Civil status Married
Education college education
Occupation unspecified occupation
Affiliation revolutionary leftist
Date of execution August 13, 1983
Location Evin Prison, Tehran, Iran
Mode of execution shooting
Charges Actively opposing the Islamic Republic; Apostasy; Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech
About this Case
The information about Mr. Mohammad Javad Qa’edi has been gathered from an interview with his sister. Also, Mr. Qa’edi is one of the 12,028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No 261), published by Mojahedin Khalq Organization in 1985. The list includes individuals, affiliated with various opposition groups, who were executed or killed during clashes with the Islamic Republic security forces from June 1981 to the publication date of the magazine.
Mr. Qa’edi was born in Rasht in 1952. He enrolled at the Electronics Department of the Ariamehr University of Technology (renamed Sharif) in 1970. In the fall of 1972, he was imprisoned for six months subsequent to his participation in the demonstration against American President, Richard Nixon’s visit to Iran, which had taken place at the end of May 1972. Two or three months after his release, he joined the Mojahedin Khalq Organization and went underground. In 1975, following internal split in the Organization, he joined the Marxist faction. At the time of the Revolution, he continued his political activism at the Organization for the Achievement of the Objectives of the Working Class; he was one of the theoreticians of this Organization, which joined the Sahand Organization.
Mr. Qa’edi’s wife, Monirossadat Hashemi, and his brother, Mohammad Qades Qa’edi, have also been executed.
The Sahand Organization (or Ettehad-e Mobarezan-e Komonist”) was founded after the Islamic Revolution of February 1979, with a specific focus on ideology. Later Sahand developed the project of the Communist Party of Iran in 1982, and the Party was founded by Sahand and Komala and remainders of such Communist organizations as Peykar, Razmandegan, and some affiliates of the Fadaiyan Khalq. Komala in Kurdistan became the center of the Communist Party of Iran, whose main publication was the “Communist” monthly magazine.
Arrest and detention
Mr. Qa’edi was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards on June 9. 1982. According to the available information, there was no arrest warrant. On that date, he left the house to make a call from a public phone and was arrested on the street. Soon his wife, who was worried that he had not come back home, left the house to look for him and was also arrested. The same day, his brother and sister were arrested in the same house and all four of them taken to the Joint Committee in the same vehicle.
Mr. Qa’edi was detained one year at the Joint Committee and about three months at Evin prison. During the first 24 hours after arrest, his sister saw him from under her blindfolds and she noticed that one of his feet was very swollen. In a visit with his sister in Mid-April 1983, he told her that he was kept in solitary confinement for almost a year and had been severely tortured; as a result his kidneys had failed, he had lost most of his teeth due to beatings, and he had skin fungus infection. In order to force him to repent his political beliefs and be interviewed and filmed, which would then be broadcast on television, the state agents flogged one of his feet for weeks and then flogged his other foot. Despite the torture, he refused to repent.
At Evin prison, Mr. Qa’edi had one or two visits with his mother. A few weeks prior to his execution, he had an in-person visit with his sister. According to her testimony, during his detention at Evin he had a daily ration of flogging. On his day of execution, he told his wife in a visit that lasted for a few minutes that this was their last visit. He told his wife that his brother had been executed and he asked his wife to inform the rest of the family.
The trial took place in March or April of 1983 and reportedly only interrogators were present. The trial session lasted for four hours during which he was asked to have a television interview and speak against the Mojahedin Khalq Organization and Marxism. Mr. Qa’edi refused.
Mr. Mohammad Javad Qa’edi was arrested for activism under the Shah’s regime, being a communist, and acting against the Islamic Republic. The charges brought against him during the tribunal are not known. However, from the fact that the presiding judge of the tribunal asked him about changing his ideology and the internal changes of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization, it appears that one of his charges was apostasy. The interviewee believes that the reason he had a daily ration of flogging was the charge of apostasy.
The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.
Evidence of guilt
The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant.
No information is available on Mr. Qa’edi’s defense. He was denied access to his file and the right to have an attorney.
Mr. Qa’edi was condemned to death at the Joint Committee. In his last visit with his mother which took place some time before the execution, he told her: “I’ve written my will but these jerks will not give it to you.” His mother was afraid of further mistreatment, and asked him to calm down and not use bad language. He said: “It’s too late, these jerks will execute all of us.” Mr. Mohammad Javad Qa’edi and his wife Monirossadat Hashemi were shot by firing squad at Evin prison on August 13, 1983. He is buried at Khavaran Cemetery.
Human rights violations in this case
The legal context
Read about the courts, the judges, and the procedure.
Special courts, known as the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunals, were set up after the February 1979 revolution. Their jurisdiction encompasses a wide array of offences ranging from association with or support of the former regime, promotion of foreign influence, and enmity with the revolution to possession, use or sales of narcotic drugs, murder, and profiteering. In the 1980s, a penal court, presided over by one judge, was created to handle some of the offenses punishable by death, such as theft or adultery. These tribunals’ decisions must be confirmed by a chamber of the Supreme Judicial Council.
