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Daughter Of Iran's 'Hanging Judge' Breaks Silence About Her Notorious Father


The cover of the magazine Andisheye Pouya, featuring a photograph of Fatemeh Sadeghi

Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali is notorious as Iran's "hanging judge," having ruthlessly ordered hundreds of summary executions after trials that sometimes lasted just minutes in the months following Iran's 1979 revolution.

His daughter, however, remembers him differently.

"My father's outside image is very violent," Fatemeh Sadeghi says in an interview published this month in the Iranian magazine Andisheye Pouya. "But that's not the image of him that I had at home. He was very strict at home, but he would never beat me."

Sadeghi said her father never discussed his dark past with her.

"He didn't want to talk about it," she said. "It was clear that he had [some issues], but he wasn't remorseful."

Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini selected Khalkhali to head the newly created Revolutionary Courts shortly after taking power. Before Khalkhali was forced to step down and sidelined in December 1980, he sent hundreds of people to their deaths, including many affiliated with the regime of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

In his 2000 autobiography, Khalkhali wrote that he indeed felt no remorse.

In his autobiography, Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali (seated) said he felt no remorse for sending hundreds of people to their deaths.
In his autobiography, Ayatollah Sadegh Khalkhali (seated) said he felt no remorse for sending hundreds of people to their deaths.

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