June 30, 2009

The Tragic Story of Ayatollah Boroujerdi

Selected from the official publication of the Riverside County Bar Association
by D.W. Duke and Nazanin Afshin-Jam

It is unfortunate that the western world has such a negative image of people of the Muslim faith. To most Americans and Europeans, the notion of Islam embodies an extreme religion of violence and human rights abuses. Yet we hear it said that Islam is a religion of peace and that the Islamic extremists we see in Iran and other nations where shariah law is enforced do not represent the true Islamic faith. Many ask, “Where are these peaceful Muslim leaders?
Why do we never hear about them? Do they really exist?”
In fact, they do. One such Islamic leader is Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, who today is held captive in a prison in Yazd in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Ayatollah Boroujerdi is a Shi’a Muslim cleric who supports freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion in the Islamic Republic of Iran. He believes that the government should not be controlled by religion. Thus, he supports the separation of government from the dominance of Islam. Ayatollah Boroujerdi believes that the repressive government of Iran, which purports to exist under the rules of Islam, is not true Islam at all. According to Ayatollah Boroujerdi, true Islam is a religion of tolerance, mercy and compassion, which is the opposite of the religion of the government of Iran.
Ayatollah Boroujerdi is the son of Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Kazemeini Boroujerdi, who died under suspicious circumstances in an Iranian prison in 2002. His father was one of the leading religious leaders of Iran in the Pahlavi government and published over 30 books. He was widely respected in the western world, as well as in Iran, and he refused to support Ayatollah Khomeini’s efforts to establish the Islamic regime in 1979. As a result of his refusal of support, he was persecuted and imprisoned in an Iranian prison, where he eventually died.
The younger Ayatollah Boroujerdi became openly critical of human rights abuses of Iran in 1994. For over a decade, he spoke to his supporters about the need to peacefully promote their views, and he is opposed to violence in any form. On October 7, 2006, Ayatollah Boroujerdi was arrested, along with many of his supporters who had gathered at his home. Although no crime had been committed, witnesses say that they were incarcerated and subjected to torture in section 209 of Evin Prison.
The government of Iran has not provided any information concerning his prosecution and conviction. In a special clerical court, without representation by legal counsel, Ayatollah Boroujerdi was initially sentenced to death, but due to appeals and international pressure, the sentence was changed to 11 years of imprisonment, 10 of which are to be in exile in Yazd. Ayatollah Boroujerdi was then coerced, under threat of torture, to give a statement in which he confessed to acts he did not commit. This forced confession was televised nationally in Iran in an attempt to humiliate Ayatollah Boroujerdi and others who share his belief in the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech.
Since his incarceration in the Iranian prison, Ayatollah Boroujerdi has been brutally tortured, resulting in serious injury to his vital organs. He has been repeatedly refused medical treatment by his captors, and his family and supporters have also undergone torture. His wife has been brought into his prison cell and forcibly raped in his presence.
He and his family have been victims of incomprehensible cruelty at the hands of this tyrannical regime.
Ayatollah Boroujerdi has committed no crime. He is a peaceful man who does not advocate violence, nor does he threaten the government of Iran in any way, though he supports the separation of religion from government.
All he has done is to advocate for the inalienable right of the individual to hold personal religious beliefs and to exercise freedom of speech. For this, he has been subjected to imprisonment and torture under continuous threat of execution.
Article 56 of the United Nations Charter requires that all member nations pledge to “take joint and separate action in cooperation with the Organization [the UN] for the achievement of the purposes set forth in Article 55.”
Article 55 includes several paragraphs, most notably here, “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.”
Article 18, section 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that:
“1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall
include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”
Article 19, sections 1 and 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that:
“1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to
seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”
Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides in pertinent part: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Ayatollah Boroujerdi has been denied his rights under each of the above-referenced articles and sections of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. He has been arrested, held in confinement and tortured because of his beliefs and for expressing his views on political matters. On September 24, 2007, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke in the United States at Columbia University. In response to the introduction from Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, President Ahmadinejad said the following:
“I think the text read by the dear gentleman here, more than addressing me, was an insult to information and the knowledge of the audience here, present here. In a university environment we must allow people to speak their mind, to allow everyone to talk so that the truth is eventually revealed by all.”
“Certainly he took more than all the time I was allocated to speak, and that’s fine with me. We’ll just leave that to add up with the claims of respect for freedom and the freedom of speech that’s given to us in this country.”
In his words, which have been communicated to billions of people throughout the world, President Ahmadinejad expressed his belief in freedom of speech and the right of people to “speak their mind.” Yet within the nation of Iran, people are arrested and tortured for “speaking their mind.”
Now the world is watching to see if Iran will live up to the high standard set by these words of President Ahmadinejad. Will Iran release Ayatollah Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, who has done nothing more than exercise his right to “speak his mind,” as President Ahmadinejad said, so that “truth is eventually revealed by all”?
What can you do to help free Ayatollah Boroujerdi? If you would like to show your support of this victim of the Iranian terror machine, you may sign the petition at
The United Nations has been requested to investigate this case and to assure that Ayatollah Boroujerdi is provided needed medical attention. If we join efforts to support the release of Ayatollah Boroujerdi, the leaders of Iran will take note. While it may seem a futile effort, it is important to bear in mind that Iran seeks to become a member of the international community. The embarrassment brought about by these abuses when publicized will ultimately compel the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran to release this honorable man and his supporters.
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June 29, 2009

