Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohsen Fazel


Age: 31
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: June 21, 1981
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Unspecified anti-revolutionary offense

About this Case

The following information about Mr. Mohsen Fazel, son of Ahmad, was obtained through an interview with a person close to him, and his own writings in prison. Mr. Fazel was born in Mashhad on October 7, 1949. He was a student in Chemical Engineering at Aryamehr University and a member of the Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class. After the widespread arrest of Mojahedin in 1971, he went underground and in 1974 left for Beirut, where he was active in the Palestine movement under the pseudonym Sami. In November 1978, he returned to Iran as a member of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (Marxist-Leninist Section) and was dispatched to Lebanon briefly on a political mission in 1979. He worked for a construction company for a few months in 1979-1980.

He is one of the 430 individuals whose name appears on the list of “Martyrs of the Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class” published on the website of Peykar Andeesheh. This list contains the names of those members of the Organization who died after the Revolution of 1979. More than 400 of the individuals on this list have been executed.

This execution was also announced in the addendum of the Mojahed magazine, No. 261, published by the Mojahedin Khalgh Organization on September 6, 1985. The list includes 12,028 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.

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

On February 3, 1981, Mr. Fazel paid a visit to the passport office regarding another trip to Lebanon. On his way out of the office he was arrested by several individuals in civilian clothes. His detention location was Evin Prison where he was kept incommunicado in solitary confinement for 139 days (until his execution). Even the attorney that his family hired for him was not allowed to meet with him. Initially, the prison officials denied his existence entirely; however, three weeks later when the news of his arrest appeared on the first page of Ettela’at newspaper as well as in the Kayhan and the Jomhuri Eslami newspapers, they told his family that “he is here but not allowed to have visitors.”

At that point, his family contacted Palestinian officials in Tehran, who knew him as “Sami”, in order to obtain information about his situation. The officials responded: “we have been warned by Iranian officials to stay away from this issue.”

Mr. Mohsen Fazel has recounted the events of his arrest and his time in prison in thirty-nine pages written in prison and smuggled out of prison. He wrote about the difficult time of solitary confinement, and being deprived of newspapers, books, and even paper and pen at times: “This is my seventieth day in prison and still my status is unclear. Everyday, I have nothing to do for 14-15 hours. The first 30-40 days in solitary confinement is really terrifying. You wonder if time passes by at all, or whether you can bear with time going by so slowly”. These pages as well as his will have been published by Peykar Organization.


The details of court session(s) are not known. He has written in his notes from prison: “I’m wondering what charges will be brought up against me. Since the day my interrogator told me to wait for trial, it has already been 39 days. In his will published by Peykar Organization he’s written: “Finally after spending 139 days in solitary confinement deprived of everything, in this politically charged atmosphere, in a rush trial, I was sentenced to death.”


Mr. Fazel’s charge has been specified as “internal purges of the Mojahedin Organization.”

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.

Evidence of guilt

There is no information regarding the evidence presented against the defendant. In his will, Mr. Fazel has written about the accusation of participation in the internal purges of the Mojahedin Organization: “They brought up a charge against me which was not, and could not be, supported by any evidence. It was entirely founded on their speculations.”


No information is available on Mr. Fazel’s defense.


Mr. Mohsen Fazel was executed by a firing squad at Evin Prison on June 21, 1981.

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