Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Majid Vesali


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: August 25, 1980
Location of Killing: Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Unspecified offense

About this Case

The information about Mr. Majid Vesali has been drawn from an interview with a relative. This execution was announced in the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper on August 26, 1980. His name is also mentioned in the list of individuals who were executed in relations to the attempted Nojeh coup, published by Namir political group. This list contains more than 150 names. Additional information has been taken from the Public Prosecutor’s indictment dated July 19, 1980 (published in the Enqelab Eslami and Jomhuri Eslami newspapers a day later).

The interviewee said: Mr. Vesali was a “good young man… he had become a doctor recently and worked in Shahreza [Esfahan province].” He was 30 to 33 years old. His mother-in-law and brother-in-law (Ms. Bibi Farokh Nikbakht and Lieutenant Naser Rokni) were also executed for links to the attempted Nojeh coup.

According to available information, the planners of the Nojeh coup were members of the armed forces and the Iran Party (social democrat and part of the Iranian National Front) who opposed the religious rule and believed in the separation of church and state. The core of the coup d’état plan was to fly aircrafts from Nojeh base in Hamedan and bomb some military targets as well as the residence of Ayatollah Khomeini. Another team was to take over the radio-television building in Tehran in order to announce the coup and expose the motives to the population.

On July 9, 1980, the Islamic Republic of Iran authorities announced the discovering and dismantling of a civil and military network which had planned the coup d’état to overthrow the regime. Two months later, the organization Neghab, in a communiqué, claimed responsibility for this attempted ‘uprising.’ The Organization attested that ‘the path of Mossadegh is that of the people’ and today ‘Bakhtiar is its authentic leader… We have risen up to put an end to this curse [the Islamic regime] and to entrust the affairs of our land to the faithful disciple of Mossadegh – Shapur Bakhtiar’” (Iran: In Defense of Human Rights, National Movement of the Iranian Resistance, Paris, 1983).

Following the discovery of the plan for the coup, more than sixty officers and civilians were executed in several cities of Iran in less than a month. Most of the officers were still active in the army and had not been swept away in the first wave of purges which took place in the army after the fall of the monarchy. Executions of individuals involved in the Nojeh coup continued in the months and years to come; at least 200 persons were executed in relations to the coup.

Nureddin Kianuri, Secretary General of the Tudeh Party (the Iranian pro-Soviet communist party) mentioned the coup d’état in an article dated May 2, 2000 posted on the Rah-e Tudeh website. Kianuri stressed the fact that the military branch of the Tudeh Party, which cooperated with the Islamic Republic’s authorities, discovered and “neutralized” the above mentioned Organization as well as other groups that planned a coup against the newly established regime.

Arrest and detention

No information is available on the circumstances of Mr. Vesali’s arrest and detention other than he was arrested about 20 days prior to her execution (interview).


Mr. Vesali was tried at a Special Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal in Esfahan on August 23, 1980, along with three other individuals (Jomhuri Eslami).


The Jomhuri Eslami newspaper reported that Mr. Vesali “was directly link to Naser Rokni [his brother-in-law]; he brought the latter to his house and forwarded news [to another individual named] Manuchehr Karimi; he transported cash and paid individuals and purchased arms; and he participated in meetings with persons who lived in safe houses.”

In an indictment dated July 19, 1980, the Public Prosecutor said the following regarding some other participants of this alleged coup d’état plan: “These enthusiasts of the Shah’s rotten, filthy, and reactionary regime, these supporters of the blood-thirsty American imperialism, had in mind to bring ‘American social democracy’ as a gift to the liberated people of Iran. They had in mind to re-asses the opinion of our heroic nation about the return of the royal system through a referendum […].”

The Public Prosecutor added: “This conspiracy was not planned in a vacuum and hence cannot be described in a single indictment; and these conspirators cannot be considered ordinary convicts… Considering that and by consulting the holy verses of the Koran regarding the punishment of the ‘rebel’ against the Islamic sovereign, it is imperative that the convicts receive their punishment according to the Shari’a law.”

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

The newspaper report did not provide any specific information on the evidence presented against the defendants.


No information is available regarding the defense. Mr. Vesali was denied the right to be represented by an attorney. The interviewee stated that his only crime was making his car available to persons involved in the coup, in some meetings.


The Special Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal in Esfahan condemned Mr. Vesali to death. He was shot by a firing squad in Esfahan in the evening of August 25, 1981 (Jomhuri Eslami).

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