Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Ali Hojjat Kashani


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: April 11, 1979
Location of Killing: Qasr Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Treason; Corruption on earth

About this Case

Information regarding Lieutenant General Ali Hojat Kashani is drawn from the following: two E-forms that were sent to the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF) by two individuals close to him; a report by Kayhan Daily on 11 April 1979; another E-form sent to the ABF regarding Mr. Hassan Pakravan’s case who was executed with Mr. Kashani; and Ayatollah Khalkhali’s Memoir entitled “The First Religious Judge after the Revolution” (published in Spring 2001). Mr. Kashani’s name is in the list of people who were executed by Ayatollah Khalkhali.

Ali Hojat Kashani was born into a religious family in Dizelabad, a village within the city of Neishabur in Khorasan Province located in the northeast of Iran. His father and grandfather were religious figures in Khorasan Province. Mr. Kashani was the Head of Physical Education Department and the Deputy to Prime Minister Hoveyda. At the time of his management of the Physical Education Department, the famous sport facilities Azadi Stadium and the Olympic Village were built. He also held a doctorate degree from a university in the United States (ABF E-form, Kayhan).

Arrest and detention

The circumstances of Mr. Kashani’s arrest and detention are not known.


The Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran tried Mr. Kashani along with 10 others. Kayhan Daily’s detailed report of Mr. Kashani’s trial reveal some issues which create serious doubts regarding the legitimacy of due process of law and the neutrality of the judge. For example, the judge addressed Mr. Kashani in a statement: “You think that your gesture can influence the Revolutionary Court or the audience? In fact, this is not the only court that is trying you; 36 million Iranians dedicated their lives to try you…now you act humanely and talk emotionally. If you have reasons, we will listen to you. We are appointed by the Imam and Iranian nation to do justice.” In addition, the presumption of innocence which is one of the basic rights of any defendant was not respected; for example, the judge during the trial tells explicitly: “You are not tried as a defendant; you are tried presuming that you are guilty!” (Kayhan)

Kayhan Daily reported that the trial started at the first hours of 11 April 1979 and ended at 12:00 a.m. on 12 April. It is not clear from this report how much time was allocated to Mr. Kashani’s trial. According to the E-form which was sent to the ABF regarding Mr. Pakravan, the trial of each defendant lasted only 15 minutes.


Kayhan Daily did not report Mr. Kashani’s charges individually, but according to the report the charges of all the 11 people who were tried including Mr. Kashani were “corruption on earth” and “treason”.

It seems that one of Mr. Kashani’s charges was cooperation with the Shah’s regime in general. The judge told him: “You used to be one of the high ranking officials who misled the youth.”

Mr. Kashani’s other charge included his position at the Physical Education Organization and organizing Olympics. During the trial, the judged stated: “Do you remember that when you were in charge? You misled the youth by organizing fake events such as Olympics, etc whereas your task was to develop the youth in a healthy manner (Kayhan).” The judge did not explain this charge any further.

Mr. Kashani’s reaction to the killing of two members of his family was another charge of his at the trial. He was constantly being questioned about his personal relationship with Mr. Bahman Adl and his wife, Kathrin Adl, two descendants of the Shah’s regime who were killed in the ‘70s in a clash with the security forces. The judge asked Mr. Kashani why he talked against them in the newspapers and why he disowned them (Kayhan).

Ayatollah Khalkhali claimed in his memoir that Mr. Kashani was responsible for the murder of his own family members. He said in another part of his memoir that: “He went to war with Polisario Front at the direct order of Shah and the King of Morocco and there, he was killing the oppressed people of Sahara” (Ayatollah Khalkhali’s Memoir, pages 396-397). In the Kayhan’s report there is no indication of Mr. Kashani’s mission to Morocco.

Evidence of guilt

No information is available concerning the evidence presented against Mr. Kashani.


There is no sign of the presence of a lawyer, the ,mere presenting of evidence on behalf of the defendant, or summoning witnesses on his behalf at Mr. Kashani’s trial. Ayatollah Khalkhali wrote in his memoir about trying defendants without the presence of a lawyer: “regarding the fact that we don’t allow a lawyer in the court, I must say that according to the Islamic laws and the Islamic principles, there is no indication that somebody can chose a lawyer for himself, except when he is mute and the individuals whom we are trying are not mute and they are wise enough to answer our questions…” (Ayatollah Khalkhali’s memoir, page 78)

Mr. Kashani said about his family relations that he did not disown Mr. Adl and his wife, but in fact helped them and gave Mrs. Adl some money. He added that he was fond of them and Mr. Adl used to pay him visits but the issue of politics was never discussed. In regards to their deaths he added: “I lost two young loves...I am mournful…totally.” (Kayhan)


The Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran declared Mr. Kashani guilty and after the end of the trial, sentenced him along with 10 others to death. This verdict was carried out immediately after the sentencing to the defendants at 2:00 a.m. on 11 April 1979 (Kayhan). According to the existing information, these executions took place at Qasr Prison I Tehran, and the victims were not allowed to see their families before the execution (ABF E-form regarding Mr. Pakravan).

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