Prosecutors and judges are not necessarily jurists. By 1981, the judiciary was purged of judges trained in law schools. They were replaced by seminary graduates and students, as well as by political appointees (an estimated 2000 by 1989). Since by law judges are only required to have a high school diploma and must be faithful to the Islamic Republic’s tenets, new recruits often have little formal training in the law and are chosen because of their political affiliation.
The procedures of these ecclesiastical tribunals fail to meet the minimum guarantees for fair trial as established by international human rights instruments and by sha’ria (the Islamic system of law). In addition to executions ordered by revolutionary tribunals, extra-judicial executions are carried out, targeting dissidents and opposition leaders. In some cases, both inside and outside of Iran, these executions have been traced back to Iranian officials. It is, however, not known if in these particular cases trials are held in absentia.
Sources (Among others): Amnesty International, Law and Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, February 1980; Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights, The Justice System of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1992; E/CN.4/1989/26 p.14; UNCHR, Resolution 1984/54 , Abolition of Torture - Iran - 1; 28 November 1984; Report on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Special Representative of the Commission, Mr. Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, 28 January 1987. Amnesty International, A SHOCKED WORLD WATCHES IN DISBELIEF, VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, 1987-1990. Memoirs of Ayatollah Khalkhali, religious judge and former head of revolutionary tribunals (2001), and Ayatollah Montazeri, dismissed successor to Ayatollah Khomeini (2001). UNCH, E/CN.4/1994/50, Final report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran prepared by the Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights, Mr. Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, pursuant to Commission resolution 1993/62 of 10 March 1993 and Economic and Social Council decision 1993/273. E/CN.4/1994/50, 2 February 1994.
Detentions, interrogations, and trials: 1981-1988
Read about the conditions in which individuals were detained, tried and sentenced.
The accused were held, sometimes without being charged, for months or years in overcrowded prisons. During their detention, prisoners of conscience, and in particular supporters of political opposition groups or members of religious or ethnic minorities, were routinely subject to physical and psychological torture. Interrogators used torture, authorized by the post-revolutionary law of Ta’zir (Discretionary Punishment Law), to obtain confessions of guilt or to induce repentance. The line between trial and interrogation was often blurred by the fact that the same individual would function as prosecutor, interrogator and judge.
Executed detainees may or may not have been tried formally. Prisoners of conscience were often tried through a summary process that might have lasted only a few minutes. When disclosed, charges facing the defendants were often vague or based on coerced confessions. Defendants had no access to attorneys, and they might not have been allowed to defend themselves.
Convicts could not appeal their sentence and were often executed shortly after their conviction. Their execution was not necessarily announced.
Based on the available information, the following human rights have been violated in this case:
The right to liberty and security of the person. The right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 9.1.
The right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, including the right to change and manifest one’s religion or belief.
UDHR, Article 18; ICCPR, Article 18.1, ICCPR, Article 18.2; Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, Article 1 and Article 6.
In its general comment 22 (48) of 20 July 1993, the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee observed that the freedom to "have or to adopt" a religion or belief necessarily entailed the freedom to choose a religion or belief, including the right to replace one’s current religion or belief with another or to adopt atheistic views, as well as the right to retain one’s religion or belief. Article 18, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights bars coercion that would impair the right to have or adopt a religion or belief, including the use of threat of physical force or penal sanctions to compel believers or non-believers to adhere to religious beliefs and congregations, to recant their religion or belief or to convert.
The right to freedom of opinion and expression, including the right to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas.
UDHR, Article 19; ICCPR, Article 19.1 and ICCPR, Article 19.2.
The right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of one’s interests.
UDHR, Article 20; ICCPR, Article 22.1.
The right to due process
The right to be presumed innocent until found guilty by a competent and impartial tribunal in accordance with law.
ICCPR, Article 14.1 and Article 14.2.
Pre-trial detention rights
The right to know promptly and in detail the nature and cause of the charges against one.
UDHR, Article 9(2); ICCPR, Article 9.2 and Article 14.3.a
The right to counsel of one’s own choosing or the right to legal aid. The right to communicate with one’s attorney in confidence
ICCPR, Article 14.3.b and Article 14.3.d; Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, Article 1, Article 2, Article 5, Article 6, and Article 8.
The right to adequate time and facilities for the preparation of the defense case.
ICCPR, Article 14.3.b.
The right not to be compelled to testify against oneself or to confess to guilt.
ICCPR, Article 14.3.g.>
The right not to be subjected to torture and to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
ICCPR, Article 7; Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment, Article 1 and Article 2.
The right to a fair and public trial without undue delay.
ICCPR, Article 14.1, Article 14.3.c.
The right to defense through an attorney or legal aid. The right to examine, or have examined, the witnesses against one, and the right to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on one’s behalf under the same conditions as prosecution witnesses.
ICCPR, Article 14.3.d and Article 14.3.e.
The right to have the decision rendered in public.
ICCPR, Article 14.1.
The inherent right to life, of which no one shall be arbitrarily deprived.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 6.1; Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, Article 1.1, Article 1.2.
The right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.
ICCPR, Article 7; Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment, Article 1 and Article 2.