A criticism against the inattention of the government to the votes of nation

According to the statistics announced by the government; about 14 million people voted against Ahmadinejad because of their belief in his national and popular inefficiency and their candidate called him liar, traitor, dictator and guileful formally and in the live program on TV that all Iranian people and most of the viewers in the world watched it. Also other two candidates gained one million votes that indicated their supporters’ believe in incompetence of Ahmadinejad to presidency too, and there were 500 thousand void votes that surely contained revilement, swear words and curse on the government moreover 20 percents of those had the qualifications for voting didn’t attend in the election and showed their disgust at the basis of the dictator regime in this way.

These statistics and numbers contain more than 20 million people in all over the country that protested against this election and it is a huge number, then why don’t they (government authorities) allow this huge number to march and demonstration and show their protest? How can we call it religious democracy while the authorities of the government suppress and threaten Iranian protesters who want their demands and rights? Why do they dread their shouts and voices and call them seditionist and rascal?
Note that this election has taken place in a society and situation that there was no freedom and no observation and control of society representatives and those are trustworthy in people’s view, as we saw that the chairman of guardian council, Jannati, showed a certain and overt stance in that Friday prayer held at the time of presidential election and supported and confirmed Ahmadinejad openly! So there is no freedom and open referendum. Of course we should take the renewal presidency of Ahmadinejad as a good omen, because the continuance of suppression and despotism will cause the acceleration of the decline of the present regime as if he came instead of Khatami, we would not live in this swamp of the Islamic Republic and plundered people would be released of this situation and oppressed country of this bondage much sooner, because the report of his 4-year-administration is so bad that if he came in Khatami time and instead of him the Islamic Republic would fall at the beginning of his administration and we would be release of it.

June 24, 2009

The new and challenging answers of Mr. Boroujerdi to some basic and important questions inside prison

The second part of the unpublished interviews of Mr. Boroujerdi- March 2009

1. How do you consider some punishments like prison juristically?

2. How do you think of terror and suicidal actions?

3. What is your opinion on the juridical subject, dissimulation?

4. What’s your opinion about Vilayat-e-Faqih?

5. What’s your reason to reject the punishments for homosexuality, double adultery and etc and also some legal punishments like execution, stoning, amputation and flogging?

6. Please exactly explain that if you propagate a new religion or the preacher of another Islam?

7. Do you call yourself clergy yet or not? Have your beliefs and stances been in this manner and this form before the events of last years too?


1. How do you consider some punishments like prison juristically?

There is no punishment as imprisonment in Shiite jurisprudence. Even judicial authorities of Iran have explicitly said that prison is non Islamic several times! and must be removed, although this matter has never been fulfilled and the number of prisons and prisoners is increasing day by day as has destroying and irretrievable results such as material and spiritual annihilation and it is exactly opposite to the way of the holy prophet Mohammad that according to his way “ harming is not permitted in Islam”.
Whatever I have found in the traditions and words of the prophet and of the holy Quran is revering for human position and prestige. Unique God granted human greatness and chose him as his successor and he never sent a prophet to annoy and torture his best creation. He is kind and merciful and has created heaven, but he shows his anger and has created hell too to make people understand that these are a danger sign in order to keep society away from the devilish plans and temptations.

