Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Ehteram Kargar


Age: 21
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: April 28, 1982
Location of Killing: Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Unspecified counter-revolutionary offense

About this Case

Information about Ms. Ehteram Kargar is based on two electronic forms sent to Omid by persons familiar with this case. According to the existing information, she was born in Esfahan. She was single, a student at Tehran University, and a sympathizer of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization. Her name is also reflected on the website of this organization, among the victims. However, according to one electronic form, she had no political affiliation and was “a calm and smart girl.” Her will is also published on the Asreno website on September 5, 2005.        

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

Ms. Ehteram Kargar is one of the 12,028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No. 261), published by the Mojahedin Khalq Organization in 1985. The list includes individuals, affiliated with various opposition groups, who were executed or killed during clashes with 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 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 to be 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 a split with 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 Islamic Republic leaders.*

Arrest and Detention

The circumstances of Ms. Ehteram Kargar’s arrest and detention are not known. According to the information sent to Omid, she was arrested in Esfahan in 1982. According to this report, she was arrested by plainclothes agents, without any warrant or arraignment, for her personal beliefs. She was denied the right to an attorney.


No information is available on Ms. Kargar’s trial. According to the information sent to Omid, the trial of Ms. Ehteram Kargar took place at an undisclosed location in Esfahan.


No information is available on Ms. Kargar’s charges. According to her will, Ms. Ehteram Kargar-Dastjerdi was charged with sympathizing with the Mojahedin Khalq Organization.

Evidence of Guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against Ms. Kargar.


No information is available about Ms. Kargar’s defense.


No specific information is available about the defendant’s execution. According to an electronic form report, Ms. Ehteram Kargar was executed by firing squad in Esfahan on April 28, 1982. She was buried secretly at the city’s old cemetery, behind the wall of Emam Hassan Mojtab Mosque. Authorities did not allow any funeral or anniversary ceremony, and her grave stone was broken several times. According to the information published by Mojahedin Khalq, Ms. Ehteram Kargar was executed in Esfahan in 1981. According to her will, dated April 28, 1982, the execution date was April 29, 1982. 


* The exclusion of MKO members from government offices and the closure of their centers and publishing houses, in conjunction with 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 deaths 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 Guards 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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