Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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



Age: 19
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: August 4, 1981
Location of Killing: Behshahr, Mazandaran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Actively opposing the Islamic Republic; Membership of anti-regime guerilla group; Sedition and/ or threat to public security

About this Case

The news of Mr. Esfandiar Kamran’s execution was announced in a communiqué by the Behshahr Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office published in Jomhouri Eslami newspaper on August 6, 1981.

Mr. Esfandiar Kamran, 19, industrial worker, and a Mojahedin Khalq sympathizer 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 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.

The Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) was founded in 1965. This organization adapted the principles 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. Kamran’s arrest and detention are not known.


A Behshahr Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office communiqué published in Ettela’at on July 16, 1981 announced that the trial for Mr. Kamran and three other defendants will be held on that date. No other information is available on Mr. Kamran’s trial


The Behshahr Public Prosecutor’s Office communiqué lists the charges leveled against Mr. Kamran and two other defendants as follows: “Actively opposing the Islamic Revolution in a leadership position in support of the Hypocrites Organization, which has declared an armed struggle and rebelled against the Islamic Republic, terrorized [the public] through repeated street clashes, and caused injury to several people.” The Behshahr Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office communiqué did not mention any charges specific to Mr. Kamran and did not provide any information on the date and location of the above mentioned clashes.

Evidence of guilt

A Behshahr Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office communiqué published in Ettela’at on July 16, 1981 asked potential plaintiffs and witnesses to present the information they have on Mr. Kamran and three other defendants to the Behshahr Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The report of this execution, however, does not include any information regarding the evidence provided against Mr. Kamran


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


The Behshahr Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal found Mr. Kamran guilty of waging war against God, rebellion against the Islamic government and corruption on earth, and sentenced Mr. Kamran to death. Mr. Kamran was executed by a firing squad on August 4, 1981. Mr. Kamran was 19 years old at the time of his execution.


*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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