2. How do you think of terror and suicidal actions?

Terror is against liberal thought and independent culture. Terrorist doesn’t understand logic. The main and undeniable method of prophets has been debate, discussion and propagation not terror.
Unfortunately Iran government has supported terroristic actions in the world specially in the Middle East overtly, secretly and multilaterally to insure its continuance and to assassinate the character of its antagonists also some religious authorities have confirmed it by unreal lawful reasons as this matter has led that Islam be introduced as a terrorism religion while holy Quran explicitly says: “لا تلقوا بایدیکم الی التهلکه don’t perish yourselves”.

3. What is your opinion on the juridical subject, dissimulation?

In religious culture and Quran interpretations dissimulation is equivalent to piety and also equivalent to acting based on situation, it means hiding your real and hearty beliefs in order to get security and save your life also it has been advised that whenever that the revelation of secrets and expression of events may lead to conflict, keep the secrets and follow dissimulation law. Dissimulation is variable and depends on the situation, it has a certain framework and must be used in special positions and if we want to know that when dissimulation is used we should pay attention to Imam Bager’s word that said: “in the time of danger and emergency dissimulation is permissible”.
But the most important challenge and argument that today is expressed about dissimulation is because of the unreal promises that the founders of revolution 79 in Iran gave to people and the next authorities of the government didn’t fulfill them too, so governmental clergies used the word “dissimulation” to justify those lies! If every deceit and trick is called dissimulation (if the meaning of dissimulation is so) then what’s the own meaning of those vices (hypocrisy, lie, trick and imposture)?! I don’t believe in unreal promises of the leaders and authorities of Iran government as dissimulation, but I know them only as a political tactic for the purpose of deceiving the world and getting the nation’s support for endurance and expansion of their government and in my opinion it is completely opposite to the way of the holy prophets.

4. What’s your opinion about Vilayat-e-Faqih?

I brought up some Quran, rational and traditional reasons and documents in my trial sessions and I proved that according to “ Quran- tradition- rationality- unanimity” the government of jurists (Vilayat-e-Faqih) is rejected and I hope the film of that debate be available to all as soon as possible. But I explain in brief that Vilayat-e-Faqih according to the statements of its theoreticians is based on a series of personal reasoning and misinterpretations on Quran words and traditions as they have tried to interpret it along God’s Vilayat (guardianship), by using many alterations and personal interpretations and imposed jurists’ government on people in this way that I don’t agree with it and I have brought some reasons of Quran in my book “Resal-e-Azadi” that reject Vilayat-e-Faqih and prove that God has created human free and given him freedom. If some one claims to have a guardianship that is along God’s, he must be defender of the right of freedom and spread the principle of tolerance and forgiveness not be the acting of harshness, terror, despotism and suffocation! It is mentionable that most jurists, clergies and religious authorities have opposed to clergies’ government, relying on religious rules and shiism laws and this lack of unanimity between religious leaders about clergies’ governments is another reason that proves religious government in absence of the Imams chosen by God, is unlawful.
Unfortunately the jurists govern on Iran call themselves as the owner of people’s life, wealth, thought and fate, but Imam Sadeq quotes from the holy prophet: “jurists are the successors of the Imams until they don’t involve themselves in the world and worldliness” and when he was asked that how we can know worldly jurists, he replied: “when they obey and follow governor, in this case avoid them and don’t trust” so according to this word the position and place of governmental clergies is cleared and in addition the worse is that they themselves govern on people .

5. What’s your reason to reject the punishments for homosexuality, adultery and also some legal punishments like execution, stoning, amputation and flogging?

