Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Hamid Ruhani

About

Age: 27
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: August 16, 1981
Location: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Murder of persons and/or killing Muslims or/and freedom fighters; Armed rebellion against the Islamic Republic; Bombing; Participating in armed demonstrations; Participating in clashes with revolutionary guards and or Bassij brothers

About this Case

> News of the execution of Mr. Hamid Ruhani, son of Ali, and 22 other individuals, was published in Kayhan newspaper and Jomhuri Eslami newspaper on Tuesday, August 18, 1981, quoting the communiqué of the Office of Public Relations of the Central Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office. The names and crimes of the accused have been stated in this communiqué. Mr. Ruhani is also one of the 12028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No 261), published by Mojahedin Khalq Organization 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.

Based on available information, Mr. Ruhani a supporter 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

The circumstances of Mr. Ruhani’s arrest and detention are not known.

Trial

No information is available on the defendant’s trial. According to the communiqué of the Office of Public Relations of the Central Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, the Central Revolutionary Court tried Mr. Ruhani and 22 other individuals.

Charges

The Office of Public Relations of the Central Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office has stated the charges brought against Mr. Ruhani and 22 others as being “terrorism, destruction, bombing, attacking Revolutionary Guard and Committee brothers, participating in the terrorist and fascist affair of June 20, assaulting and injuring the Moslem people [of Iran], armed uprising against the Islamic Republic Regime.”

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 Mr. Ruhani.

Defense

No information is available on Mr. Ruhani’s defense.

Judgment

The Central Islamic Revolutionary Court declared Mr. Hamid Ruhani and 22 other individuals “Mohareb with God and His Messenger” (“One who wages war with God and the Prophet Mohammad,”) and “Baqi against Islamic Rule” (“One who has turned against Islam and Islamic Rule”) and sentenced them to death. The sentence was carried out on Tuesday, August 16, 1981, and he was shot by a firing squad at Evin Prison. Mr. Ruhani was 27 years old.

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*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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