Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Akbar Ghafarian Omid


Age: 53
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: March 14, 1979
Location of Killing: Dezful, Khuzestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Murder of persons and/or killing Muslims or/and freedom fighters; Torture
Age at time of alleged offense: 53

About this Case

He was well-intentioned, kind, athletic, strong, loved his family, and gave of himself. He liked to swim, play tennis, and ride horses. He would set up equestrian facilities at every base he was transferred to

The news of Brigadier General Ghaffarian Omid’s execution was published in the Keyhan newspaper, dated 23 Esfand 1357, as well as in the report of the Amnesty International in the month of Esfand 1358. The Amnesty International published a list of the sentences that the Revolutionary Court had handed down from its beginning until the month of Mordad 1358.  The report was prepared based on the news from the Iranian and the foreign media, as well as the official Pars News Agency.  Completing the information about this file is based on Abolrahman Boroumand Foundation interviews with people informed about this matter,  the electronic report sent by one of Brigadier General Ghaffarian Omid’s acquaintances to the Boroumand Foundation on 4thof Bahman 1395, additional research and interviews by Boroumand Foundation, as well as the reports of the following newspapers and media: Ayandegan, 30 Dey 1357, Keyhan 28 dey, 5, and 8 Bahman, 3, 9, 10, 12, and 23 Esfand 1357; Ettela’aat 28 Dey, 5 Bahman, 23 and 26 Esfand 1357, Islam Times site, 27 Dey 1394 and Dana New Agency site, 26 Aban 1392.

Brigadier General Akbar Ghaffarian Omid, son of Mossayeb, was married and had four children. A Shiite Moslem, he was born on 4 Khordad 1304. He was a graduate of the Military Academy and had reached the level of Brigadier General in the Imperial Army.  He was the Commander of the Armed Battalion 2 of the city of Dezful.  His resume included having served as a support for the Commander of the Armed Brigade 2 for the city of Ahvaz and having served in the Armored Center of the city of Shiraz. An acquaintance of his is quoted as having characterized Brigadier General as altruistic, athletic, kind, family man, selfless, and authoritative.  He was interested in riding, swimming, and tennis.  Whenever he was transferred to a new garrison, he would build stables and riding arenas.  He not only encouraged his own family, but he also encouraged the family members of other military personnel to be active and participate in sports (per Boroumand Foundation interview with a knowledgeable individual). 

Brigadier General Ghaffarian Omid’s file is a part of the wave of executions that took place in the cities of Dezful and Andimeshk during the first months following the success of the ’57 (1978) revolution and the events of the 27 Dey of 1357.


The day after the departure of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi from Iran, on 26 Dey 1357, several skirmishes took place between some army officials and the revolutionaries in some cities, including Dezful. There are conflicting reports about these events and the number of people killed.  According to the information available, Brigadier General Ghaffarian Omid, the Commander of the Armed Brigade 2 of Dezful, ordered the removal of the statues of the Shah to prevent gatherings of the crowd (Islam Times, 27 Dey 1394, and Keyhan, 28 Dey 1357).  In the afternoon of the following Wednesday, the Police Department declared that it is no longer responsible for the safety and security of the city.  This announcement lead to the decision by some young revolutionaries to subdivide the city into several areas for maintaining local security (Islam Times. 27 Dey 1394).  The news of events in Ahvaz, including the presence of the army, along with some civilians armed with tanks, guns, and machine guns in the city, as well as the news of pillage and setting some businesses on fire, along with killing of people, reached Dezful.  Using the loud speakers in the mosques, it was broadcasted that Dezful should probably brace itself for similar events and the citizens need to be on alert (Islam Times, 27 Dey 1394).  Several skirmishes started in the afternoon of the same day.

The Public Relations Department of the Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement announcing “some protestors gathered around the barracks and caused disturbances with throwing stones and chanting slogans”.  Some of the protestors attacked the wife of a senior military personnel and disrespecting her, tore her clothes to pieces.  This violent act enraged the young military personnel.  They left the barracks and started fighting the crowd, resulting in the death of six and injury to 20 people (Pars News Agency 27 Dey 1357).  According to another report, “Some people from Dezful told the representative of Ettela’at newspaper that no one had gathered around the barracks and there were no slogans against the soldiers” (Ettela’at, 1 Bahman 1357); whereas “some military personnel in the military’s Dodge cars, attacked shops in Dezful streets.  They were carrying large bats and were breaking shop windows” (Ayandegan, 30 Dey 1357).  According to another report, military tanks and personnel carriers attacked the people of Dezful on 27 Dey.  This report further asserts that there was a conflict among the military personnel and some of them, along with some civilians, attacked people with machine guns, chanting pro Shah and Anti Khomeini slogans. Furthermore, they attacked shops, cars, and homes, setting them on fire.  This attack lasted nine hours, and during this time, 10 people were killed and 30 were wounded.  (Keyhan, 30 Dey 1357).

