Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Asghar Mohkami


Age: 33
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: November 4, 1982
Location of Killing: Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Extrajudicial shooting
Charges: Unspecified anti-revolutionary offense

About this Case

Mr. Asghar Mohkami is one of the 12,028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No 261), published by Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) on September 6, 1985. The list includes individuals, affiliated with various opposition groups, who were either executed or killed during clashes with the Islamic Republic security forces from June 20, 1981 to the publication date of the magazine.

Additional information about Mr. Mohkami was sent to the Boroumand Foundation through an electronic form by a person familiar with this case. According to this information, Mr. Mohkami was born in Kangavar in 1949. He was married and had a son. Mr. Mohkami graduated from Tehran University with a philosophy major and used to be a teacher before being expelled. He was a sympathizer of the MKO and a political prisoner during the Pahlavi regime.

The following information about Mr. Mohkami came from the MKO website. According to this website, Mr. Mohkami was active in MKO public relations, the Taleqani publications, street discussions and proselytization. He participated in the MKO meetings and chanted slogans before speeches. Mr. Mohkami went underground after the June 20, 1981 demonstration* and was on his way to Kordestan province to a new MKO mission when he was killed. According to this website, on November 4, 1982, while visiting his aunt’s house, around the Fourth Square of Tehran Pars, Mr. Mohkami was identified and shot to death by the members of the Revolutionary Guards.

Mr. Asghar Mohkami’s name is in Omid along with victims of violations of human rights by the Islamic Republic of Iran, because in 1981 and 1982 there were numerous cases where the government agents shot at unarmed individuals as they attempted escape and caused their death.

The 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.

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.


* The demonstrations on June 20, 1981, took place to protest the Parliament’s efforts to dismiss President Banisadr, it’s rejection of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization’s candidates as well as it’s prohibition of that group to participate in politics. They also protested Ayatollah Khomeini’s opposition to meet with Mojahedin and his insistence for their disarmament. The Mojahedin Khalq Organization had supported the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini and tried to be a part of the new political system until June 20, 1981. On that day, they changed their policy and tried to overthrow the regime by organizing mass demonstrations throughout the country. These demonstrations were severely suppression resulting in the killing of dozens and a wave of mass arrests that went on for months. The intensity of the suppression was unprecedented in the history of the Islamic Republic and became the official policy of the government.

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