Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Ashraf Fada'i Tabrizi


Age: 24
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: August 15, 1988
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech; War on God, God's Prophet and the deputy of the Twelfth Imam

About this Case

Information about Ms. Ashraf Fada’i Tabrizi has been drawn from an electronic form sent to Omid by a former cellmate. She is also among 3208 members and sympathizers of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran Organization (PMIO) whose execution was reported by the organization in a book entitled Crime Against Humanity. This book documents the 1988-89 mass execution of political prisoners. Information about the mass executions has been gathered by the Boroumand Foundation from the memoir of Ayatollah Montazeri, reports of human rights organizations, interviews with victims’ families, and witnesses’ memoirs.

Moreover, Ms. Fada’i Tabrizi is one of 1000 people identified in a UN Human Rights Commission’s Special Representative’s Report, “Names and particulars of persons allegedly executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran during the period July-December 1988,” published January 26, 1989. The report specifies that although 1000 names are mentioned, “in all probability” there were several thousand victims. “Most of the alleged victims were members of the Mojahedin. However, members of the Tudeh Party, People’s Fedaiyan Organization, Rahe Kargar, and Komala Organization and 11 mollahs were also said to be among the alleged victims.”

Ms. Fada’i Tabrizi was a sympathizer of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization. She was loved by other prisoners because she was kind to others (despite differences in their political opinions) and she defied the pressures of prison and interrogation. The prisoner guards and prisoners who had recanted their political views disliked her for the same reasons. She was intelligent and very beautiful.

Arrest and detention

Ms. Fada’i Tabrizi was arrested in Tehran in the summer of 1981. The details of her arrest are not known. She spend most of her life in prison in ward used to “punish” the prisoners. She spent near two years in solitary confinement in Gohardasht prison (1982-1984). She then was transferred to Qezelhesar prison (section 3).

Ms. Fada’i Tabrizi was 17 at the time of arrest and a high school student. In the spring of 1985, she studied in prison and graduated from high school. Studying and taking exams of the Ministry of Education in prison were among the reforms that took place in 1985 and lasted only for a year.

In 1986, Ms. Fada’i Tabrizi was sent to Evin and she was sent back to Gohardasht for a few months in 1987. She was in section 3 of ward 1 of Gohardast, known as “sanatorium”, from the autumn of 1987 to 1988. As a section used for “punishment”, the conditions there were particularly difficult. The doors to the rooms were always locked and would be open only 3 times a day, each time for 30 minutes. The prisoners could to use the bathroom, take showers, and wash their dishes and clothes only during these intervals until the doors were locked again. In the summer of 1988, she was taken to solitary confinement and never returned to the “sanatorium.”


Ms. Fada’i Tabrizi was first tried and condemned to 10 years imprisonment. She was denied the right to have an attorney or access to her file. At the time of execution, she had spent 7 years in prison. Specific details on the circumstances of the trials that led to the execution of Ms. Fada’i Tabrizi and thousands of other individuals in 1988 are not known. According to existing information, there was no official trial with the presence of an attorney and prosecutor. Those who were executed in 1988 were sent to a three-man committee consisting of a religious judge, a representative from the Intelligence Ministry, and a Public Prosecutor of Tehran. This committee asked the leftist prisoners some questions about their beliefs and whether or not they believed in God.

The relatives of political prisoners executed in 1988 refute the legality of the judicial process that resulted in thousands of executions throughout Iran. In their 1988 open letter to then Minister of Justice Dr. Habibi, they argue that the official secrecy surrounding these executions is proof of their illegality. They note that an overwhelming majority of these prisoners had been tried and sentenced to prison terms, which they were either serving or had already completed serving when they were retried and sentenced to death.


No charge has been publicly leveled against the victims of the 1988 mass executions. In their letters to the Minister of Justice (1988), and to the UN Special Rapporteur visiting Iran (February 2003), the families of the victims refer to the authorities accusations against the prisoners – accusations that may have led to their execution. These accusations include being “counter-revolutionary, anti-religion, and anti-Islam,” as well as being “associated with military action or with various [opposition] groups based near the borders.”

An edict of the Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, reproduced in the memoirs of Ayatollah Montazeri, his designated successor, corroborates the reported claims regarding the charges against the executed prisoners. In this edict, Ayatollah Khomeini refers to members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization as “hypocrites” who do not believe in Islam and “wage war against God” and decrees that prisoners who still approve of the positions taken by this organization are also “waging war against God” and should be sentenced to death.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant.


No information is available on Ms. Fada’i Tabrizi’s defense. In their open letter, the families of the prisoners noted that defendants were not given the opportunity to defend themselves in court. The same letter, rebutting the accusation that these prisoners (from inside the prison) had collaborated with armed members of the Mojahedin Organization in clashes with armed forces of the Islamic Republic, states that such claims “are false considering the circumstances in prisons; for our children faced most difficult conditions [in prison, with] visitation rights of once every 15 days, each visitation lasting ten minutes through a telephone from behind the glass window, and were deprived of any connection with the outside world. We faced such conditions for seven years, which proves the truth of our claim.”


Ms. Ashraf Fada’i Tabrizi was hanged in Evin prison in July/August 1988.

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