Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Ata Feizi


Age: 25
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: February 12, 1997
Location of Killing: Sarchinar Bridge, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq
Mode of Killing: Unspecified extrajudicial method
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

Mr. Feizi was described by his friends as “courageous, well-spoken, and empathetic” and as someone who had performed his Party missions “with strong belief [in the mission] and extremely successfully”.

Information regarding the extrajudicial killing of Mr. Ata Feizi, son of Abdolkhaleq, was obtained from a list of the Kudistan Democratic Party members who were killed at the hands of the Islamic republic, available on Kurdistan Media website, the Party’s official website (March 10, 2019), and the Kurds residing in America for Democracy and Human Rights website, the Life of a Peshmerga (March 12, 2007). 

Mr. Feizi was born on August 26, 1972, in an old neighborhood in the town of Saqez in Kurdistan province. He finished his elementary and high school education in that same town but did not continue his studies for certain reasons, and started working in a mechanic’s shop. Mr. Feizi was sent to serve his mandatory military service in 1992, but ran away after completing basic training and joined the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan in 1993. (The Life of a Peshmerga, March 12, 2007).

Mr. Feizi was described by his friends as “courageous, well-spoken, and empathetic” and as someone who had performed his Party missions “with strong belief [in the mission] and extremely successfully”. (The Life of a Peshmerga, March 12, 2007). 

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) was founded in 1945 with the goal to gain autonomy for Kurdistan, in north-western Iran. After the Revolution, conflicts between the new central Shiite government and mainly Sunni Kurdistan regarding the role of minorities in the drafting of the constitution, specification of Shiite as the official state religion, and particularly the autonomy of the region, ended in armed clashes between the Revolutionary Guards and the peshmerga (the militia of the PDKI). The PDKI boycotted the referendum of April 1, 1979, when people went to polls to vote for or against the Islamic regime. On August 19, 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini called the PDKI the “party of Satan” and declared it “unofficial and illegal.” Mass executions and fighting broke out and continued for several months in the region. By 1983, the PDKI had lost much of its influence in the region. In the years since various leaders of the PDKI have been assassinated. Following internal disputes, the party split in 2006 and two organizations were established as “The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan,” and “The Democratic Party of Kurdistan.”

Background of Extrajudicial Killings by the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran has a long history of politically motivated violence in Iran and around the world. Since the 1979 Revolution, Islamic Republic operatives inside and outside the country have engaged in kidnapping, disappearing, and killing a large number of individuals whose activities they deemed undesirable. The actual number of the victims of extrajudicial killings inside Iran is not clear; however, these murders began in February 1979 and have continued since then, both inside and outside Iran. The Abdorrahman Boroumand Center has so far identified over 540 killings outside Iran attributed to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Dissidents have been assassinated by the agents of the Islamic Republic outside Iran in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, India, and Pakistan in Asia; Dubai, Iraq, and Turkey in the Middle East; Cyprus, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Great Britain in Europe; and the United States across the Atlantic Ocean. In most cases there has not been much published and the local authorities have not issued arrest warrants. But documentation, evidence, and traces obtained through investigations conducted by local police and judicial authorities confirm, however, the theory of state committed crimes. In certain cases, these investigations have resulted in the expulsion or arrest of Iranian diplomats. In limited cases outside Iran, the perpetrators of these murders have been arrested and put on trial and the evidence presented, revealed the defendants’ connection to Iran’s government institutions, and an arrest warrant has been issued for Iran’s Minister of Information.

The manner in which these killings were organized and implemented in Iran and abroad, is indicative of a single pattern which, according to Roland Chatelin, the Swiss prosecutor, contains common parameters and detailed planning. It can be ascertained from the similarities between these murders in different countries that the Iranian government is the principal entity who ordered the implementation of these crimes. Iranian authorities have not officially accepted responsibility for these murders and have even attributed their commission to internal strife in opposition groups. Nevertheless, since the very inception of the Islamic Republic regime, the Islamic Republic officials have justified these crimes from an ideological and legal standpoint. In the spring of 1979, Sadeq Khalkhali, the first Chief Shari’a Judge of the Islamic Revolutionary Courts, officially announced the regime’s decision to implement extrajudicial executions, and justified the decision: “ … These people have been sentenced to death; from the Iranian people’s perspective, if someone wants to assassinate these individuals abroad, in any country, no government has any right to bring the perpetrator to trial as a terrorist, because such a person is the implementing agent of the sentence issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Court. Therefore, they are Mahduroddam and their sentence is death regardless of where they are.” More than 10 years after these proclamations, in a speech about the security forces’ success, Ali Fallahian, the regime’s Minister of Information stated the following regarding the elimination of members of the opposition: “ … We have had success in inflicting damage to many of these little groups outside the country and on our borders”

At the same time, various political, judicial, and security officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran have, at different times and occasions, confirmed the existence of a long term government policy for these extrajudicial killings and in some cases their implementation. *

Threats against Mr. Ata Feizi and his death

According to available information, on February 28, 1997, Mr. Ata Feizi was given the mission by the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan to go to Soleimanieh in order to check on the condition of Abbas Badri, the son of  Khalifeh Sa’eed, a member of the Party. Mr. Badri had disappeared a few days earlier after having gone to the Soleimanieh hospital for medical reasons. The attackers, who appear to have been two individuals, identified Mr. Feizi that same day in front of Bainjan Camp in the Bazian Region as he was getting into a taxi. When they arrived at the Stop and Search station on the Bakhtiari – Soleimanieh Road, the said individuals found an excuse to get him out of the taxi and kidnapped him. Two days later, Mr. Feizi’s body was found under the Sarchenar Bridge in Soleimanieh. On March 16, 1997, Soleimaniah’s Security Patrol Administration contacted the Democratic Party’s headquarters and asked them to come to the morgue in order to identify a body. Upon arrival at the morgue, Party officials were shown Mr. Feizi and Mr. Badri’s lifeless bodies that bore extensive signs of torture. (The Life of a Peshmerga, March 12, 2007). 

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan ascribed Mr. Fezi’s murder to the Iranian government and recorded his name in “the list of [Kudistan] Democratic Party members who were killed at the hands of the Islamic republic”. (Kurdistan Media, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan’s official website, March 10, 2019). Mr. Feizi was buried in the Bainjan Martyrs Cemetery in Soleimanieh’s Bazian Region on March 15, 1997[O1] , in the presence of Party officials and several family members. (The Life of a Peshmerga, March 12, 2007). 

Iranian Officials’ Reaction

Iranian government officials have not reacted to Mr. Fezi’s killing. The murder did not receive any media coverage. 

Family’s Reaction

There is no information regarding what legal steps Mr. Feizi’s family has taken about his murder. 


*Read more about the background of extrajudicial killings in the Islamic Republic of Iran by clicking on the left hand highlight with the same title.

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