Following the foregoing events, the governor of the Khuzestan Province was called to Teheran.  (Boroumand Foundation research).  The Prime Minister’s office sent a special group to Ahvaz with a private plane.  They visited many sites in the city and interviewed various groups, specially the merchant class.  (Ayandegan, 30 Dey 1357).  Ayatollah Taleghani also sent an investigating group to Dezful.  There is no report available from this group’s findings.

Following the Dezful incidents, a group representing Ayatollah Taleghani and Dr. Sanjabi came to this city.  The revolutionaries had posted the names of some instigators of these events on the city walls, but the officials did not confirm the veracity of these accusations.  (Ettela’at, 3 and 5 Bahman 1357).  Based on these unconfirmed accusations, the Revolutionary forces arrested 50 of the high-ranking Officers of the Armored Brigade 2 of Dezful, accusing them of participating in the events of 27 Dey in Dezful. (Ettela’at, 10 Esfand 1357)

Arrest and detention

According to a person familiar with the case, Brigadier General Ghafarian Omid presented himself, as the Commander of the Second Armed Battalion of Dezful to the group of “Neighborhood Trustees”, who oversaw arrests.

According to the available information, approximately one week after his arrest, Brigadier General Ghaffarian Omid was transferred to a private house, which had been designated as the detention center for the military personnel and was kept there for approximately two to three weeks.  During this time, he had some visits from his wife. (Boroumand Foundation interview with a knowledgeable source).  He was interrogated by the Revolutionary Judicial Committee of Dezful and the Revolutionary Operations Unit to collect documents for his trial. (Keyhan, 12 Esfand 1357).  His interrogation was conducted by the Judicial Committee of the City Revolution and the Operations Arm of the Revolution.   


On 21 and 22 Esfand 1357, Brigadier General Ghaffarian Omid and a group of detainees were put on trial in the Islamic Revolutionary Court. (Keyhan, 23 Esfand 1357).  There is no information available about the court proceeding(s). 


Charges brought against Mr. Ghaffarian Omid were declared to be “torture and murder”.  He was accused of instigating his subordinates against people following the Shah’s departure, resulting in the events of 27 Dey in Dezful and Andimeshk, causing “death of innocent people and pillaging of and setting fire to the homes and businesses”. (Keyhan, 23 Esfnad 1357).  He was also accused of “the 28 Dey killings in Dezful and cooperating with Lieutenant General Boghrat Djafarian, the former governor of Khuzestan, to conduct a coup-d’état in that province”’. (Ettelaat, 27 Esfand 1357).

Given the conditions of no respect for the trial procedures and the fact that the accused are deprived of a just trial, there is no way to ascertain the veracity and accuracy of these accusations.

Evidence of guilt

According to the existing reports, the death of six people, injury of the 20, and the damages to homes and businesses have been presented as proof against Brigadier General Ghaffarian Omid. (Ettela’at, 28 Dey 1537), even though the names of the dead, the place and the dates of the killings, are unclear in the reports.


According to the available information, Brigadier General Ghaffarian was not permitted defense in the court (electronic form sent to Boroumand Foundation), but an informed source says the accusation against him are not valid.  This informed source further remembers that after the Shah’s departure from Iran, some officers, including some junior officers and their wives, who were loyal to the King, came out in the streets with some tanks.  The eyewitness continues that the wives of these officers were chanting “If you are scared General, come out and we’ll give you a Chador (veil) to hide and run”.  General Ghffarian tried to stop them by standing in front of the tanks.  He failed.  The tanks proceeded and demolished some parked cars and some shops.  A friend and a colleague of the General advised him to leave for Teheran, but he said that “I have done nothing wrong and there is no reason for me to leave”.(Boroumand interview with a person familiar with the case).  Furthermore, according to published reports, following the Shah’s departure, on the night of 26 Dey 1394, Brigadier General Ghaffarian ordered removal of the Shah’s statues throughout the city (Islam Times, 27 Dey 1394).  The court paid no attention to this piece of defense. 

Brigadier General Ghaffarian, trying to protect the lives of his subordinates, assumed all their responsibilities. (interview with a knowledgeable source).


The Revolutionary Court of Dezful, on 22 Esfand 1357, after several hours of deliberations, sentenced Brigadier General Ghaffarian to death.  His wife, who had left Teheran for Dezful to be with him, was not granted a visit.  The following day, on 23 Esfand, at 8 o’clock in the morning, he was executed by firing squad.  His body was delivered to his family and transferred first to Teheran, and then to Mashhad to be buried in the Khajeh Rabi’ cemetery.

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