Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Zohreh Shekari


Age: 27
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: April 14, 1983
Location of Killing: Raja’i Shahr (Gohardasht) Prison, Karaj, Alborz Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Unspecified execution method
Charges: Unspecified counter-revolutionary offense
Age at time of alleged offense: 25

About this Case

News of the execution of Ms. Zohreh Shekari, child of Shahdokht and Ali Akbar, was confirmed in an Abdorrahman Boroumand Center interview (on September 5, and 12, 2018) with a person close to her. News of this execution was also transmitted to the Center through four electronic forms. Ms. Shekari is one of 430 individuals whose name appears in the “Martyrs of the Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class” list, published in the Andisheye Peykar website. This list contains the names of Pykar Organization members who have been arrested and executed after the 1979 Revolution. More than 400 individuals whose names appear on this list have been executed. Additional information about this case was gathered from the writings of a high school and college friend (August 27, 2018) and those of a fellow Peykar member (September 2, 2018).

Ms. Shekari was born on September 15, 1956, in the city of Rasht in a non-religious family. She finished 11thgrade at Forough High School in Rasht and subsequently went to Tehran to finish 12thgrade there. After obtaining her high school diploma at Kharazmi High School in 1974, she was accepted to Aryamehr University of Technology (currently named Sharif University of Technology) to study petro-chemistry. She became politically active in college and joined the Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class. Ms. Shekari moved to the city of Karaj after she was married and taught at a girls’ school in that city.

According to Ms. Shekari’s high school and college friend, “Zohreh was a studious, gracious, serious, and kind person, and her beauty, in addition to her other character traits, had made her one of the most popular students at high school. On many occasions, students from lower grades would wait for her outside the classroom to give her flowers.” (Writings of her high school friend, August 27, 2018).

One of her Peykar Organization friends described her as “a lively and energetic young woman of dazzling beauty, with big, penetrating eyes and full lips, always brewing with smiles and humor”. According to this person, “attention to the rights of children and young adults was one of Zohreh’s most important ideas, and she used methods of empowering children and their innovations in her instruction”. (Writing of her Peykar Organization friend, September 2, 2018).

In Karaj, Ms. Shekari conducted her political activities under the assumed name Naheed Rashti, along with Karaj College of Agriculture students supporting the Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class. Reading classic Marxist theory books and planning for organizing high school and college students were among their most important activities. One of the most important subjects that came up at the meetings was self-defense and fleeing government agents and supporters while selling the Organization’s publication. Ms. Shekari was in charge of watching over younger activists. In cooperation with student supporters of the Peykar Organization and other activists, she published “The Cry of Zurabad Publication” which dealt with the daily problems of the city of Karaj’s marginalized and poor neighborhood of Zurabad (Eslamabad), including dirt roads and lack of proper streets, security, water, electricity, and sewage systems. (Writing of her Peykar Organization friend, September 2, 2018).

The Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class was founded by a number of dissident members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization who had converted to Marxism-Leninism. Peykar was also joined by a number of political organizations, known as Khat-e Se (Third line). The founding tenets of Peykar included the rejection of guerrilla struggle and a strong stand against the pro-Soviet policies of the Iranian Tudeh Party. Peykar viewed the Soviet Union as a "Social imperialist" state, believed that China had deviated from the Marxist-Leninist principles, and radically opposed all factions of the Islamic regime of Iran. The brutal repression of dissidents by the Iranian government and splits within Peykar in 1981 and 1982 effectively dismantled the Organization and scattered its supporters. By the mid-1980s, Peykar was no longer in existence.

Arrest and detention

Based on available information, Ms. Shekari was arrested in late July 1981 at the Tehran [bus] Terminal. She was on her way to Rasht and was arrested by the agents while she was writing slogans on the door of a phone kiosk. Ms. Shekari had told the officers that she lived at her aunt’s (her mother’s sister’s) home. The officers took her to her aunt’s and she confirmed that Ms. Shekari lived with her. The agents then took Ms. Shekari to Evin Prison. (Boroumand Center interviews with a person close to Ms. Shekari).

Ms. Shekari was detained for two years and eight months in various prisons including Evin, Gohardasht, and the Revolutionary Guards prison in the city of Rasht. She had not been tried as an official member of the Peykar Organization until around the end of the winter of 1361 (March 1983), since her activities had been conducted under an assumed name. Subsequent to Ms. Shekari being transferred to the Revolutionary Guards Prison in the city of Rasht around March of 1983, one of her fellow Organization members at Gohardast Prison betrayed her and divulged her true identity; this caused her to be transferred back to Gohardasht Prison once again. (Boroumand Center interviews with a person close to Ms. Shekari).

Ms. Shekari was deprived of access to an attorney during her detention but was allowed visitations with her family. Ms. Shekari’s last contact with her family was on the night prior to her sentence being carried out.


A court located at the city of Karaj’s Gohardasht Prison tried Ms. Zohreh Shekari toward the end of the winter of 1361 (March 1983). (Boroumand Center interviews with a person close to Ms. Shekari). There is no information regarding her trial session(s), however.


Based on available information, Ms. Shekari was charged with membership in Peykar Organization, but there is no information regarding official charges lodged against her.

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 evidence used against Ms. Shekari was stated to have been “carrying a firearm and her fellow Organization member’s report against her”. (Boroumand Center interviews with a person close to Ms. Shekari).


A person close to Ms. Shekari who had been able to read her case file had recounted that the file stated that she was in possession of a weapon at the time of her arrest, whereas she did not have a gun at all. (Boroumand Center interviews with a person close to Ms. Shekari). No other information is available about her other defenses.


Toward the end of the winter of 1361 (March 1983), a court in the town of Gohardasht sentenced Ms. Zohreh Shekari to death. There is no information about the details of the sentence and the issuing authority.

On April 14, 1983, Ms. Shekari was executed at Gohardasht (Rajaishahr) Prison.

Based on available information, Ms. Shekari called her family on the phone the day before her execution and asked that they go visit her at Gohardasht Prison the next day in a pickup truck. When her family went to Gohardasht Prison the following day, the prison authorities gave them the address of the grave where their daughter had been buried at Karaj’s Bibi Sakineh Cemetery. The family then secretly exhumed the body to make sure it was their daughter, and took the chador with which she had been buried. They have kept the chador to this day.

Revolutionary Guards agents prevented the wake the family had organized on the seventh day of Ms. Shekari’s death from going ahead, and proceeded to arrest several of the participants. (Boroumand Center interviews with a person close to Ms. Shekari).

Ms. Shekari left a will dated April 14, 1983, written at 2:11. Ms. Shekari was 27 years old at the time of her execution.

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