Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohammad (Mostafa) Shafa'at


Age: 21
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: July 19, 1982
Location of Killing: Hamedan, Hamedan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Attempt to assassinate or assassination of state dignitaries

About this Case

Born in Hamedan, 1961. Once, when he was 20, Revolutionary Guards came to arrest him, but he wasn’t home.

The information about Mr. Mohammad (Mostafa) Shafa’at, along with two others, was announced in a communiqué of the Revolutionary Guards of Khorramabad and published in the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper on July 25, 1982. Additional information is based on an interview by ABF with a person close to him. He was born in Hamedan in 1961. He was a technical high school graduate and a sympathizer of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization. The Revolutionary Guards attempted to arrest him in his house in the early summer of 1981, but he was not home at the time.

The Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) was founded in 1965. This organization adapted the principles of Islam as its ideological guideline. However, its members’ interpretation of Islam was revolutionary and they believed in armed struggle against the Shah’s regime. They valued Marxism as a progressive method for economic and social analysis but considered Islam as their source of inspiration, culture, and ideology. In the 1970s, the MKO was weakened when many of its members were imprisoned and executed. In 1975, following a deep ideological crisis, the organization refuted Islam as its ideology and, after a few of its members were killed and other Muslim members purged, the organization proclaimed Marxism as its ideology. This move led to split of the Marxist-Leninist Section of the MKO in 1977. In January of 1979, the imprisoned Muslim leaders of the MKO were released along with other political prisoners. They began to re-organize the MKO and recruit new members based on Islamic ideology. After the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the MKO accepted the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini and supported the Revolution. Active participation in the political scene and infiltration of governmental institutions were foremost on the organization’s agenda. During the first two years after the Revolution, the MKO succeeded in recruiting numerous sympathizers, especially in high schools and universities; but its efforts to gain political power, either by appointment or election, were strongly opposed by the Islamic Republic leaders. *

Arrest and detention

Mr. Mohammad Shafa’at was arrested in Hamedan in the spring of 1982. During two months of detention, he had only one or two visits with his parents. During a visit, he told his parents: “I hope Iraqis will bomb the prison and kill us all.” According to the interviewee, the prison conditions were so deplorable that he preferred to die.


This trial took place in the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of Khorramabad. No other information is available on the trial.


According to the communiqué of the Revolutionary Guards of Khorramabad, Mr. Shafa’at was charged with “leadership of the assassination operations of Mobasher, head of the Martyr Foundation in Khorramabad, and Azim Moradi.”

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 report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant.


Mr. Shafa’at was denied the right to be represented by an attorney. No other information is available about his defense.


The Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of Khorramabad condemned Mr. Shafa’at to death and the Supreme Judiciary Council approved the sentence. Mr. Mohammad Shafa’at was executed by firing squad in Khorramabad on July 19, 1982. He was 21 years old.

The interviewee, who was living underground at the time, learned of the execution through newspapers. He called Mr. Shafa’at’s home and his father suffered a heart attack after hearing the news of his son’s execution.


*The exclusion of MKO members from government offices and the closure of their centers and publishing houses, in conjunction with to the Islamic Republic authorities’ different interpretation of Islam, widened the gap between the two. Authorities of the new regime referred to the Mojahedin as “Hypocrites” and the Hezbollahi supporters of the regime attacked the Mojahedin sympathizers regularly during demonstrations and while distributing publications, leading to the death of several MKO supporters. On June 20, 1981, the MKO called for a demonstration protesting their treatment by governmental officials and the government officials’ efforts to impeach their ally, President Abolhassan Banisadr. Despite the fact that the regime called this demonstration illegal, thousands came to the streets, some of whom confronted the Revolutionary Guardsmen and Hezbollahis. The number of casualties that resulted from this demonstration is unknown but a large number of demonstrators were arrested and executed in the following days and weeks. The day after the demonstration, the Islamic Republic regime started a repressive campaign – unprecedented in modern Iranian history. Thousands of MKO members and sympathizers were arrested or executed. On June 21, 1981, the MKO announced an armed struggle against the Islamic Republic and assassinated a number of high-ranking officials and supporters of the Islamic regime. *

In the summer of 1981, the leader of the MKO and the impeached President (Banisadr) fled Iran to reside in France, where they founded the National Council of Resistance. After the MKO leaders and many of its members were expelled from France, they went to Iraq and founded the National Liberation Army of Iran in 1987, which entered Iranian territory a few times during the Iran-Iraq war. They were defeated in July 1988 during their last operation, the Forugh Javidan Operation. A few days after this operation, thousands of imprisoned Mojahedin supporters were killed during the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988. Ever since the summer of 1981, the MKO has continued its activities outside of Iran. No information is available regarding members and activities of the MKO inside the country.

In defense: In spite of the “armed struggle” announcement by the MKO on June 20, 1981, many sympathizers of the organization had no military training, were not armed, and did not participate in armed conflict.

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