Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Farnush Vakilzadeh


Age: 27
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: July 6, 1981
Location: Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Unspecified execution method
Charges: Unspecified offense

About this Case

The information about Mr. Farnush Vakilzadeh has been drawn from an interview with a relative. His execution was reported by the correspondent of the Jomhuri Eslami daily in Shiraz (July 8, 1981). Following the news, a communiqué of the Public Relations office of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Headquarters of Shiraz was published. The communiqué begins as follows:

“The storming rage of our Muslim nation that is a token of God’s rage becomes more roaring and throbbing by the day. This nation is determined, more than ever before, to do away with those who are dependant on and affiliated with the East or the West, despite the conspiracies that try to disappoint it and push it away from the public sphere.”

Mr. Vakilzadeh worked as a driver. The interviewee remembers him as a freedom-loving person, who was “honest, loving and caring,” who “loved to spend time with his nieces and nephews.” Those close to him, remember that he loved an Iranian dish prepared with pomegranate paste. Mr. Vakilzadeh was last seen the nigh before his arrest when he had taken his nieces and nephews to have some hamburgers.

According to the newspaper report, Mr. Vakilzadeh was affiliated with the Communist Combatants’ Union (“Ettehad-e Mobarezan-e Komonist” or Sahand). This Organization was founded after the Islamic Revolution of February 1979, with a specific focus on ideology. After 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. Vakilzadeh was arrested the night of June 27, 1981, as he was returning home, which was already surrounded by state officials. His sister, who had invited him for lunch the next day, started a search in hospitals and police stations when he did not show up for lunch. On June 29, his name was found in the Shiraz prison and his family was told that he was undergoing interrogation and hence they could not visit him until the end of interrogations. During the 7 days of detention, Mr. Vakilzadeh was tortured and his body and fingernails were bruised.


According to the available information, Mr. Vakilzadeh was not tried.


The authorities told Mr. Vakilzadeh’s family that he was silent and did not disclose the identity of any of his accomplices. However, the communiqué of the Revolutionary Guards Corps stated that he was a member of the “Communist Combatants Union” and listed his charges as follows: “keeping and distributing communist leaflets”, “having connections to the dissolved Komala party”, “declaring armed uprising against the Islamic sovereign”, and “owning a safe house and equipment for printing and copying the infidels’ leaflets.”

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

No information is available concerning the evidence presented against the accused. The interviewee stated that there were one of two boxes of leaflets in his house; no further information is available.


No information is available concerning Mr. Vakilzadeh’s defense.


The communiqué of the Revolutionary Guards of Shiraz stated that “in accordance with the verdict of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of Shiraz, [Mr.] Farnush Vakilzadeh… was at war with God and his Prophet and a corruptor on earth”; however the interviewee asserted that there was no court verdict. According to available information, Mr. Vakilzadeh’s family was told to go to the prison to see him on July 6, 1981. His family members were led to the back door of the prison where Mr. Vakilzadeh’s body was returned to them.

Mr. Vakilzadeh’s family buried the body in a cemetery, but when they returned to the cemetery, they saw that the body had been unearthed. They were told that Ayatollah Khalkhali ordered that no “infidels” could be buried in the cemetery assigned to Muslims. Mr. Vakilzadeh’s body was exhumed in another cemetery as well, until after a few days, he was buried, during the night, in the Bahai cemetery with no stone so that he could not be identified. They planted a pomegranate tree to mark the grave (Mr. Vakilzadeh loved pomegranate trees). Several years later, the cemetery was destroyed and transformed into a military base.

Correct/ Complete This Entry