The Iranian Human Rights Committee, which frequently criticized the authoritarian rule of the deposed shah, spoke out today against the summary trial and execution of officials who had served him.
The criticism came after announcement of the shooting this morning of 11 more officials, including former foreign minister Abbas Ali Khalatbari. It coincided with confirmation from informed sources that Justice Minister Assadollah Mobasheri attempted to resign to protest the executions, but was talked out of the move by Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan.
[Early Thursday morning Tehran radio announced five more former officials were executed in cities other than Tehran. The dead included Army Gen. Abbas Kehali and four former police and SAVAK agents.]
These developments reflect growing evidence that the executions are sharply dividing Iranians about the course the new revolutionary government is taking.
The human rights committee condemned the trials' lack of due process and the summary execution without appeal. A spokesman said the committee protested to the government and the new "revolutionary prosecutor" but was told to take its complaints to the revolutionary council under Ayatollah Rudhollah Khomeini.
Bazargan and Mosbasheri reportedly were preparing a trip to the holy city of Qon to discuss the issue with Khomeini.
Bazargan, who once headed the Human Rights Committee, himself earlier threatened to resign over the summary justice and the Khomeini camps's interference in governmental affairs.
While the vast majority of people still appear to support the executions wholeheartedly, there is evidence of a growing sense of digust among middle-calss, liberal and educated Iranians.
The divisions basically break down along lines of class and education. But even some working-class Iranians who stauchly backed Khomeini against the shah are starting to question the 78-year-old Ayatollah's policy of bloody retribution against his archenemy's men.
"What have Khalatbari and Riazi done to deserve this?" asked a cab driver after learning of their execution. He referred to the 67-year-old career diplomat who served as foreign minister for seven years and to Abdollah Riazi, 73, the speaker of the Majlis (lower house of parliament)for 15 years until he was voted out last fall.
A. Western-educated researcher questioned the wisdom of meting out the same punishment to politicians as to men like Gen. Nematollah Nassiri, who directed SAVAK, the shah's brutal secret police. Nassiri was among the first four men, all generals to be executed.
Some of the charges against the defendants in the latest trials were specific, although it was unclear what proof, if any, was presented. Khalatbari, the former foreign minister, was accused of allowing SAVAK agents to pose as foreign diplomats. He replied that he was forced to do so by superiors.
Other charges leveled against him and the other defendants in general included "corruption on earth," a phrase from the Koran and "waging war against God," both revolutionary favorites here that defy definition.
Accounts of the trials by several Iranian reporters admitted to them provide some insight into the revollutionary justice that has so far claimed the lives of at least 90 military officers, SAVAK agents, policemen and government officials of the shah.
The small, hot courtrooms in Tehran's Qasr Prison-which once held oppoonents of the shah but now contains more than 1,300 political prisoners of Khomeini's Islamic revolution-are packed with revolutionaries. Theu judges, reportedly mostly Moslem clergymen, sit behind screens to conceal their identities, witnesses said.
In its account of today's trial, the Tehran newspaer Kayhan quoted the court president in telling Gen. Hojat Kashani, the former chief of the Iranian Sports Federation, "General, think back to the time when you had the power in your hands and were in charge of the Olympics and you took the nation's youth off the right path . . . You are being tried in this court as a criminal and not as an accused."
The Kayhan version of a series of questions and answers with Khalatbari went as follows:
Q: "Why did you commit treason against the nation? You were a member of the system. Why did you accept it?"
A: "This was the continuation of service. It was my career in the Foreign Ministry. I was not the foundation-setter of the system."
Q: "Tell us about the two treasons of the shah. It was not the service of the nation. He was not even an Iranian."
A: "Yes. The shah used to commit treason. He killed a few people with his own hands . . The other things he did were the censoring of books and banning programs as he did not like."
The Iranian Human Rights Committee, headed by lawyer and long-time shah opponent Abdul-Karim Lahiji, feels the revolutionary courts' procedures are tarnishing the new government. The committee protested the first trial shortly after the mid-Februray revolution, demanding the institution of defendants' rights to have an attorney and a proper defense, public proceedings and a right of appeal.
According to Lahiji, the Bazargan government immediately agreed and managed to halt the trial.
"Unfortunately they resumed last week without any changes," Lahiji said. CAPTION: Picture, The bodies of four former police officials lie on the ground after they were shot by an Islamic revolutionary firing squad in Iran earlier this week.AP