Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Hossein Lame'i


Age: 31
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: October 3, 1988
Location of Killing: Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech

About this Case

Mr. Hossein Lame’i, son of Ali, is one of the victims in the mass killings of political prisoners in 1988. The majority of the executed prisoners were members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO). Other victims included members or sympathizers of Marxist-Leninist organizations, such as the Fedaiyan Khalq (Minority) and the Peykar Organization, which opposed the Islamic Republic, as well as the Tudeh Party and the Fedaiyan Khalq (Majority), which did not. Information about the mass executions has been gathered by the Boroumand Foundation from the memoir of Ayatollah Montazeri, reports of human rights organizations, interviews with victims’ families, and witnesses’ memoirs.

The information about Mr. Lame’i is taken from an electronic form that a relative has sent to Omid, as well as the book The Martyrs of the Tudeh Party of Iran by the Tudeh Party publications. Mr. Lame’i was born in Behshahr on September 11, 1957. He worked as a lathe operator in Tehran (electronic form). He was a member of the Tudeh Party of Iran (Tudeh book).

The Tudeh Party of Iran was created in 1941. The Tudeh Party ideology was Marxist-Leninist and it supported policies of the former Soviet Union. The Party played a major role in Irans 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 leaders and members were imprisoned.

Arrest and detention

The details of this defendant’s arrest and detention are not known. Mr. Lame’i was arrested in a November morning in 1986 in Tehran (electronic form). He was kept in Evin prison (Tudeh book).


Mr. Lame’i was tried and condemned to four years imprisonment. Specific details on the circumstances of the trials that led to the execution of Mr. Lame’i and thousands of other individuals in 1988 are not known. According to existing information, there was no official trial with the presence of an attorney and prosecutor. Those who were executed in 1988 were sent to a three-man committee consisting of a religious judge, a representative from the Intelligence Ministry, and a Public Prosecutor of Tehran. This committee asked the leftist prisoners some questions about their beliefs and whether or not they believed in God.

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 1988 open letter to then Minister of Justice Dr. Habibi, they argue that the official secrecy surrounding these executions is proof of their illegality. They note 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 when they were retried and sentenced to death.


At the first trial, the charges against Mr. Lame’i have been reported as: “membership of the Tudeh party, cancelling organizational meeting and only then informing the interrogators of them, attempting to resume activities of the Tudeh party” (electronic form). No charge has been publicly levelled against the victims of the 1988 massacre. In their letters to the Minister of Justice (1988) and to the UN Special Rapporteur visiting Iran (February 2003), the families of the victims refer to the authorities’ accusations against the prisoners, which may have led to their execution. These accusations include being “counter-revolutionary, anti-religion, and anti-Islam,” as well as being “associated with military action or with various [opposition] groups based near the borders.”

An edict of the Leader of the Islamic Republic, reproduced in the memoirs of Ayatollah Montazeri, his designated successor, corroborates the reported claims regarding the charges against the executed prisoners. In this edict, Ayatollah Khomeini refers to the MKO members as “hypocrites” who do not believe in Islam and “wage war against God” and decrees that prisoners who still approve of the positions taken by this organization are also “waging war against God” and should be sentenced to death.

It is possible that the prisoners who were members of organizations other than the Mojahedin Khalq were charge for being “anti-religion” and were condemned for insisting on their beliefs.

Evidence of guilt

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


In their open letter, the 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 most difficult conditions [in prison] and they were deprived of any connection with the outside world. They had ten-minute visitations every 15 days, conducted through a telephone from behind the glass divider. We faced such conditions for seven years, which proves the truth of our claim.”


No specific information is available about the defendant’s execution. Mr. Hossein Lame’i was hanged during the mass killings of political prisoners on October 3, 1988.

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