Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Afsaneh Razmju


Age: 16
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: September 30, 1981
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Possession of arms; Participating in an anti-regime demonstration; Living in safe houses; Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech; Acting against state's security

About this Case

The news about execution of Ms. Afsaneh Razmju was announced by a press release by the public relations office of the prosecutor general of central branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court and was published in Kayhan newspaper on September 30, 1981. The press release, which announced the execution of 43 “anti-revolutionaries” including Ms. Razmju, read as follows: “The Muslim warrior Umma relies on Allah and the ultimate vote of revolutionary Iranians [to neutralize] the constant plots of the enemies of Islam and the Quran to overthrow the regime of the Islamic Republic. The blind-hearted leech-like [enemies] that cause riot and disturbance in the streets do so to throw you, the ever-present Umma , out of the battlefield of the struggle against the global imperialism.”

Ms. Razmju is one of the 1,533 executed prisoners listed by the Association of Iranian Women of Köln (Germany). The list published in 1997 is entitled: "A partial list of names of women executed by the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Moreover, Ms. Razmju is one of the 12,028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No 261), published in 1985 by the Mojahedin Khalq Organization. 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. Moreover, Keyhan newspaper published the news about his execution on December 28, 1981.

Additional information about Ms. Razmju was sent via two electronic forms by persons informed about this case. Ms. Razmju, daughter of Ardeshir, was born in 1965. She was an eleventh grade student in Elham high school in Tehran and a sympathizer of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization. She was 16 years old at the time of her execution.

International laws strictly prohibit capital punishment against those who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime. As a party to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran has the obligation to avoid capital punishment for an offence committed before the age of 18.

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 one electronic form, Ms. Razmju was arrested at Kharazmi high school in Tehran.


Mr. Razmju, along with 42 other individuals, were tried by the central branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Court and sentenced to death ( Keyhan newspaper).


According on the above-mentioned press release, Mr. Razmju, along with four other individuals, was charged with the following crimes: “being active members of the anti-people’s Monafeqin organization; carrying grenades with the intent to throw at people; participating in armed demonstrations; identifying the members of Hezbollah and other important persons; being present at the safe houses; providing considerable financial assistance to the Organization; being members of the operating teams and providing oil bottles and turpentine for making Molotov cocktails; providing forged license plates for automobiles in order to carryout coward acts of assassination; participating in terrorist activities; setting ablaze different vicinities; and acting against 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 Ms. Razmju.


No information is available on the accused’s defense.


According to the above-mentioned press release and the addendum to the Mojahed magazine, Ms. Razmju was executed by a firing squad on September 30, 1981 in Tehran. Based on the information in the electronic reports, the location of her execution was the Evin Prison.


* 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 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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