Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Shahriar Razi


Age: 29
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Unknown


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

About this Case

Mr Shahriar Razi, a member of the Ranjbaran Party, is one of the victims of the 1988-89 mass execution of political prisoners in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Many of the executed prisoners were members or sympathizers of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI also known as MKO). However, members or supporters of Marxist Leninist organizations such as, the People’s Fadayian of Iran (minority) or Peykar, which opposed the Islamic Republic, and the Tudeh Party, which did not oppose the regime, were also among the victims.

Additional information about Mr. Razi, born in Tehran in 1959, is gathered from a book titled Siavoshan, “Remembrance of the Ranjbaran Party of Iran’s Martyrs” by Baqer Mortazavi, Germany, copyright 1999.

The main body of the Ranjbaran Party consisted of the members of the Revolutionary Organization of Tudeh Party which was formed outside of Iran after the coup d’état of 1953. This organization was opposed to the Soviet Union as Social Imperialists, and the Tudeh party as its agent. They were followers of Mao Tse-tung.

Arrest and detention

There is no detailed information about the defendant’s arrest and detention. Mr. Razi was arrested in Tehran in 1985.


The circumstances that led to this defendant's execution are unknown. However, 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 at the time they were retried and sentenced to death.


No charge was publicly levelled against the defendant. 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 – accusations that 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 PMOI's 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.

The defendant, who did not belong to the organization named by the leader of the Islamic Republic, may have been accused of being "anti-religion" for not having renounced his or her beliefs.

Evidence of guilt

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


In their open letter, the families of the prisoners note that defendants were not given the opportunity to defend themselves in court. Against the assertion that prisoners were associated with guerillas operating near the borders, the families submit the isolation of their relatives from the outside during their detention: "Our children lived in most difficult conditions. Visits were limited to 10 minutes behind a glass divider through a telephone every two weeks. We witnessed during the past seven years that they were denied access to anything that would have allowed them to establish contacts outside their prisons' walls." Under such conditions the families reject the claim of the authorities that these prisoners were able to engage with the political groups outside Iran.


No sentence was issued publicly. According to the existing information, Mr. Razi was hung in September of 1988 along with hundreds of other prisoners.

Correct/ Complete This Entry