Iranian Death Judge in Germany? Alliance Calls on Authorities to Act

Berlin/Cologne, July 23, 2023

There are various indications that since June 27, 2023, an Iranian death judge has once again been treated in the private neurosurgical clinic INI in Hanover, which is under the direction of Madjid Samii. The person in question is Hossein Ali Naeiri, an Iranian cleric, judge and top advisor to the judiciary. He was one of the key players in the "death committees" responsible for the unlawful mass execution of political prisoners in Iran in the summer of 1988.

According to Iran's former deputy supreme leader, Hossein-Ali Montazeri, the order was issued on July 26, 1988, and read, among other things: "The prison inmates throughout the country who steadfastly support the Monafeqin [People's Mujahedin] are waging war against God and will be sentenced to execution. [...] The task of implementing the decree in Tehran will be assigned to Hojjatol-Eslam Naeiri, the Sharia judge, Mr. Eshraqi, the Tehran prosecutor, and a representative of the Intelligence Ministry."

Reliable sources indicate that the "death commission" began its work on July 28, 1988, in Tehran's Evin Prison. The commission operated in both Evin and Gohardasht Prisons. In later years, Naeri was appointed head of the Supreme Disciplinary Court for Judges and vice president of the Supreme Court. Naeri admitted his involvement in the 1988 massacre. [1]  

Volker Beck, president of the German-Israeli Society, on July 7 alerted the Attorney General, the Lower Saxony LKA and later the German Foreign Office, and the German Ministry of the Interior to the suspected whereabouts of Hossein Ali Naeiri and asked them to take the necessary steps to prosecute him. Beck calls on the authorities to finally take action: "Since July 7, apparently not much has happened. While the victims of human rights criminals are murdered and tortured to death in Iranian prisons, those responsible go in and out of Germany scot-free. This must come to an end. One cannot assert the end of impunity for crimes against humanity in Sunday speeches and then do nothing operationally when such criminals are in Germany. In 2018, the death judge Ajatollah Shahroudi had fled from the same clinic in Hanover after criminal charges had been filed by me, among others."

Human rights activist Mina Ahadi explains, "Hossein Ali Naeiri was in close contact with revolutionary leader Khomeini and, with his permission, sentenced hundreds of people to death and had thousands tortured. Many of his traumatized victims are here in Germany, you meet them everywhere. When I spoke about Naeiri's crimes yesterday at a rally in Cologne, a woman who now lives in Cologne started shaking and crying. She had been sentenced to 8 years in prison by Naeiri in the 1980s. She showed me her legs, which were so injured by the many lashes that to this day she cannot walk well and is in severe pain. Naeiri ordered these punishments. He is a cruel murderer, like a monster he destroyed the lives of countless people. We demand that the German judiciary arrest and convict him, and not side with the murderous regime and let him escape."

Ulrike Becker, Director of Research at the Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin also calls on law enforcement agencies to act, "It is possible and required under the principle of international law to prosecute Naeiri's crimes in Germany. The prosecution of serious human rights crimes must not be delayed out of foreign policy considerations until the death judge leaves the hospital again. Germany must not be a safe haven for Iran's death judges." 


Press contact
Mina Ahadi
Tel. +49 - 177 - 569 24 13

Dr. Ulrike Becker, Mideast Freedom Forum Berlin
Tel. +49 - 30 - 209 95 852 


An earlier version of this press release incorrectly stated that the Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry of the Interior had already been informed on July 7. This was incorrect and has been corrected. The information of these authorities took place a few days later.