Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Ezzat Taba'iyan


Age: 25
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: January 7, 1982
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

Information about Ms. Ezzat Taba’iyan was obtained through an interview with her husband, Mr. Majid Naficy, and from some of his writings*. The news of Ms. Taba’iyan’s execution also appeared in the appendix of Mojahed Bulletin published by the People’s Mojahedin of Iran Organization (Issue # 261, September 6, 1985). The appendix lists 12028 individuals with different political affiliations who were executed by or killed during conflict with the Islamic Republic forces from June 20, 1981 until the bulletin’s publication in 1985.

Ms. Ezzat Taba’iyan, daughter of Javad, was born in Isfahan in 1957. She was married and was a senior-year student in Physiotherapy at Tehran University. She started her political activism during the Shah’s regime, initially tending towards the Mojahedin and later joining the Marxist-Leninists. As a student activist in 1977, she made and distributed flyers with the help of her friend, protesting the regulations imposed on the Amirabad female students’ dormitory which limited the girls’ mobility at nights. These regulations failed as a result of widespread protest.

After a while, Ms. Taba’iyan extended her activities from student to worker environments. She worked at the I.D.A and Belmond pharmaceutical factory for a while in order to establish connections with workers. She joined the Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class right before the revolution in January 1979. After the revolution, she became a member of the Tehran branch of the D-D Committee (university and pre-university student committee of Peykar) and took on the responsibility of directing university and pre-university students who sympathized with Peykar. The activities organized by the Committee at that time included demonstrations, publishing and distributing student books and magazines, and mountaineering trips during which the positions and tactics of the Organization were explained to sympathizers. Arms were not used in any of these activities.

In one of his essays, Ms. Taba’iyan’s husband writes in her memory:

“You end your letter [your will] with a slogan which implies your ideological heroes, ‘with a salute to those whom I have always loved, love and shall love.’ You are dying, yet you believe that even after death you will continue to love them because ideology will survive you. Nevertheless, there is one phrase in your will which I couldn’t justify in terms of our ideology. Being afraid of my friends’ reaction, I even wanted to wipe it out. Before you signed and dated the letter, you wrote the common idiom which Iranians say when departing, ‘khoda hafez’ (goodbye), and literally means ‘may God protect you.’ I wish you had used another phrase which did not have a religious connotation. In a society where religion is the state ideology, no wonder that atheism becomes the slogan of rebellion. Political ideology may change, but ethical conviction remains. You stood up against those who wanted to take your personhood from you. This is a precious heritage for me, who can only be one of the executors of your will.” 

The Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class was founded by a number of dissident members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization who had converted to Marxism-Leninism. Peykar was also joined by a number of political organizations, known as Khat-e Se (Third line). The founding tenets of Peykar included the rejection of guerrilla struggle and a strong stand against the pro-Soviet policies of the Iranian Tudeh Party. Peykar viewed the Soviet Union as a “Social imperialist” state, believed that China had deviated from the Marxist-Leninist principles, and radically opposed all factions of the Islamic regime of Iran. The brutal repression of dissidents by the Iranian government and splits within Peykar in 1981 and 1982 effectively dismantled the Organization and scattered its supporters. By the mid-1980s, Peykar was no longer in existence.

Arrest and detention

Ms. Ezzat Taba’iyan was participating in an organizational meeting at the home of a Peykar sympathizer in Aryashahr on September 20, 1981. Information about the place had been leaked by one of the former members of the group. Around 2 P.M., the guards arrived and started arresting the participants. Ms. Taba’iyan tried to escape. Based on the information available, one of the guards shot at her but the bullet did not hit her and she was able to run out of the back door, climb the wall, and throw herself in the neighbor’s backyard, breaking her pelvis. The neighbor who was a Hezbollah supporter refused to help her and, instead, kept her in the house and called the guards.

The guards arrested Ms. Taba’iyan, who was unable to move due to her broken pelvis, and took her to Sorayya (Namdaran) Hospital. She was under treatment at this hospital for a month while the guards were not certain of her real identity. She was kept in a room in the basement of the hospital and was watched by armed guards. While hospitalized, she was able to sneak a note out to her family and give them some information about her detention, urge them to destroy any evidence of her political activities, and prepare them for questioning by the guards:

“I fled to a house, but they handed me over. Apparently he was a very important person. I told them that I fled from home because my husband hurt me. I pretended to be a thief. Now, they no longer believe me. They said, ‘You are either an important member of a group or you have been immoral and fled your home. If you do not give your address we will show you on TV.’ Anyway, I thought about two different options: either I won’t give them my address, in which case they will obviously find out everything, or I will say that my husband hurt me and I had gone to my father’s house at the end of May. […] You would say since childhood she had a nervous condition. Since marriage she didn't express her feelings to anyone, and day after day lost weight, and so on. During this time her husband did not ask for her. Whenever we asked about her he did not answer. We called him several times during the summer but got no response. We went there but he was not home. Since she would get mad we did not follow up. In short, she made us all miserable. As regards our own house, no one should go there anymore. If possible by Wednesday afternoon take out the hiking boots, if they are there. I will explain everything non-political and ordinary. You do the same. As far as his job, you would say that he is a high school teacher. I will justify other things myself. I will give them the address. I will say after I left he has leased the house and gone. Regarding the other couple in that house, I will say I don't know; they apparently wanted to go abroad. This is a risk. Sooner or later they will discover my identity. Nevertheless, I might be able to avoid execution through this process.”

“In addition, as regards our house and the fact that the other couple have gone abroad, you should inform their father. You should want them to take out all of my husband’s photos. You should match your ‘words’ with the family of my husband. For example, I have not visited them since the end of August, and so on. Regarding these two different plans, if possible, you should immediately contact my husband or one of our friends, and ask their opinion. I have to receive the response by Wednesday. Otherwise, I won't know what you have done and as a result nothing will be done. They should act without delay. If you have done something so far, let me know. The last chance is Wednesday. After that, they will act.” (http://www.iranian.com/main/2008/love-and-revolution)

The note reached her husband only too late and Ms. Taba’iyan was transferred to Ward 3000 of the former Joint Committee prison for interrogations and then to Evin Prison. She was denied any visitors during her entire detention period and her family had no information about her whereabouts.


No information is available on the defendant’s trial.


The charges brought against the defendant are not known.

Evidence of guilt

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


No information is available on Ms. Taba’iyan’s defense.


Ms. Ezzat Taba’iyan was executed on January 7, 1982 by a firing squad. The details of her sentencing are not available. On the evening of January 7, an interrogator called Ms. Taba’iyan’s father and told him that she was to be executed; he then put her on the phone to say goodbye to her father. Her inmates recounted that she was singing and reciting poetry in her last hours. They heard 52 shots as Ms. Taba'iyan, another woman, and 50 men were executed that night.

Ms. Taba’iyan’s body was not released to her parents. She was buried in Khavaran Cemetery, a graveyard specifically designated for “infidels” by the Islamic Republic, but the exact location of her burial was not made known to her parents. From the point of view of the Islamic government, the bodies of executed leftists are “unclean” (najes) because they belong to “infidels” and that is why they cannot be buried in the regular cemeteries. Ms. Taba’iyan’s father made an estimate of where she might have been buried by measuring the field step by step, but they were not allowed to mark her grave in any way. In her will Ms. Taba’iyan writes: “Life is beautiful and desirable. Like others, I loved life too. However, there comes a time when one must say goodbye to life. For me that moment has arrived and I welcome it. I have no specific bequest; I want only to say that life’s beauties are never forgettable. Those who are alive should try to get the most out of their lives.”




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