Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Yunes Noruzi Iranzad


Age: 58
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Baha'i
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: October 28, 1984
Location of Killing: Karaj, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Unknown charge
Age at time of alleged offense: 56

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Yunes Noruzi Iranazad (also spelled "Yunis Nawruzi-Iranzad"), son of Abdollah and Ma’sumeh, was published in the Archives of Baha’i Persecution in Iran website (June 13, 2019) and by the Campaign to Stop Harassment and Imprisonment of Baha’i Citizens – List of Baha’i Martyrs and Prominent Persons (January 10, 2017). Additional information about this case was obtained from Mr. Noruzi Iranzad’s Death Certificate (November 5, 1984) and from the Negah website (October 24, 2017).

Mr. Noruzi Iranzad was among 282 individuals whose name was published in a United Nations Report on the Human Rights Situation in Iran, dated November 13, 1985. The Report contains a list entitled “Individuals said to have been arbitrarily or summarily executed in the Islamic Republic: 1984 – 1985”.

Mr. Noruzi Iranzad was born into a Baha’i family on August 9, 1926, in the town of Marand in Eastern Azarbaijan Province. He earned a high school diploma and was employed by the Education Ministry in the city of Abadan. He worked as a teacher for a while but was fired because of his belief in the Baha’i faith. He then worked for Bank Melli in the town of Sirjan for a while, and retired in 1979 in Tehran. His retirement pension was cut off in 1981 because of his religious beliefs.

He moved to the city of Karaj after his retirement in order to proselytize the Baha’i faith, and became a member of the local Spiritual Assembly* and handled the affairs of the Baha’i community in his place of residence.

The Baha’is in the Islamic Republic of Iran: Background

The authorities of the Islamic Republic have subjected the members of the Baha'i religious community of Iran - the largest religious minority, with approximately 300 thousand members in 1979(1)- to systematic harassment and persecution, depriving them of their most fundamental human rights. The Baha'i religion is not recognized under the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, and Iranian authorities refer to it as a heresy. As a result, the Baha'is have been denied the rights associated with the status of a religious minority; they cannot profess and practice their faith, and are banned from public functions. Discrimination under the law and in practice has subjected them to abuse and violence.(2)

Persecution of Baha’is in Iran is not specific to the time of the Islamic Republic but it was in this era that it was amplified and institutionalized. During the Revolution itself, supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini attacked Baha’i homes and businesses and in certain instances, even committed murder.

On the eve of his return from France to Iran, in response to a question regarding political and religious freedom of Baha’is under the rule of an Islamic government, Ayatollah Khomeini stated: “They are a political party; they are harmful and detrimental. They will not be acceptable.” The interviewer asked another question: “Will they be free to perform their religious rites?” The Ayatollah responded: “No.” Khomeini had previously “spoken of the Baha’i threat to the Shah’s regime, Islam, national unity, and national security” in various speeches. (Asoo website, October 6, 2015).

Arrest and detention

On July 27, 1983, Mr. Noruzi was arrested at his home in Karaj and taken to Tehran’s Evin Prison. He was “severely tortured for several months”. (Archives of Baha’i Persecution in Iran). Mr. Noruzi Iranzad was in prison for one year and three months.


No information is available on Mr. Noruzi’s trial.


The charge brought against Mr. Noruzi is not known.

Because of the unanimous international condemnation of the persecution of this quietist (apolitical) religious community, Iranian authorities do not always admit that the Baha'is are being punished for their religious beliefs. Therefore, judicial authorities have often wrongfully charged Baha'is with offenses such as "being involved in counter-revolutionary activities," "having supported the former regime," "being agents of Zionism," or "being involved with prostitution, adultery, and immorality."

Evidence of guilt

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


No information is available on Mr. Noruzi’s defense.

The representatives of the Baha'i community stress that their members are being persecuted for their religious beliefs. They refute the validity of charges such as counter-revolutionary political activities or spying leveled against them in Iranian courts. They point out that the fundamental principles of their religion require them to show loyalty and obedience to their government and refrain from any political involvement.


On October 28, 1984, Mr. Yunes Noruzi Iranzad and one other individual were hanged at Tehran’s Evin Prison.


1- ‘Slow Death for Iran’s Baha’is’ by Richard N. Ostling, Time Magazine,20 February 1984. Also see ‘The Persecution of the Baha’is of Iran, 1844-1984, by Douglas Martin, Baha’i Studies,volume 12/13, 1984, p. 3. There is no information about the current number of Baha’is in Iran.
2- The Islamic Republic Penal Code grants no rights to Baha'is, and the courts have denied them the right to redress or to protection against assault, murder, and other forms of persecution and abuse. In so doing, the courts have treated Baha'is as unprotected citizens or "apostates," citing eminent religious authorities whose edicts are considered to be a source of law equal to acts of Parliament. The Founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, made execution a punishment for the crime of apostasy and decreed that a Muslim would not be punished for killing an apostate.

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