Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Abdorreza Purbakhtegan


Age: 18
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: September 6, 1981
Location of Killing: Fasa, Fars Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic; Living in safe houses

About this Case

The news regarding Mr. Abdorreza Pur Bakhtegan’s execution was published in Keyhan and Jomhuri Eslami’s newspapers on 08 September 1981. A press release by the Revolutionary Guards of Fasa, which was included in this same news, stated that Mr. Pur Bakhtefan was an active member of “Monafeqin” (a term the Islamic government used to refer to the followers of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization – literary meaning hypocrites) and was chased by the Revolutionary Guards for a while. The Revolutionary Guards thereby “ask the deceived members of these groups to repent and come forward before being arrested.”

Mr. Pur Bakhtegan is also one of the 12,028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No 261), published by Mojahedin Khalq Organization in 1985. The addendum lists 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.

Supplemental information about Mr. Pur Bakhtegan was sent to the Boroumand Foundation via an electronic form by a person informed about his case. According to this information, Mr. Pur Bakhtegan, son of Ja’far, was born in Shiraz in 1963. He was a high school student and a sympathizer of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization.

The Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) was founded in 1965. This organization adapted the principals 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

According to the information sent by the electronic form, Mr. Pur Bakhtegan was arrested by the Revolutionary Guards in Shiraz and was then transferred to Fasa for interrogation and detention.


No information is available on Mr. Pur Bakhtegan’s trial.


According to Keyhan newspaper, Mr. Pur Bakhtegan was charged with membership in the safe houses and acting to overthrow the Islamic Republic.

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this accused cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution did not provide any specific information on the evidence presented against Mr. Pur Bakhtegan.


No information is available on Mr. Pur Bakhtegan’s defense.


The Islamic Revolutionary Court of Estehbanat sentenced Mr. Bur Bakhtegan to death and his sentence was carried out on September 6, 1981 in Fasa ( Keyhan newspaper). The information in the addendum to the Mojahed magazine and the information sent via the electronic form match this date. Based on the addendum to the Mojahed magazine, he was executed by a firing squad.


*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.

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