Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohammad Baqer Latifi Moqadam Tehrani


Age: 41
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: May 23, 1979
Location of Killing: Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: War on God, God's Prophet and the deputy of the Twelfth Imam; Mass murder; Corruption on earth

About this Case

The Colonel built barracks and housing for soldiers and planned irrigation systems.  He was confident about the future, said his daughter, as he’d done no wrong. 

The information pertaining to the life and execution of Colonel Mohammad Bagher Latifi Moqaddam, an army engineer and a father of four, is taken from the memoirs of his daughter, Afshineh Latifi, entitled Even After all this Time, Regan Books, New York, © 2005, and the May 24, 1979 issue of the Kayhan Newspaper.

Lt. Colonel Mohammad Bagher Latifi Moghaddam is also one of 438 victims listed in a March 13, 1980 Amnesty International report, Law and Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 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.

International human rights organizations have drawn attention to reports indicating that the Islamic Republic’s authorities have executed individuals on trumped up charges such as drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences. The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

According to his daughter, Colonel Latifi had joined the military during the reign of Shah at 18. He obtained a masters degree in engineering. During his career as a military engineer he was stationed in the cities of Maragheh, Mahabad, and Kermanshah. He was in charge of “building barracks… designing bridges, building housing for the soldiers, and planning irrigation facilities”. The family settled in Tehran, in 1976. In Tehran, Colonel Latifi was given the duty “to take over as commander of the engineering unit of the Guard’e Shahanshahi, [the Imperial Guard]”.

His daughter recalls that Colonel Latifi refused to leave the country after the revolution. He argued that since he was an engineer and had committed no crime he would be safe from persecution.

The Islamic Republic's officials engaged in, what Colonel Latifi’s daughter terms, a “psychological warfare” with his family after his execution. His wife and four children were often harassed; their car and house were searched repeatedly by the revolutionary guards. Furthermore, after his execution, a copy of his Will and Testament was smuggled by a former prison mate and presented to his wife. In his Will, he had bequeathed all his belongings to his wife and children. Yet, according to his daughter, the authorities refused to honor the terms of this Will.

Arrest and detention

According to Colonel Latifi’s family’s account, on February 13, 1979, a group of enlisted men arrested him at his barracks in Farah Abad, Tehran. He was stripped of his weapon and escorted to an open jeep by three men. He requested that his keys and checkbook be given to his wife. The soldier returning these items informed her of his arrest. The soldier gave no other information regarding his arrest.

The authorities did not inform his family of the location of the Colonel’s detention. After days of searching, his wife located him at a high school that was turned into a detention center, Madrese Alavi. He was denied visitation.

Colonel Latifi held communication with Mrs. Latifi through smuggled notes passed on by bribed guards. The communication was interrupted due to his relocation to first the Shahrebani Prison and later to the Qasr Prison. He was again able to communicate through smuggled notes until he reportedly suffered two broken wrists during an interrogation.

It is not known exactly how long he was deprived of visitation. His family was reportedly often kept waiting at the prison gate for hours before being denied admittance. When he was finally able to see his family, the visits were carried out in the presence of a guard monitoring the conversations. The meetings were held in a large room separated in two by a corridor with each half containing a low wall and iron bars up to the ceiling. During the one instance that Colonel Latifi was permitted to hug his daughter, she was snatched from him and dragged through the corridor for having whispered in his ear. Colonel Latifi was held at the Qasr Prison for the remainder of his detention.


Colonel Latifi was tried in May 1979, about three months after his arrest, by the Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran. There is no mention of a presence of a lawyer for the defendant.

In the absence of an appeal process, the family of Colonel Latifi attempted an unsuccessful direct appeal to Ayatollah Khomeini.


Charges against Colonel Latifi are taken from his daughter’s memoirs, the Amnesty International report, and the Kayhan:

According to his family and the Kayhan, Colonel Latifi was charged with “several counts of murder.” The charges stemmed from a demonstration dating back to the September of 1978 when a number of anti-Shah marchers were killed by gunfire. In the Kayhan account, Colonel Latifi was charged along with another defendant, Mr. Mahmud Me’mar Jam’i. The newspaper reported, “Colonel Latifi along with Warrant Officer Mahmud Me’mar Jam’i are charged with being ‘corruptors on earth’ for their direct involvement in the killing of protesters, as well as, giving the orders for the shooting of the protestors during the September 8 (the black Friday) demonstrations in the south of Tehran and Shahbaz Street.” It is not clear if Colonel Latifi was charged with both ordering the shootings and killing the protesters, or whether he was accused of only one of the aforementioned charges.

The Amnesty International published the charges that Colonel Latifi was accused of, using the accounts reported on both the Iranian television and radio. The charges against Colonel Latifi, as published by the Amnesty report, are: “corruption on earth; war on God; war on God's prophet and the deputy Imam Zaman, war against the representative of the Twelfth Imam; obstacle to ways of God and Islamic values, trying to deprive people of their true desire, defiling all that is sacred, whether religious or national, to the Muslim people of Iran and the world, blocking the path of God, fighting against the Islamic tenets, treachery versus the Islamic nation; mass murder, massacre of innocent people; massacre during demonstrations, causing death to unnamed persons during demonstrations, killing freedom fighters, killing Muslims; ordering troops to fire, sending in troops; suppressing demonstrators, suppressing national and religious demonstrations, punishing demonstrators; treason.”

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

None of the reports of this execution contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant.


The official report of Colonel Latifi’s execution does not contain any information regarding his defense, however, his daughter’s memoirs mentions the circumstances of Colonel Latifi’s defense.

Colonel Latifi denied any involvement in the murders, stating that he was vacationing at a resort at the Caspian Sea with his family at the time of the September 8 demonstrations. He further protested being tried by the revolutionary court, saying that he did not recognize their authority, because he was a military officer and thus should be tried by a military tribunal.

His wife tried to exonerate him of the charges by putting together a file containing the evidence of his absence during the demonstration. She stated that he had a bad case of the stomach flu during his stay at the resort and was taken to the hospital. She provided the court with “hotel bills, certified hospital records, and restaurant receipts”. The prison authority at first refused to review this file, but finally accepted to do so after she visited him for several days. Taking the file from her, he took the pages and ripped them saying, “‘You can bring me all the documentation you want…You can have your pages certified and recertified. But you are wasting your time’”.

One of the authorities present at the trial, later told Mrs. Latifi how her husband had refused to recognize the court as legitimate and had desired his wife’s presence. The authority said that in reply to these requests, “We just laughed at him. That’s what. We all laughed at him”.


The Kayhan newspaper reported that Colonel Latifi was declared a ‘corruptor on earth’ and sentenced to death. According to his family’s account, he met his wife for the last time the night of his execution. She was blindfolded and taken to a room labeled Mofsed’e Fel Arz (Corrupt of Earth). He denounced the charges for the last time. “‘You know I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said. “I know,” she said... “Please make sure the children know that I was guilty of nothing’”.

The account further adds that the sentence was publicly announced on television on May 21, 1979.

Colonel Latifi was shot to death at the rooftop of the Qasr Prison at 11:30 pm, May 23, 1979.


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