Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Shahrokh Namdari Masjedi

About

Age: 31
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Married

Case

Date of Killing: 1988
Location: Masjed Soleyman, Khuzestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: War on God, God's Prophet and the deputy of the Twelfth Imam; Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech

About this Case

After the revolution, Mr. Namdari Masjedi started his own political association.  The doors he opened there were soon closed, from the outside.

Mr. Shahrokh Namdari Masjedi is listed among 3,208 members and sympathizers of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) whose execution was reported by the organization in a book entitled Crime Against Humanity. This book documents the 1988-89 mass execution of political prisoners. Information about the mass executions has been gathered by the Boroumand Foundation from the memoir of Ayatollah Montazeri, reports of human rights organizations, interviews with victims’ families, and witnesses’ memoirs. Other information about Mr. Namdari Masjedi has been drawn from an electronic form sent to Omid by a relative, and the MKO website.

Mr. Namdari Masjedi was born in Masjed-e Soleyman. He was a high school graduate and a MKO sympathizer. After the revolution, he established a political association. The Revolutionary Guards suppressed the meetings of this association. After that, Mr. Namdar Masjedi joined the MKO. In the summer of 1979, he was arrested for his work with the MKO. After his release from prison, he became a full time political activist.

Arrest and detention

The circumstances of this defendant’s arrest and detention are unknown. According to the MKO website, Mr. Namdari Masjedi was arrested in Mahshahr on April 4, 1985. He was transferred to the Masjed-e Soleyman prison (Khuzestan province).

Trial

Mr. Namdari Masjedi was tried and condemned to seven years imprisonment. Specific details on the circumstances of the trials that led to the execution of Mr. Namdari Masjedi and thousands of other individuals in 1988 are not known. According to existing information, there was no official trial with the presence of an attorney and prosecutor. Those who were executed in 1988 were sent to a three-man committee consisting of a religious judge, a representative from the Intelligence Ministry, and a Public Prosecutor of Tehran. This committee asked the leftist prisoners some questions about their beliefs and whether or not they believed in God.

The relatives of political prisoners executed in 1988 refute the legality of the judicial process that resulted in thousands of executions throughout Iran. In their 1988 open letter to then Minister of Justice Dr. Habibi, they argue that the official secrecy surrounding these executions is proof of their illegality. They note that an overwhelming majority of these prisoners had been tried and sentenced to prison terms, which they were either serving or had already completed serving when they were retried and sentenced to death.

Charges

No charge has been publicly leveled against the victims of the 1988 mass executions. In their letters to the Minister of Justice (1988), and to the UN Special Rapporteur visiting Iran (February 2003), the families of the victims refer to the authorities accusations against the prisoners – accusations that may have led to their execution. These accusations include being “counter-revolutionary, anti-religion, and anti-Islam,” as well as being “associated with military action or with various [opposition] groups based near the borders.”

An edict of the Leader of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, reproduced in the memoirs of Ayatollah Montazeri, his designated successor, corroborates the reported claims regarding the charges against the executed prisoners. In this edict, Ayatollah Khomeini refers to members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization as “hypocrites” who do not believe in Islam and “wage war against God” and decrees that prisoners who still approve of the positions taken by this organization are also “waging war against God” and should be sentenced to death.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution contains no evidence provided against the defendant.

Defense

In their open letter, the families of the prisoners note that defendants were not given the opportunity to defend themselves in court. Against the assertion that prisoners were associated with guerrillas’ operating near the borders, the families submit the isolation of their relatives from the outside during their detention: “Our children lived in most difficult conditions. Visits were limited to 10 minutes behind a glass divider through a telephone every two weeks. We witnessed during the past seven years that they were denied access to anything that would have allowed them to establish contacts outside their prison walls.” Under such conditions the families reject the claim of the authorities that these prisoners were able to engage with the political groups outside Iran.

Judgment

No specific information is available about the defendant’s execution. According to the MKO website, Mr. Namdari Masjedi was hanged in the Masjed-e Soleyman prison in 1988. His body was buried in a mass grave. According to the same source, his family were not informed about his execution and when they went for visitation, the officials gave a Koran, a Nahjolbalagheh, and his bloody clothes to his child and said: “You won’t see your father again. We killed him.”

 

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