Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Khalil Bina'i Masuleh


Age: 41
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: September, 1988
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Apostasy; Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech

About this Case

He was a Tudeh member and a three-year veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. People saw him as dignified and shy.

Mr. Khalil Bina’i Masuleh, son of Hassan, is one of the victims in the mass killings of political prisoners in 1988. Many of the executed prisoners were members or sympathizers of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization. However, members or supporters of Marxist Leninist organizations, such as the People’s Fadaiyan of Iran (Minority) or Peykar, which opposed the Islamic Republic, as well as the Tudeh Party and Fadaiyan Khalq (Majority), which did not oppose the regime, were among the victims. Complementary information has been gathered from the memoirs of Ayatollah Montazeri, reports of human rights organizations, interviews with family members, and memoirs of witnesses by the Boroumand Foundation.

Information about Mr. Bina’i Masuleh is taken from an electronic form sent to Omid by a person familiar with this case, as well as from the book The Martyrs of the Tudeh Party of Iran, published by Tudeh Party Publications. Mr. Bina’i Masuleh was born in Masuleh (Gilan province) in 1947. He graduated from the Military College with the rank of Artillery Colonel. After the revolution, he joined the Tudeh Party and served three years on the front line of the Iran-Iraq war. The sender of the electronic form states: “His father was a laborer and raised him with a lot of difficulties. He was dignified and shy. He used to say during the Iran-Iraq War, when Khoramshahr was besieged, that he wasn’t able to take off his military boots for a year and a half.”

The Tudeh Party of Iran was created in 1941. The Party ideology was Marxist-Leninist and it supported the policies of the former Soviet Union. The Party played a major role in Iran’s political scene until it was banned for the second time following the August 19, 1953 coup. After the 1979 Revolution, the Party declared Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic regime revolutionaries and anti-imperialists and actively supported the new government. Although the Party never opposed the Islamic Republic, it became the target of government attacks in 1982 when most of the Party’s leaders and members were imprisoned.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Bina’i Masuleh was arrested in his home on May 28, 1983.


Mr. Bina’i Masuleh was first tried and condemned to four years imprisonment. Whether or not a second trial condemned him to death is unknown. According to the available information, Iranian authorities did not try the victims of the 1988 mass execution in court, with defense lawyers present. Instead, the prisoners were questioned by a three-member special committee, composed of a religious judge, a representative of the Intelligence Ministry, and the Tehran Prosecutor. The committee questioned the leftist prisoners about their beliefs and their faith in God and religion.

The relatives of political prisoners executed in 1988 refute the legality of the judicial process that resulted in thousands of executions throughout Iran. In their open letter to then Minister of Justice Dr. Hassan Habibi, they argued that the official secrecy surrounding these executions is proof of their illegality. They noted that an overwhelming majority of these prisoners had been tried and sentenced to prison terms, which they were either serving or had already completed serving at the time they were retried and sentenced to death.


According to the above-mentioned book, during the three-member special committee trial the defendant was asked if he was a Muslim. He replied that everyone’s beliefs concerned only that individual. Then he was asked: “You infidel, do you accept the leadership of Emam [Khomeini]?” He replied in the negative. He was asked right then to leave his watch and ring and other belongings in a plastic bag.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this person’s execution contains no evidence provided against the defendant.


In their open letter, families of the prisoners noted that defendants were not given the opportunity to defend themselves in court. The same letter, rebutting the accusation that these prisoners (from inside the prison) had collaborated with armed members of the Mojahedin Organization in clashes with armed forces of the Islamic Republic, states that such claims “are false, considering the circumstances in prisons; for our children faced the most difficult conditions [in prison, with] visitation rights of once every 15 days, each visitation lasting ten minutes through a telephone from behind the glass window, and were deprived of any connection with the outside world. We faced such conditions for seven years, which proves the truth of our claim.”


No specific information is available about the death sentence. Mr. Khalil Bina’i Masuleh was hanged at Evin prison during the mass killings of political prisoners in September 1988.

Correct/ Complete This Entry