punishment for those sins that have been committed between God and his slave such as homosexuality, double adultery and etc in the lack of a just leader is not allowed and impossible, because only just leaders can punish some one for these sins and history has shown that they always tried to provide a situation as he can escape and save himself from punishment. Some other jurists believe that execution of such these laws and punishments in the absence of a just leader are impossible.
Some day before Imam Ali’s government, when the officials of government were taking a man to governor to punish him for theft, Imam Ali stopped them and said “first it must be cleared that whether this man has got his right of treasury from the governor completely or not, if he has not got, the governor’s hand must be amputated instead of his hand!
An adulterer woman was taken to Jesus, he said: “every body that has committed no sin stay to start stoning” (it is a law that only some one who has committed no sin can stone a sinner), but every body went and no body stayed. Then Jesus gave some advises to that woman and released her without punishment. There are a lot of such these stories that have been written in historical books that indicate punishment for such these sins without the continued and comprehensive control of a just and pacifist leader is not possible and is rejected.
But the subject “retaliation” is different, because it is due to men and some one has been harmed and is plaintiff. About unintentional manslaughter retaliation is not allowed, but blood-wit has been come for this matter. And about intentional manslaughter the psychological condition of the murderer in the time of crime is important and must be consider by a psychologist too and also the age of the murderer is another factor must be considered that whether he is younger than 18 or not? And he must not be imprisoned for the sentence “retaliation” until he becomes 18 and other cases too.
Imam Ali said to a pregnant woman who has come to him to punish her for adultery: “may be you have dreamed or supposed”! And when he faced with her insistence on execution of the sentence, he accepted, but he postponed it to after delivery, then under the pretext of two years feeding and after those two years under the pretext of that this child needs a guardian practically rejected the sentence “stoning” in this way. Of course one of a side results of this story is forbidding abortion of an adultery fetus that this matter itself is deduced that execution has been negated. Because when an adultery fetus is revered so, the credit and importance of man’s life will explicitly be appeared. Also another result is negation of confession. In the matter of punishment there is a juridical basis that says: “the confession of a sane man against himself is acceptable” that confirms that we can use the confession of a criminal against himself, but we see that Imam Ali not only doesn’t pay attention to the confession of the criminal, but teaches her a way to release from the punishment! In another story has been come that a person came to Imam Ali and confessed to his homosexuality, but Imam said: “you have probably dreamed or imagined”. When Imam Ali was asked about the reason of these actions, he replied: “sin is a matter between God and his slave, He knows how treat His slave and I can’t judge and issue a sentence”!
So, we can see that just leaders always avoided punishing and getting confession some one. Now please compare those who commit every kind of crime and oppression with the utmost cruelty to get confession and make file under the name of Islam with the acts of Ali!
There is a basis in jurisprudence called secondary laws means change first laws based on situation also juristic laws in Shiism is changeable proportionate to the situation in order to bring ease for people not torment and difficulty and to be in their interests. In addition, there was a tradition in Islam that indirectly negated violation. For example slave selling had been a usual and common trade in Jazirat-Al-Arab as no body could forbid in fact the situation was so hard that it was impossible to forbid and change it formally and directly, so it was indirectly rejected and some laws were enacted that said “release a slave in lieu of such and such a crime” or slave releasing was ordered in the shape of moral advices for getting heavenly rewards and making atonements and etc. all these laws and basis along with others like dissimulation and a principle like “in Islam harming is forbidden whether yourself or another one” solve many of problems.
I have had many documented and special researches about the various religious and juristic matters during past years before my latest detention and the result is various books and assays which unfortunately are not permitted to publish because the existing restriction of opinion and press in Iran and most of those works were confiscated during governmental attacks by governmental agents and now are in Special Court for clergy. I found according to the mentioned researches that the aim of all religions is reverence, peace, elevation and perfection of humans and in a sentence, human must be pacifist and benevolent.
In addition according to different bases, religious commands are flexible. Of course governmental Ulema themselves accept such these bases, but they use them in an inhuman manner. For example: suicidal actions or torture are not allowed in Islam, but the religious authorities who believe in political religion issue such these anti-human licenses by abusing juristic laws! While some laws like secondary laws and etc that I explained a part of them, must be used for removing restrictions and violations and spreading peace and calm.

6. Please exactly explain that if you propagate a new religion or the preacher of another Islam?

The religion I speak about, is the comprehensive Islam, I mean I don’t have any prejudice on Islam, but I support and agree with all religions that lead human to God and it is one of my privileges. I don’t have any prejudice on my fathers’ religion against other religions because I heartily believe in the sentences of the holy Quran that say: “لانفرق بين احد من رسله there in no difference between prophets” and also “نزل عليك الكتاب مصدقا لما بين يديه this book, Quran that has been brought down on you, confirms all the last holy books”.
My thought and opinion is based on Quran and the tradition of God’s messengers and agrees with the unanimity of the intelligentsia and the benevolent scientists of international society and also is opposed to the monopolistic and illogical views of the religious governors of Iran. I believe they call people their obedient and under their domination as they don’t accept and believe in independent theism. Of course they have never accepted my requests for an open and formal debate.
Unfortunately today Shiism has been become a plaything of the fanatic leaders and politicians as the governmental clergies change religious laws as they themselves want not in people’s interests and my public and practical protests against them have been faced with their rough and inhuman reaction.
The words I said are only a small part of my documents and researches which I hope be released of the confiscating of the Special Court for Clergy as soon as possible and be available for all.

