Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mehdi Baradaran Khosroshahi


Age: 36
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: December 6, 1981
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Apostasy

About this Case

Mr. Mehdi Baradaran Khosrowshahi was executed along with 89 other prisoners. The information regarding his execution was obtained through an interview with his sister who was arrested at the same time and imprisoned for ten years. Mr. Baradaran Khrosroshahi is also one of the 12,028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No 261), published by Mojahedin Khalq Organization in 1985. The list includes individuals, affiliated with various opposition groups, who were executed or killed during clashes with the Islamic Republic security forces from June 1981 to the publication date of the magazine.

Mr. Baradaran Khosrowshahi was a student in Tehran Polytechnic Faculty and an employee of Tolidaru Company. Before the 1979 Revolution, he spent seven years (1971-1978) in prison because he was a high ranking and influential member of Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO). In prison, he distanced himself from the MKO and sympathized with Marxism. After the revolution, he joined Rahe Kargar Organization. After the revolution, leaders of the Islamic Republic, angered by this kind of ideological shift, sought to arrest those who changed their ideology. It was a common belief among many leaders of the Islamic Republic that those who leave Islam are apostates and deserve death penalty.

After the execution, the psychological pressure and humiliation of Mr. Baradaran Khosrowshahi’s family continued. When prison officials called to tell the family about his execution, they reminded his sister that she could not get information about her brother’s burial place because only a man in the family could obtain such information. Therefore, Mr. Baradaran Khosrowshahi’s sick brother had to go to the prison, where he was mistreated. When the officials issued the death certificate, under cause of death they wrote “natural death” instead of “shot by the firing squad.” In spite of efforts by Mr. Baradaran Khosrowshahi’s wife inside the prison, and by his family outside, the officials never delivered any of his personal belongings. Contrary to the norm, his family never received his will. And the final indignity was that his tombstone was broken repeatedly.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Mehdi Baradaran Khosrowshahi and his wife were arrested by eight Pasdars (Revolutionary Guards) in their house on the night of October 17, 1981. The guards searched the house taking all books and family pictures. Afterwards, they went to his parents’ house and arrested his sister. For the first ten days, he was held and interrogated in Eshratabad Komite. Then he was transferred to Evin Prison where he was tortured continuously while he was interrogated. His sister says: “I was tortured at the same place.” She recalls: “I could see through my blindfold that standing beside the interrogator was a clergyman. I could hear him responding to a question about who I was, by saying: 'Hajaqa, her brother was here last night.' Later, we heard from a released inmate that my brother had suffered brutal torture in Evin prison. This inmate had seen my brother coming back from an interrogation several times with severely wounded feet and each time he would say something sarcastic about “the Islamic Democracy”.

The sister of Mr. Mehdi Baradaran continued: “In addition to the interrogator of Branch Six of Evin Prosecutor, Lajevardi himself also participated in my brother’s interrogation. I myself witnessed (when we were returned at night from the bathroom to our cell, which was located in the interrogation hallway) the interrogator and Lajevardi standing close to my brother (who was blindfolded). The interrogator asked whether my brother knew Mr. Lajevardi. My brother said: I know him by name. The interrogator said: 'Weren't you both in prison together under the Shah?' My brother responded: 'I was in Shiraz prison and he was in Mashhad.' After that, they both left together." Mr. Mehdi Baradaran Khosrowshahi was denied the right to have an attorney, the right to have access to his file, the right to be visited during the 50 days of his imprisonment. He was allowed a phone call to his wife only 30 minutes before his execution.


No information is available on the defendant’s trial. According to his sister, in those days, the routine procedure was to have a few minutes trial with presence of the religious judge.


The officials did not announce any specific charge against Mr. Baradaran Khosrowshahi. In his last telephone conversation, he mentioned his crime was “being a prisoner in previous regime”. According to his sister, his crime was nothing but his ideological shift in MKO. (Those members of Mojahedin Khalq who followed Marxism were considered “apostate” by the Islamists.)

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant.


No information is available on Mr. Baradaran Khosrowshahi's defense.


The Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced Mr. Baradaran Khosrowshahi to death. He was shot by firing squad in Evin prison around 8:30 pm on December 6, 1981. His body was buried without his family’s knowledge. His sister recalls that night: “The sound of falling bodies was like the falling of a mountain of Iron and we could hear it all from inside the prison. Counting the single shots, we realized that 90 people were executed at that time.”

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