Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohammad Esma’il Rudgarian


Age: 32
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: February 14, 1983
Location of Killing: Amol Prison, Amol, Mazandaran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Death in custody
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

The information about Mr. Mohammad Esma’il Rudgarian, son of Taqi, is based on an interview and an email sent to Omid by a person familiar with this case. The email contained the report of the Nehzat newspaper on May 2, 1985, regarding this death by torture while under custody. Without mentioning their name, the reporter quotes several officials who disclosed details about cause of death and their observation of Mr. Rudgarian’s body.

According to the information sent to Omid, Mr. Mohammad-Esma’il Rudgarian was born in Amol in 1948. He had a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Tehran University. He was popular among Amol residents and was a member of the Fadaiyan Khalq Guerilla Organization and its leadership in Mazandaran before the revolution. After the revolution, he moved to Tehran and went underground with pseudo name of Ahmad Tehrani. He was a member of the Fadaiyan Khalq Minority. His friends remember Mr. Rudgarian as an educated and persistent warrior who helped disadvantaged people.        

The Fadaiyan Khalq Organization, a Marxist Leninist group inspired by the Cuban Revolution and the urban guerilla movements of Latin America, was founded in 1971 by two communist groups opposed to the Pahlavi regime. Following the 1979 revolution, the Organization had renounced armed struggle, split over their support of the Islamic Republic and of the Soviet Union. The Fadaiyan Khalq Minority opposed the Islamic Republic and was active mainly in the political arena and the labor movement.

Arrest and detention

According to the information sent to Omid, Mr. Rudgarian was arrested by Revolutionary Guards at a rendezvous with a person in Tehran on August 8, 1982 around 6 a.m. and transferred to the Evin prison. According to the witness reports, he was tortured for three and a half months in Evin prison. He had no visitation and went on a hunger strike for two weeks. He was denied access to attorney.

After Evin, he was transferred to a prison located at Hotel Casino, occupied by Revolutionary Guards at the time, in Amol. The news of this transfer was reported by a relative who accidentally saw him from a window. According to reports of some acquaintances from the prison, Mr. Rudgarian suffered severe torture and went on a dry hunger strike for 21 days resulting in stomach bleeding. According to the information sent to Omid, his family received reports from the prison indicating Mr. Rudgarian’s inability to walk due to lashes resulted in his feet infection. After the family’s many efforts and spending a substantial amount of money, Mr. Rudgarian finally was able to visit his mother in presence of Guards for two minutes in September of 1982. According to the Nehzat newspaper, during this visitation, he told his mother “After my death, be strong and lion-hearted. I did not give up any of my comrades to these executioners and you will be honorable.”


No information is available on Mr. Rudgarian’s trial.


No information is available on Mr. Rudgarian’s charges. 

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against Mr. Rudgarian.


Mr. Rudgarian had no opportunity to defend himself.  


According to the information sent to Omid, Mr. Mohammad Esma’il Rudgarian died in Amol prison due to injuries caused by torture on February 14, 1983. However, according to the Nehzat newspaper, in the evening of this day four Revolutionary Guards took the half-dead body of Mr. Rudgarian, who wore a dirty brown prison sandal on one foot, to the old hospital in Amol. After examination, the physician in charge announced that the patient was dead. Revolutionary Guards asked him to issue a dead certificate indicating the cause of death as being killed during a clash in forest. However, the physician rejected their request stating that there was no bullet wound and the victim was probably died due to internal and brain bleeding. Then, the Revolutionary Guards took the body hastily and buried it at a cemetery designated for political prisoners at a village called Emamzadeh Qasem near Amol at night and without informing the family. The Revolutionary Guards started a rumor in Amol that Mr. Rudgarian was killed during a clash in the forest.* Four days later, authorities informed the family by phone of his death and burial location.

According to the existing information, Mr. Rudgarian’s family officially complained and requested clarification of the circumstance of his death several days later. With the persistence of the family, authorities finally agreed to exhume and autopsy the body. This was done in the presence of officials, some coming from Tehran, and the family on March 1, 1983. According to the Nehzat newspaper and what the interviewee stated, quoting witnesses presented during the exhumation, after the identity of the body, that was buried standing with bloody clothes, was confirmed, it was taken to forensics for autopsy. Revolutionary Guards tried to stop the autopsy; however, with the intervention of a cleric who was from Tehran, autopsy was performed. According to the forensics report, the cause of death was announced as “torn spleen and cerebral hemorrhage due to heavy blows of a strong cable [object].” However, according to the information sent to Omid, no one was charged regarding this death in custody. Mr. Mohammad-Esma’il Rudgarian was 34 years old.    


 * In the winter of 1982, armed members of the Ettehadieh Komonist-ha hid in a forest in the North of Iran (Jangal in Farsi) outside the city of Amol. This group, also known as the Jangal group, was involved in several clashes with the Revolutionary guards and ultimately, on January 26, attacked the city of Amol hoping to generate a general uprising.

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