Message: [Eight point decree to the Judiciary and Executive organs (Islamization of the laws)]
Time: 24 Azar 1361/15 December 1982
Location: Tehran, Jamaran
Topic: “Eight-point decree” regarding the rights of the people, the law, the judiciary, and the need for Islamization of relations and laws.
Addressed to: The Judiciary and Executive Organs
In the Name of God, the Benevolent, the Merciful
In following upon the need for Islamization of all government organs, specially the judiciary, and the need to replace the idolatrous laws of the previous tyrannical regime with the laws of God in the system of the Islamic Republic, it is necessary to issue a few remarks to all those in charge of the affairs. It is hoped that, God willing, these reminders are taken into consideration with swiftness of action:
1. Drafting Sharia laws, and their legislation and decree, must be done with the necessary attention and speed; and the laws related to the affairs of the Judiciary that is related to the people and has a higher importance are to be placed ahead of all other legislations so the work of the Judiciary is not delayed or shut down and the people’s rights are not harmed; and the decree and implementation of these laws shall be placed ahead of all other issues.
2. Attending to the qualification of judges, prosecutors, and courts must take place with speed and attention such that current affairs become Sharia-based and divine, and the people’s rights are not harmed. And in the same manner, attending to the qualifications of other officials and authorities of affairs must take place with absolute impartiality, without negligence, and without causing difficulties (which is sometimes said about extremists) such that, while corrupt individuals will be purged, beneficial and effective individuals accused on baseless allegations are not put aside. And the measure is the current condition of individuals, turning a blind eye to any slippage they may have had in the previous regime, unless it is proven with proper evidence that they are still corrupt and saboteurs.
3. The gentlemen judges who meet Islamic preconditions, whether in the judiciary or in the Revolutionary Courts, must issue Islamic laws with independence and authority and without regard for other officials, and continue their important work throughout the country without negligence and postponement. And the officials in charge of issuing decrees and executing them – and others related to this issue – must respect their verdicts so the nation feels at peace with the correctness of judicial decisions, decrees, actions, and summonses, and [the nation] feels that its life and property and honor is safe under the shadow of Islamic judiciary rulings. Acting for Islamic justice is not specific to the judiciary and its affiliates, but is also present in a serious manner in other organs of the system of the Islamic Republic – including the Majlis [Parliament] and government, their affiliates, security and military forces, the Sepah (IRGC), komiteh-ha*, basij and other officials – and no one has the right to behave in an un-Islamic manner towards the people.
4. No individual has the right to arrest or summon another individual without a warrant from a judge that is based on Sharia principles, no matter how short the time of incarceration. Harsh incarceration or summons is a crime and is subject to punishment according to sharia.
5. Regarding the property– whether portable or stationary – or rights of other individuals, no one has the right to intervene in, seize, detain, or confiscate unless by the order of a judge [hakem-e shar’], and only after careful review and proof that the order conforms to the Sharia.
6. No one has the right to enter the house, shop or place of work of anybody without the permission of the owner, or to apprehend someone, or, in the name of discovering a crime or guilt, to follow or watch, or insult someone and commit inhumane/un-Islamic acts, or listen to another person’s telephone or audio in the name of investigating a crime or a source of crimes; or for investigating crimes or guilt – no matter how great the guilt – place an audio bug or search for people’s secrets, or spy on the sins of others or reveal secrets – even to one person – that he has received about someone else. All of these are crimes and sins and some of them are considered Great Sins (similar to exposing prostitution and other sins) and those committing any of the above acts are guilty and deserving of Sharia punishment and some of them are subject to Sharia corporal punishment [had sharaa’-i].
7. What has been said and pronounced as forbidden, does not apply to situations relating to conspiracies and groups opposed to Islam and the system of the Islamic Republic who gather in safe-houses to overthrow the system of the Islamic Republic, and [who] assassinate devoted figures and innocent people in the alleys and streets; and gather for sabotage and treason and are warriors against God and his Prophet [mohareb], who, wherever they are, whether in gatherings of government organs and judiciary bodies, colleges and universities, or other centers, must be dealt with decisively and forcefully, but with absolute caution that it be under provisions of the Sharia and in agreement with the orders of prosecutors and courts, because deviating from the Sharia punishments is not permissible even in their cases, as there should be no negligence and laxity. And at the same time, officials must not act beyond their official limitations, which consist of suppressing the based on the established provisions and Sharia directions. And again, it is reminded that, if, by mistake, they entered someone’s private house or place of work while trying to discover safe-houses and centers of espionage and corruption against the Islamic Republic, and there they encounter musical instruments [alaat-e lahv], or evidence of gambling and prostitution, and other deviances such as drugs, they do not have the right to expose these findings to others, because exposing prostitution is one of the Great Sins, and no one has the right to denigrate Muslims or infringe upon the provisions of the Sharia. They must only act upon the duty to prohibit vice [nahi az monker] in the manner stipulated by Islam and do not have the right to summon, arrest, or abuse house owners and residents, and deviating from God’s punishments [hodood-e elahi] is unjust and will lead to punishment [ta’azir] and sometimes restitution [taghas]. But [regarding] individuals who are discovered that their profession is gathering narcotics and distributing to the public: this is within the realm of “Corruption on Earth” [mofsid fi al-arz] and, in addition to apprehending any such people, they must be introduced to judicial authorities.
Also, no judge has the right to initially issue an warrant with which officials will have the right to enter homes and places of work that are not safe-houses nor a location of other conspiracies against the Islamic Republic, and the one who has issued such a warrant is subject to legal and Sharia pursuit.
8. The honorable Hojat al-Islam Mr. Mousavi Ardebili, the head of the Supreme Court of the country, and the honorable Prime Minister, are required by the Sharia to decisively and speedily prevent the indicated affairs. And, throughout the country, it is necessary to set up committees that are trustworthy and dependable in provincial governor’s offices, country governor’s offices, and district offices; and [it shall be] decreed to the nation to submit their complaints regarding infringement and transgression by executive officials – who impact their rights and property – to these committees; and the indicated committees must submit the result to the gentlemen, and they, by forwarding the complaint to the responsible authorities and follow-up, punish the violators in accordance with corporal punishments [hodood] and punishments [ta’zirat] of the Sharia.
We must all be aware that, after the establishment of the rule of Islam and the security and authority of the system of the Islamic Republic – with the approval and charity of the benevolent and able God – and the attention of his majesty the last Imam – and the unparalleled support of the venerable and committed nation for the system and the regime, it is neither acceptable nor tolerable that, in the name of the Revolution and being revolutionary, God forbid, there is injustice towards someone, and actions opposed to divine provisions and the benevolent ethics of Islam are issued from people inattentive to morality.
From now on – which is the time for construction and development – the nation must feel secure and at peace and to continue its tasks with relief and reassurance from all quarters, and to see the great Islam and the Islamic government as its supporters, and consider the judiciary in its service when filing complaints and in the implementation of justice and Islamic punishments, and to see the security and military forces, the Sepah (IRGC) and komiteh-ha as the guarantors of comfort and security for themselves and the country. And this is the responsibility of everyone, and working towards it will cause the satisfaction of God and blessings of this world and the next, and violating this will cause the wrath of God and suffering in the next world as well as worldly punishment. I ask the merciful God to protect us from all slippage and mistakes, and to endorse the Islamic Republic, and to link it to the universal and upstanding authority of Mohammad’s line.
Rouhallah al-Mousavi al-Khomeini
*komiteh is the term referring to neighborhood organizations set up to enforce the rules of the Islamic Republic on a local level. They were eventually merged with local police forces in 1992.