Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Manuchehr Khosrodad


Age: 52
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: February 15, 1979
Location of Killing: Refah School, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Treason; Corruption on earth; Torture

About this Case

The General was an attentive parent, a helicopter pilot, and an accomplished horseman.  It’s said he never capitalized on his stature within the armed forces.

Major General Manuchehr Khosrodad is one of 438 victims listed in a March 13, 1980 Amnesty International report. The report lists defendants who were convicted by Revolutionary Tribunals in the period from their inception until 12 August 1979. The list of victims and charges is drawn from sources including translations of indictments, reports of trials carried out by local and foreign media and the bulletins of the official Pars News Agency reports. The execution of Major General Manuchehr Khosrodad and three other former regime officials was also reported in the Ayandegan newspaper (February 16, 1979).  The news was followed by a communiqué of the Extraordinary Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal regarding the case. Additional information has been drawn from an interview with Major General Khosrodad former colleagues and and electronic form sent to the Boroumand Foundation.

Major General Khosrodad was the first head of the Special Forces and at the time of execution was Major General of the Imperial Iranian Army Aviation. He had studied at American Defense Academy and the French military school, Saint Cyr, and he mastered English and French. A helicopter pilot, Head of the Equestrian Federation and a champion in horseback, Khosrodad also enjoyed skiing.  His colleague remembers him as a talented and effective manager; a loved and respected commander. He stresses that Major General Khosrodad was not an affluent man and did not abuse his position to collect wealth. He would move around mostly unprotected, in particular prior to the Lavizan incident, when four soldiers, who had joined the Islamist opposition, shot and killed scores of soldiers and officers during lunch time at cafeteria of the base. During the revolution, before the fall of the monarchy, Major General Khosrodad had reiterated his position on the fact that the army should not be involved in politics and had told his colleague: “We are soldiers and have nothing to do with politics. I am obedient to whoever governs the country.”

Mr. Khosrodad was separated from his wife.  He lived with his young daughter with whom he cherished. He also owned and loved a few German Shepherds that were killed by the Revolutionary Guards after the revolution.

Ayatollah Khalkhali, the first post-revolution religious judge and head of the Islamic Revolutionary tribunal, mentions Major General Khosrodad and 9 others:  

“I began to try the convicts soon after my nomination. The first people I tried and punished for their deeds were Nematollah Nasiri, head of SAVAK, and Khosrodad, air forcer commander; Naji, martial law administrator of Esfahan, and Rahimi, martial law administrator of Tehran and head of police force…  

“I believed at the time, and I still believe, that all the parliamentarians and senators, all governors, heads of SAVAK and police, who held office after 1963 and the Imam’s boycott, should be sentenced to death. High-ranking ministry officials who were instrumental in the survival of the apparatus [Shah’s regime] and who, in order to get close close to the Shah and his family, would accept any humiliation are all condemned .

“To sum up, all the people that I condemned and who were executed in the early days of the establishment of the Revolutionary Tribunals and later in the Qasr prison were all corruptors on earth and, based on the Quran, their blood was a waste.” 

Arrest and detention

Based on the official communiqué, the defendant was arrested by “Islamic armed forces.” However, the available information suggests that he voluntarily surrendered himself to the authorities.


The Ayandegan report mentioned that the Extraordinary Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal held a session at Alavi High School # 2 [Refah High School], which lasted 10 hours. Based on the report, this Extraordinary Tribunal was ordered to form two days before it took session at the high school.  Major General Khosrodad and the other three defendants were said to be the first group of officials tried after the success of the Revolution five days before.  No other information is available on the court session. 


The communiqué of the Extraordinary Revolutionary Tribunal did not specify Major General Khosrodad’s charges.  Collectively, the four defendants were charged with “torture and massacre of the people” as well as “being traitors to the country.” 

Evidence of guilt

No information was provided regarding the evidence provided against the defendant.   


There is no information available on Major General Khosrodad’s defense. According to the information sent to the Boroumand foundation, the Major General was so sure of his innocence that he voluntarily surrendered himself to the authorities. 


According to the official communiqué, the Extraordinary Tribunal found Major General Khosrodad guilty of “corruption on earth” and sentenced him to death and confiscation of his belongings, “based on Islamic rules and regulations.”  After reaching this verdict through the majority vote, the participants of the session met with Ayatollah Khomeini, as “the enforcer of Islamic justice,” to get his confirmation on their judgment. Once the verdict was confirmed, the defendant was taken to the school rooftop, blindfolded, and “the shooting ceremony was carried out” at 11:40 the same evening.  

The religious judge and Head of the Extraordinary Tribunal, Khalkhali, provides further explains the sentence in his memoirs: “These four people were executed on February 15, 1979, at night in Refah School and I sentenced them to death. ... All the people who were sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Tribunals were the best examples of ‘corruptor on earth’ and they were executed as such.”

“A Corruptor on earth is a person who contributes to spreading and expanding corruption on earth. Corruption is what leads to the decline, destruction and the deviation of society from its nature. People who were executed had strived in spreading corruption and prostitution, circulating heroin, opium and licentious behavior, atheism, murder, betrayal, flattery, and, in sum, all these vile qualities. These people’s problems were aggravated by the fact that they did not repent once they saw the people’s revolution.

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