Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Farhad Safapur


Age: 22
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: September 27, 1981
Location of Killing: Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Murder; Armed rebellion against the Islamic Republic

About this Case

Mr. Safapur said his and his brother’s efforts were their “duty” to Iran. A favored saying: “Life is but faith and jihad.”

Information about Mr. Farhad Safapur has been drawn from an interview with his brother. The public relations unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Prosecution Office announced his execution along with his younger brother Majid and 51 other individuals. The Jomhuri Eslami newspaper published this announcement on September 30, 1981. Mr. Safapur is also one of the 12,028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No 261), published by Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) in 1985. The list includes individuals, affiliated with various opposition groups, who were executed or killed during clashes with the Islamic Republic security forces from June 1981 to the publication date of the magazine.

Mr. Safapur was born in 1959 in Esfahan. He was a third year student of dentistry in Esfahan University. His brother remembers, “Farhad played with me… When I was a child, he sat me on his lap when he drove and he let me take control of the steering wheel… Wherever I went, I proudly stated that he was my brother… He was good-looking, warm, and friendly… My friends and I loved him… He was an athlete. He swam a lot. He also played soccer.” Mr. Safapur prayed but he believed in an Islam totally different from the Islam that the Iranian authorities preached.

Mr. Safapur was a sympathizer of the MKO and was active in the communicationdepartment. His parents were worried about his political activism. A few months prior to his brother Majid’s arrest on June 20, 1981, his parents had banned them from bringing political publications to the house. Consequently, Farhad and Majid rented a room and moved out. Their parents continued their efforts to convince them to stop their activism. After Majid’s arrest, they tried to persuade Farhad to go underground. According to the interviewee, “At that time, his friends who were politically active were being arrested one by one. There were vast group arrests. State agents raided a house and arrested everybody there.”

The demonstration of June 20, 1981 took place in protest against the Parliament’s impeachment of President Banisadr and the Islamic Republic’s systematic policy of excluding the MKO from the country’s political domain, the refusal of Ayatollah Khomeini to meet with MKO leaders and his insistence for them to disarm. The MKO had, until then, supported the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini and agreed to function within the framework of the new political system.

On June 20, the organization officially changed its policy and tried to overthrow the regime by organizing mass demonstrations, in which some of the demonstrators were armed, all over the country. These demonstrations, which were severely suppressed and resulted in the killing of dozens of demonstrators, were followed by a wave of mass arrests and executions by the Revolutionary Guards and para-military forces that targeted not only the MKO, but all other opposition groups. The massive repression, unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Republic, legitimized as official government policy the months-old state harassment and suppression of dissidents and resulted in the banning of all forms of independent political dissent.

Arrest and detention

The Revolutionary Guards arrested Mr. Safapur in July or August of 1981. One day, his family members went to visit him in his rented room. Armed Revolutionary Guards opened the door. The Safapur family realized that Farhad had been arrested but the Guards did not inform them of the reasons for his arrest. Despite the family’s visits to numerous state agencies, including police stations and Revolutionary Guards’ bases, they were unable to find Mr. Safapur’s whereabouts.

A friend of his, who was arrested and saw him in custody, told the Safapurs after his own release that Farhad tried to comfort him in detention. According to information available, he was beaten in custody. During his detention of about two months, he was held incommunicado.


According to the communiqué of the central prosecution office, Mr. Safapur was tried at the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of Esfahan. The date of the trial is not known. His family was not informed of the trial.


The central prosecution office announced that Mr. Safapur and 52 others, including his brother Majid, were collectively charged with “armed action against the Islamic Republic of Iran; terror; murder; attacking the Revolutionary Guards and Basij brothers; attacking the Basij dormitories; throwing Molotov cocktails and grenades in public places, [aiming at] cars and shops of the Revolutionary Guards, Basij, and the Hezbollahi [Party of God] people.” There is no information regarding the specific charges brought against Mr. Safapur.

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.


No information is available about Mr. Safapur’s defense in trial. He was denied having an attorney. According to his brother, “He was never armed… His activities were completely peaceful. This was a principle that our parents taught us.” Farhad and his brother insisted that their peaceful political activities were their duty to the nation.


The Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of Esfahan condemned Mr. Safapur to death. He, his brother, and 51 other persons were shot by firing squad in Esfahan on September 27, 1981. The following day at midnight, a doctor, who worked at the coroner’s office and was a friend of their father, contacted a relative informing them of the executions of the Safapur brothers. He issued death certificates for them. Their family members buried them in the Esfahan cemetery. They were not allowed to have memorial services.

His family received a will, in which Mr. Farhad Safapur wrote, “To my father, mother, sister, and brothers. I cannot say in words what I’m feeling; the feeling of joining God. I love you all…” He ended the will with a quote of Emam Hossein saying “Life is but faith and jihad.”

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