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

Hossein Shiani

About

Age: 28
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married

Case

Date of Killing: August 19, 1979
Location of Killing: Central Prison (Dizelabad), Kermanshah, Kermanshah Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Corruption on earth; War on God, God's Prophet and the deputy of the Twelfth Imam

About this Case

Information about Mr. Hossein Shiani has been drawn from an interview with a relative, the book Sahifeh-ye Emam by Ayatollah Khomeini, volume 9, the book Ayam-e Enzava (Times of Solitude) by Ayatollah Khalkhali, the Kayhan newspaper dated 19 and 23 Aug. 1979 (in which his name was mistyped), the report “The Demise of Sadeq Khalkhali” by Mansur Boluri (Iranian Political Bulletin, 30 November 2003), the report Murder at Mykonos published by the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.

Mr. Shiani was a graduate of the agricultural vocational school of Kermanshah and was a teacher. He was affiliated with the Kordish Democratic Party of Iran.

Mr. Shiani’s execution was part of a wave of executions that took place in order to combat the “anti-Revolutionary” elements in Kordestan region. Following the negotiations between the PDKI and the interim prime minister, several clashes occurred, at times armed, between the Revolutionary Guards and the peshmerga (the militia of the PDKI) particularly in the cities of Sanandaj (Kordestan province) and Paveh (Kermanshah province). These intensifying conflicts between the new central Shiite government of Iran and the mainly Sunni region of Kordestan concerned the role of minorities in the drafting of the constitution, specification of Shiite as the official state religion, and particularly the autonomy of the region.

Subsequent to conflicts that resulted in some casualties, on August 18, 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini issued an order to the military and the armed forces to “move to Paveh and end the fighting…” In the same order, he encouraged them to use force and threatened that: “if they do not move toward Paveh within 24 hours with missiles and tanks and all necessary arsenals, I will hold them accountable. And in case of any infringement of this order, I will treat them in a Revolutionary manner” (Sahifeh-ye Emam, p. 285). On August 19, Ayatollah Khomeini called the PDKI the “party of Satan” and declared it “unofficial and illegal” noting that some of these “anti-Islamic” individuals had boycotted the referendum of April 1, when people went to polls to vote for or against the Islamic regime (ibid p. 311).

In accordance with Khomeini’s order, Ayatollah Sadeq Khalkhali traveled the western region of Iran and told a reporter from the Ettela’at newspaper: “I will visit all areas of Kordestan… and will bring to justice anybody who was involved in these bloody plots” (Times of Solitude p. 96). According to Mr. Boluri, Ayatollah Khalkhali condemned at least 58 Kords to death in the span of 10 days. Mass executions and conflicts continued for many months in that region.

The Kordish Democratic Party of Iran (PDKI) was founded in 1945 with the objective to gain autonomy for Kordestan, in north-west of Iran. After the Revolution, conflicts between the new central Shiite government and the mainly Sunni Kordestan, regarding the role of minorities in the drafting of the constitution, specification of Shiite as the official state religion, and particularly the autonomy of the region, ended in armed clashes between the Revolutionary Guards and the peshmerga (the militia of the PDKI). The PDKI boycotted the referendum of April 1, when people went to polls to vote for or against the Islamic regime. On August 19, 1979 Ayatollah Khomeini called the PDKI the “party of Satan” and declared it “unofficial and illegal.” Mass executions and fighting broke out and continued for several months in the region. By 1983, PDKI had lost much of its influence in the region. Various leaders of the PDKI have been assassinated.

Arrest and detention

According to the interviewee, nearly a thousand of residents of Paveh had gathered in an area known as Qal’eh Quri (on the road between Kermanshah city and Paveh) in protest to state violence against Kords and endangering their lives. This sit-in, which lasted for almost two weeks, ended on August 18, 1979, when state authorities attacked Paveh and armed struggles broke out in the city.

Mr. Shiani was one of the activists of this sit-in. Due to his epilepsy, he left Qal’eh Quri a few days prior to the end of the sit-in. He was identified and arrested as he rode on a minibus to Kermanshah and was detained in Dizelabad prison of Kermanshah. The date of the arrest was August 14 or 15, 1979.

During his detention, Mr. Shiani was held incommunicado. In an interview that was published on August 23, the religious judge in Kermanshah denied the rumors that prisoners were tortured and prohibited the families from visiting the prisoners: “I request the families to look after their children and watch for any anti-Revolutionary behavior or activity. [I also ask them] not to follow up with the cases of their children and let the Revolutionary Tribunals carry out their functions” (Kayhan August 23, 1979).

Trial

Mr. Shiani’s trial took place in Dizelabad prison. The religious judge in Kermanshah denied “the rumors of execution of leftists without trial” (Kayhan August 23, 1979).

Charges

According to Kayhan, Mr. Shiani was charged with “corruption on earth and being at war with God and his prophet.”

Evidence of guilt

The newspaper report refers to “interrogation” and “testimony of witnesses” as evidence against Mr. Shiani.

Defense

No information is available concerning Shiani’s defense. He was denied the right to an attorney.

Judgment

The Tribunal called Mr. Hossein Shiani and 10 other individuals “corrupt on earth and at war with God and his prophet” and condemned them to death. They were shot by a firing squad at 2:40 a.m. on August 19, 1979 in Dizelabad prison.

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