mass executions in the 1980s–published an open letter to Raisi’s wife highlighting Raisi’s role in what the UN says should be investigated as “crimes against humanity.”
“Did you know that the lives of hundreds of women like me were destroyed in the absence of their loved ones due to your husband’s verdicts?” Effat Mahbaz, herself a former political prisoner, asked Raisi’s wife, Jamila Alam al-Hoda.
Do you also sleep with a clear conscience, like your husband?” wrote Mahbaz.
Raisi launched his second presidential campaign in June 2021–after all prominent so-called “moderate” candidates were disqualified.
In 1988, Raisi was appointed to a four-man “death committee” by then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, which paved the way for at least 4,500-5,000 prisoners to be executed and buried in unmarked mass and individual graves, based on the committee’s determination of their “loyalty” to the newly established Islamic Republic. These prisoners had already been tried and were serving their issued prison sentences.
Mahbaz’s powerful words and chilling message about Raisi’s ruthless path to power and lack of accountability were excerpted, translated, and published as a video by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). A partial transcript has also been provided below.
How do you feel that
who murdered my husband
wants to be president
of the entire Iranian nation?
Alireza (Shapour) Eskandari
along with hundreds of other
innocent young people…
–who didn’t believe in
nor did their organization–
was among the first to be
executed by firing squad
at dawn on July 27, 1988.
Did you know that your husband
who was 28 at the time
issued hundreds of death sentences
against these young people?
They buried my husband
in a mass grave in Khavaran.
Do you know about Khavaran?
Have you heard about
the mothers who one night
dug in the dirt
and found their loved ones
buried next to each other
in a mass grave?
Ms. Jamileh Alamolhoda
As a university professor, you are
instructing the children of this land.
It seems very strange to me
that you love a man who began
sentencing people to death
at a young age and
that you made him a role model
for your children.
You must know that your husband
from the age of 20
began sentencing young people to death
when he was a prosecutor in Karaj and Hamedan.
How many children do you have? I don’t know.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance
to create a child with my love
because he was imprisoned
and executed by your husband’s order.
Did you know that the lives of
hundreds of women like me
were destroyed in the absence of
their loved ones
due to your husband’s verdicts?
Thousands of women
have been crying tears of blood
these past 30 years.
Do you also sleep with a clear conscience
like your husband?