Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Promoting tolerance and justice through knowledge and understanding
Victims and Witnesses

"Of The Five Siblings Who Were Arrested Only I Survived"

Ebrahim (Abbas) Mohammad Rahimi/Witness Statement
Abdorraman Boroumand Foundation
July 28, 2015

Ebrahim Mohammad Rahimi

Arrested:         November 1979

Detained in:    Evin Prison

Released:        September 1980

Re-arrested:     June 1981

Detained in:    Gohardasht Prison

Released:        August 1991


  1. My name is Ebrahim Mohammad Rahimi and I am 55 years old. I came to the United Kingdom on 1 September 2008. I was granted political asylum in August 2009. The first time I was a political prisoner in Iran was for one year, from 1979 to 1980. I was re-arrested in June 1981, [and that time I was in prison] for ten years, before being released in 1991. I was mainly in Gohardasht Prison.

  2. I make this statement in support of an investigation into the mass execution of political prisoners in 1988 in Iran.

  3. This statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief. Except where I indicate to the contrary, I make this statement on the basis of facts and matters within my own knowledge. Where the facts and matters in this statement are within my own knowledge, they are true. Where the facts and matters are not within my own knowledge, I have identified the source or sources of my information, and I believe such facts to be true.


Arrest and Torture

  1. I was first arrested just after the Revolution in 1979, but I was released in 1980. At the time of my arrest I was a shopkeeper. I remember that one day one of the men in our neighborhood, an older man with a family, had been caught drinking alcohol. The Revolutionary Guards decreed the punishment of a public flogging, and they brought him to the square in our neighborhood to carry out his punishment. I told them, “You have no right to do this.” The guards replied to me, “This is an Islamic country and no one has the right to drink alcohol.” The whole neighborhood gathered together and tried to stop the guards from flogging the man. The guards began clashing with the people, shooting their guns in the air, trying to scare us. Because of the commotion caused, the guards could not flog the man.

  2. The next day the revolutionary prosecutor implemented a directive that anyone who opposed the Islamic orders of God was to be arrested. I was listed as one of those people who had interfered with the Islamic orders of God, and so I was arrested. When they came to arrest me I tried to resist them, but they shot me in the leg. I was in prison only a short time.

  3. I was arrested again later, in 1981, for being a member of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO). I was taken to court and sentenced to ten years in prison for my political membership. I served the full ten-year term. I still have the scars on my feet from the torture I received in prison.


Events Surrounding 1988

  1. I was held in Gohardasht Prison in ward 3—the upstairs ward. There were 200 people in my ward. Some people were leftists and some were Mojahedin. I would estimate that there were about 120 Mojahedin and 80 leftists. I believe 190 of those prisoners were executed during the mass killings.

  2. We heard the news that the MKO had attacked Iran over the radio—we had no television. But then they stopped allowing us to listen to the radio. Once the Mojahedin attack was crushed, the executions began.

  3. We were taken out of the ward, 20 people at a time. The guards took us out into a large corridor. We were all blindfolded. The guards would ask our names and then we waited for our turn to be called.

  4. Lashkari came to speak to us in the hallway. He did not like me. As he passed me he said to me, “Your trousers look like they are from America. You are a sissy!” I got very angry with him, and we had a confrontation. He grabbed me and attacked me, and then all the guards started to beat me. My blindfold fell off during the beating, so I was able to look around the corridor. At the end of the corridor, on the left, one room was serving as a courtroom; there were Nayyeri, Eshraqi, and Naserian. I had heard from the other prisoners that the commission these people were involved with had been ordering the executions of the prisoners. I did not know of them personally, but I had seen photos of all of them before in the newspapers. I recognized Nayyeri because I had seen him during my interrogations in 1981, and other prisoners had subsequently told me that was his name.

  5. They left the other 19 people in the hallway, but because of the confrontation I had had with Lashkari, they said, “Put him back in his cell.” The guards took me back to the ward and told me, “Shave your moustache! [The guards considered having a moustache a sign of dissent characteristic of leftist or MKO members.] In the morning we are going to execute you.” The next day they came to my cell, they tied my hands, and they shaved off my moustache.

  6. But I was never again taken to court. They never came back for me to take me to be executed, though I lived in fear that they were going to. I discovered later that I had been saved because one of the prison officers, Ezzat Shahi, had recognized me. We had been in prison together under the Shah, before the Revolution, and I had helped him back then, in 1977, by sending information from him to his friends on the outside. When I had the confrontation with Lashkari in the hallway and my blindfold fell off, this man, Ezzat Shahi, recognized me. I believe that Shahi had been on the panel that had advised the judges on the prisoners’ behavior and character while in prison. Shahi was a high-ranking security official. He had also served as head of the Central Revolutionary Committee. He has written his memoirs about that time. Several years after I left prison I found out that he had saved me by taking my name off the list. But others were not so lucky. I believe the other 19 people that had been in my ward were all killed. We heard later that my sisters had been executed in Evin on 5 August 1988, two days before we were brought before the commission. My brother had been with another group of people. When Nayyeri heard my brother’s name he told him to go out, and that they would call him. They never did call him, and from there they sent him to solitary confinement. Later we heard that since Nayyeri had killed our sisters two days earlier, he had spared my brother. I saw my brother again two months after the killings were over, when we became cellmates.

  7. In the ward where I was returned there was a window from which we could see out into the courtyard adjacent to the Hosseinyeh. The windows were barred, but we had twisted one of the bars so that there was a small space through which we could take turns watching what was happening outside. We could see the guards dragging corpses and putting them into large black trash bags or body bags. The black plastic looked much stronger than a normal trash bag. There was a large truck parked nearby. The guards were throwing the bodies inside these big bags, into the back of the truck. I could not estimate how many bodies there were. I do not know where they took the bodies.

  8. The guards soon realized that we were watching what was going on, and so they came into the ward, beat us, and then moved us to a different ward where we could not see outside.

  9. My brother and I were finally released in 1991. When we were released the assistant prosecutor told us, “This time you were lucky, but next time you are not going to be lucky again.”

  10. Of the five siblings who were arrested, only my brother and I survived. After our release in 1991, my brother, who was working and living a normal life as an engineer, disappeared in 1993. He was abducted and we do not know what happened to him, but I suspect that he was executed without a trial. One of the political prisoners who had seen my brother in prison told me that he had been executed. He told me this after he was released on bail. But no formal public announcement was ever made about my brother’s death. The authorities still hold the deed to the property that our family was forced to turn over as bond for him when he was initially released [in1991], and they will not return it, saying it is because my brother is an “MKO in Iraq.” But we believe he was murdered by the authorities.

  11. I left Iran in 1997 because I felt threatened. Guards often came past my door and harassed me in very subtle ways. After my brother was abducted people kept coming and would park cars outside of my home.


      London, June 2009


 Mr. Mohammad Rahimi passed away in London in January 2016