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

Shokrollah Kalantari

About

Age: 39
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Married

Case

Date of Killing: October 11, 1979
Location: Najaf Abad, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Anti-revolutionary offense; Fighting against the revolution/blocking the path of God; Murder of persons and/or killing Muslims or/and freedom fighters; Rape
Age at time of offense: 39

About this Case

was executed while he was serving four years of imprisonment sentence.

Information about the execution of Mr. Shokrollah Kalantari, son of Ali, along with another person* was published in Keyhan Newspaper on October 11, 1979. Additional information in this regard was obtained through Abdorrahman Boroumand Center’s interviews with an informed person December 3, 2017 and March 30, 2018 (ABC interview), an ABC interview with a resident of Najaf Abad, a report published in the Etela’at Newspaper, a report by a group of lawyers** (Lawyer’s Report), ABC’s research, and documents available at ABC.

Mr. Kalantari was born in 1940 in the city of Dehagh in Esfahan Province. He was married and had children. His army rank was Sergeant Major and before the Islamic Revolution he was the Head of the Gendarmerie of Tiran County in Esfahan province. 

Before the Islamic Revolution, Mr. Kalantari was the Head of the Gendarmerie of Tiran County in Esfahan province and his army rank was Sergeant Major.

Background

A majority of the citizens of Najaf Abad were opposed to the Pahlavi government. Some of the influential leaders of the revolution were from this city. In December 1978 (Muharram 1399), in the chaos preceding the revolution, events detailed below occurred in the city of Najaf Abad, which, after several months and with the victory of the Islamic Revolution, lead to the arrest of Mr. Dadkhah Tirani along with the head of the Gendarmerie in Tiran. These individuals were then charged with involvement in these incidents (ABC interview).

According to the news published on the events of the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th of Muharram, 1399 (December 11, 12, 13 and 14, 1978), a report by a group of lawyers on this matter and ABC interviews, it is inferred that the events in Najaf Abad can be separated into three episodes:

1) Muharram 10th, 1399 (December 11, 1978): According to available information, a group of young people in Najaf Abad pulled down the statue of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in the main square of the city on this day (ABC interview).

2) Muharram 11th and 12th, 1399 (December 12 and 13, 1978): After the statue of the Shah was pulled down, a group of officers including municipal police and SAVAK (Organization of National Intelligence and Security) agents from the city of Najaf Abad along with a number of residents of the city of Yazdanshahr (a city near Najaf Abad with a mostly Lur population) in a punitive operation, identified the revolutionaries in the city, attacked their houses and stores, burned some of their houses and stores as well as the city’s bazaar, broke many stores’ windows and plundered them, and assaulted many people in Najaf Abad and killed some of them (ABC interview and Lawyers’ Report).

3) Muharram 13th, 1399 (December 14, 1978): A large number of people from villages and towns near Najaf Abad (including Tiran County) were persuaded and organized by government officers to stage a stret protest in favor of the government in Esfahan. One of the residents of Tiran, who was a witness to the event, estimates that several thousand people in a long line of cars drove towards Esfahan. They carried pictures of the Shah and the flag of Iran and shouted “Long Live the Shah”. Military vehicles, at the beginning and end of the line, escorted and directed the cars. The caravan entered the city of Najaf Abad, passing toward Esfahan without any conflict. On the way out of the city of Najaf Abad, a number of tanks and military vehicles blocked the road, preventing the cars from going forward and forcing them to return. The eyewitness added that as the caravan was heading back, some Najaf Abad residents attacked the cars by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, which the military responded to by shooting (ABC interview).

The information obtained from the informants and residents of Tiran and Najaf Abad about these incidents in Najaf Abad during the above-mentioned dates and the extent of the involvement of the residents of Tiran in these events is conflicting. According to a resident of Najaf Abad, on Muharram 13th (December 14) an intense clash occurred between Tiran and Najaf Abad residents and many residents of Tiran were injured by Najaf Abad residents and, according to this eyewitness, a number of injured people from Tiran escaped and took refuge in the eyewitness’ father’s home. However, an interviewee from Tiran, who was an eyewitness during the incident, denied those claims and stated that no one from Tiran was injured or killed on Muharram 13th (December 14( (ABC interview).

The Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan tried Mr. Kalantari and the other defendant in the case in one session.

Arrest and detention

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

Trial

The Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan tried Mr. Kalantari in one session on June 26, 1979. At the trail session, which started at 6:00 PM and lasted until 8:00 PM, Mr. Kalantari was tried simultaneously with the other defendant in the case (ABC interview).

About five months later, Mr. Kalantari was transferred from the prison in Esfahan to Najaf Abad, and the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad tried him again on the same evidence (ABC interview).

According to available information, Mr. Kalantari did not have access to a lawyer during his trial.

About five months later, the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad tried Mr. Kalantari again on the same evidence.

Charges

The charges brought against Mr. Kalantari included the mobilization of people wielding clubs who attacked Najaf Abad on Muharram 12th, 1399 (December 13, 1978), assisting the other defendant in the case with breaking the store’s windows, plundering the stores, assaulting people, torturing several people and ordering the torture of some people, as well as taking bribes (Verdict issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan on July 2, 1979).

On October 11, 1979, Keyhan Newspaper cited a list of charges for both Mr. Kalantari and the other defendant in the case, who were tried simultaneously. The charges included “harassment of oppressed people, beating people, forcible seizure of people’s property with the cover of dictatorial power, rape, mobilization of people wielding clubs, torture of [revolutionary] devotees, and participating in numerous murders” (Keyhan Newspaper). It is noteworthy that in this news, the charges against Mr. Kalantari were not mentioned specifically and distinctly.

The validity of the criminal charges brought against these defendants cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.

In the news of this execution, the charges against Mr. Kalantari were not mentioned specifically and distinctly.

Evidence of guilt

The “testimony of witnesses and the complaints of the plaintiffs” were used as evidence against Mr. Kalantari.

Defense

There is no information available on the details of Mr. Kalantari’s defense. However, it is incontrovertible that his name is never mentioned in reports on the Najaf Abad clash.

On October 11, 1979, Keyhan Newspaper referred to the trial of Mr. Kalantari and the other defendant in the case conducted by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan, and the sentence which was issued by that court. However, the news further cited a retrial by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad, and reported: “Yesterday (a day before the execution), the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad ended its review of the cases of two agents of the former regime” and sentenced them again. However, an informed person interviewed by ABC rejected the claim that Mr. Kalantari was tried a second time by the Najaf Abad Revolutionary Court.

Mr. Kalantari's name is never mentioned in reports on the Najaf Abad clash.

Judgment

On July 2, 1979, the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad sentenced Mr. Shokrollah Kalantari to death. However, Mr. Kalantari had been previously tried at the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan and sentenced to four years of imprisonment and permanent dismissal from governmental offices.

On October 11, 1979, Mr. Shokrollah Kalantari was executed along with the other defendant in the case by firing squad in Najaf Abad Prison.

The transfer of Mr. Kalantari from Esfahan to Najaf Abad and the issuance of his death sentence by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad were done despite the fact that the spokesman of the Revolutionary Court in Esfahan stated, “The Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan will try both defendants again only if new complaints against these two defendants are filed. If there is a new complaint against them, it is necessary for it to be filed at the court. The new trial will be held based on new complaints and new charges. Regarding their previously committed crimes, the court’s order is valid and will not be renewed” (Documents available at ABC).

Mr. Kalantari was 39 years old at the time of execution.

________________________________________

*   Mr. Ebrahim Dadkhah Tirani
** A report by a group of lawyers on the events of Najaf Abad – Iran history website: On December 16, 1978, a group of lawyers from Tehran, including (1) Dr. Mohammad Taqi Damqani- attorney at law and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bar Association, (2) Ahmad Sadr Haj Seyed Javadi- Attorney at law, (3) Mir Shams Shahshahani- Deputy Head of a Central Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, and (4) Kazem Kashef- Deputy of General Inspection Organization, the special agent of the Ministry of Justice, and a representative of the Bar Association, reported their observations and discussions with the authorities and the residents of Najaf Abad during a trip lasting a few hours: https://bit.ly/2JDHrjN

Correct/ Complete This Entry