7. Do you call yourself clergy yet or not? Have your beliefs and stances been in this manner and this form before the events of last years too?

Worldly clergies have discredited this position in Iran and all over the world by abusing it during last years as I have advised my children to avoid joining and choosing this position. I have heretofore said too that I saw cleric position merely as a responsibility for the purpose of propagation of religion as I can present my progressive views proportionate to present matters as a religious specialist and can stand up against the heresies of the worldly clergies, but now I would rather continue my goal and propagate religion in another way so I leave the clergy position willingly. But about the second part of your question; I have a lot of words and facts to say, but I think it is enough to say that my situation was not proper to take the effective actions about the special and important matters explicitly, but I have always supported the basic resolution “separation of religion from government” and had efforts to prepare opinions to accept it. My detentions in 1995 and 2000, strict news boycott, tormenting my family and me also the murder of my father have all been the results of the government’s enmity and opposition to my thoughts and stances before recent years.

June 22, 2009

The statement of Ayatollah Boroujerdi’s followers containing their union with the public movement of Iranian people

In the name of God the beneficent the merciful

We in addition to honoring the brave people of the oppressed and under religious despotism country, His Excellency Mr. Mir Hosein Mousavi and the zealous clergy Mr. Mehdi Karoubi also praising the right protests of the people against inattention to the sacred votes of the nation that has shouted the slogan of justice, announce our multilateral support on the divine and national insurrection of the mass of the oppressed people of Iran moreover we point out that the world concern on the gravity of the Human Rights situation in Iran is an usual matter and based on the aware conscience and no body can call it interfering in Iran affairs because Iran government is interfering in the affairs of Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan in an unjustified way by abusing this subject(concern on Human Rights ) with all its equipments.

Today, noble nations have been annoyed for the lack of equality and freedom and the oppression and injustice applied on Iranian nation by the government and are planning to reflect the voice and the groan of millions of the injured people who are tired of this condition.

The followers and devotees of the liberal clergy, Ayatollah Seyed Hosein Kazemeini Boroujerdi who supports the separation of the religion from government

The repression of religious minorities in Iran

The Bahá'ís believers are not alone in daring to be different. Take the case of Ayatollah Seyed Hossein Kazemeyni Borujerdi for example. He is the only courageous Ayatollah in Iran who has dared to publicly challenge the official interpretation of Shiite Islam by the Islamic regime and publicly call for a return to a system of government that separates religion and politics.
He along with many of his followers was arrested in 2006. From his prison cell in Yazd, Ayatollah Borujerdi continues to issue statements and send letters to UN officials asking for help. According to Amnesty international, on May 1, Ayatollah Boroujerdi wrote a letter to the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, requesting that international observers be sent to Iran in order to pave the way and assist Iranian people in an open referendum on the system of government.
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June 10, 2009

Mr. Boroujerdi is being denied access to independent lawyers

Human Rights Activists in Iran

The authorities of Yazd central prison deny Mr. Boroujerdi the right to visit his lawyers in that manner, also concerning reports about his condition are continuing too.

On Saturday Jun 3, 2009 Dr. Giti Pourfazel the deputy chairman of Human Rights Commission, Tehran Bar Association went to Yazd central prison along with Mr. Boroujerdi’s family to get formal letter of attorney of Mr. Boroujerdi in order to consider and follow up his case judicially and also to see and consider the grave condition of this prisoner clergy closely, but unfortunately in spite of her negotiations with the authorities of the prison and while she had been waiting for hours she was not allowed to visit.

Also according to the reports received from Yazd central prison; the officials of the prison with the assistance of Dr. Vali Zare (the director of the clinic of Yazd central prison) have taken action to inject some unknown medicines into his body two times during two last weeks as according to the statements of his relatives these injections have destroying functions on mind and nerve.

Also reports say this ideological prisoner has been put in different pressures again to have interview with governmental media.

June 04, 2009

The latest condition of Mr. Boroujerdi in Yazd prison

According to the reports received from Yazd central prison; Mr. Boroujerdi has stopped his 26-day-strike since Saturday May 30, 2009. It is noteworthy that he has been denied access to independent lawyers or even contact with his family up to that date. The reports indicate that during the last week some addictive drugs have compulsorily been used and injected into him in order to force this prisoner leader to make false confessions and interviews.