Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Hamid Reza Chitgar


Age: 38
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: May 19, 1987
Location of Killing: Vienna, Austria
Mode of Killing: Extrajudicial shooting
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

He loved good food, was an industrious engineer, and was especially close with his father.  Just before the Revolution, Mr. Chitgar opened a publishing business for both political and non-political purposes.

The information about Mr. Hamid Reza Chitgar is based on an interview with a person close to him. He was born in Babol (Mazandaran province) in 1949 and had a daughter. He was an engineer and worked for the Esfehan Steel Company and other private companies. About one year before the Revolution, he went to Strasbourg, France, with a scholarship to obtain a master’s degree. A month before the Revolution, he returned to Iran and opened a publishing house. He is remembered for his love of life and of good food as well as his attachment to his family and his father in particular. He was curious and adventurous but did not follow others blindly. He did not believe in underground life and his active political life never distanced him from his family.

Mr. Chitgar was a member in the leadership of the Hezb-e Kar (Labor Party). During his stay in France, he distanced himself from the idea of armed resistance. He was once arrested by the Revolutionary Guards in March, 1981 for the publications of his publishing house (which published political and non-political materials). He was taken to Evin and soon taken back to his printing house in order to lure other political activists. He was able to escape and lived underground for 6 months before fleeing to France in 1983 where he obtained political asylum. He was the representative of the Labor Party in the National Resistance Council and was a member of the Council before his assassination.

Hezb-e Kar (Labor Party) was founded in 1978 as a result of a breach in the Tufan Party, which had itself split from the Tudeh Party of Iran. The Iran Labor Party calls itself Marxist-Leninist and communist. It supports the overthrow of the Islamic Republic and the establishment of a proletarian dictatorship. The Party believes that following the death of Stalin, who had established the dictatorship of the proletariat in its true sense, the Soviet Union became a social imperialist country. The Iran Labor Party is a member of the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations. It is based in Germany and publishes the magazine Tufan.

According to the interviewee, a man named Ali Amiztab’ corresponded with Mr. Chitgar from Iran a couple of years before his murder and established a regular contact with him. In his letters, he wrote about establishing a group of sympathizers of the Labor Party in Iran. Finally, he asked to meet Mr. Chitgar in person and set up a meeting in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Chitgar who never traveled alone and did not trust his interlocutor tried to find friends to travel with him. For various reasons, no one was available and Mr. Chitgar decided to go alone. On May 19, 1987 he traveled to Vienna to meet with this man.

According to the interviewee, his wife didn’t receive any news from him and after a few days, began to look for him and alerted the Austrian police. The efforts of His wife and family proved fruitless until the neighbors of the apartment, where Mr. Chitgar was murdered, complained about the odor and police discovered his body on July 17, two months after the murder. He had been shot twice in the back of his head. According to the Austrian police, the apartment had been rented by an individual with a Turkish passport for three months. The rent has been paid in full. The efforts of the family’s lawyer to encourage the investigation and obtain more information were not successful. The Austrian authorities noted that investigation in the case of Mr. Chitgar’s assassination was difficult because the agent of the Islamic Republic had a Turkish passport and did not need a visa to come to Austria. No other information was given to the family.

The assassination was widely reported in the local press and caused a wave of protests by Iranian and European political groups. Mr. Hamid Reza Chitgar’s body was buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris on August 8, 1987.

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