Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohammad Ja'far Azizi


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


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. Mohammad Ja’far Azizi 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 “Mohammad Safar”), and the report “The Demise of Sadeq Khalkhali” by Mansur Boluri (Iranian Political Bulletin, 30 November 2003).

Mr. Azizi was an employee of the Social Security Organization of Paveh (Kermanshah province). He lived with his mother and was not affiliated with any political party of organization.

Mr. Azizi’s execution was part of a wave of executions that took place in order to combat the “anti-Revolutionary” elements in Kurdistan 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 Kurdistan 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 Kurdistan… 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 Kurds to death in the span of 10 days. Mass executions and conflicts continued for many months in that region.

Arrest and detention

According to the interviewee, on August 18, 1979, the Revolutionary Guardsmen came to Mr. Azizi’s house in order to arrest him. They entered the house by force. His mother, Ms. Ra’na Azizi, tried to stop them and prevent her son’s arrest. She was shot and killed. Mr. Azizi, who was also wounded, was arrested and taken to Dizelabad prison of Kermanshah. Until his execution, Mr. Azizi was detained for several hours.


No information is available on the court session. The religious judge in Kermanshah denied “the rumors of execution of leftists without trial” (Kayhan).


According to Kayhan, Mr. Azizi and ten other individuals were collectively 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. Azizi. No further information is available about the evidence and witnesses’ testimony.


No information is available concerning Azizi’s defense.


The Tribunal called Mr. Mohammad Ja’far Azizi and 10 other individuals “corruptors 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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