Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Farshad Chechani


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Unknown
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: October 12, 2018
Location of Killing: Huli 3-way, Paveh, Kermanshah Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Extrajudicial shooting
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

Joint explanation of the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN, or Network) and the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights in Iran (ABC, or Center): This case is a part of the collaborative documentation of the Kurdistan Human Rights Network and the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center. The Kurdistan Human Rights Network intends to gradually document cases of extrajudicial executions of Kurdish citizens and activists. For this purpose, the network has used the experiences and research methodology of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, which has been active in the field of documenting human rights violations in Iran for many years. The report of this case and subsequent reports will be published in the "documentation" section of the Kurdistan Human Rights Network website and the "Omid Memorial" of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center. Some of the original and follow-up interviews used in this documentation were conducted by the Center, some by the Network, and some in collaboration.

Information related to the case of Mr. Farshad Chechani, the son of Maliheh Shah-Moradi and Esmaeil Chechani, has been obtained through interviews conducted with an eyewitness present on the scene immediately after the incident (October 13, 2018), with an informed source (February 18 and 19, 2022), a civil society activist from Paveh (May 9, 2023), and a former ward-mate (May 3, 2022). Additional information was sourced from IRNA news agency (October 13, 2018), ISNA news agency (October 13, 2018) and various websites including Giareng (January 3, 2019), Deutsche Welle (July 10, 2019), the official website of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (February 16, 2016), Kurdistan Media (October 13, 2018), the website of the Kurdistan Human Rights Network (October 13, 2018), the official website of the PDKI (October 13, 2018), the Telegram channel of Kurdpa (October 12, 2018), Akam News (October 22, 2018) and Bultan News (October 17, 2018).

Mr. Chechani was born in 1979 in a large family in the city of Paveh, Kermanshah Province. He completed his primary and secondary education in the Sardarreh neighborhood of the same city. Mr. Chechani did not lead a prosperous life and had various occupations, including working as a construction worker, farmer, and walnut picker. He was also an irrigation manager outside the city of Paveh. He frequently traveled between the city and the villages, especially before sunrise, when gardens are usually watered (Interview with an informed source, February 18 and 19, 2022, and with a former ward-mate, May 3, 2022).

Mr. Chechani was unmarried and was the sixth child in a family of ten. He had been summoned and interrogated several times by security authorities due to his communication with individuals affiliated with the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI). He was detained for political reasons at least once in 1998. Mr. Chechani was also detained for a few months in 2009 on charges of possessing alcoholic beverages, and he was acquitted after proving his innocence. He was described by his acquaintances as a popular, reserved, self-contained, well-read, and politically sensitive individual. Mr. Chechani was not a member of any political organization (Interview with a former ward-mate, May 3, 2023). 

Background on the Formation of the Kurdistan Democratic Party 

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) was established on August 16, 1945, with the goal of achieving autonomy for Iranian Kurdistan. According to the party's charter, this political organization was founded based on "national ideas and the organizational structure of the Society for Kurdish Resurrection (KJK), with a realistic and contemporary approach." The party was founded by a prominent Kurdish figure, Qazi Muhammad. KJK was the founder of the Republic of Kurdistan in Mahabad. The Republic of Kurdistan existed from January 22, 1946, to December 15, 1946, and ultimately fell after 11 months. After going through a period of armed struggle in the 1960s, marked by internal disputes, the party eventually re-emerged as a political party on the verge of the Iranian Revolution. In 2006, due to internal disputes, the party split into two organizations: the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (HDK). After 15 years of separation, these two parties announced their reintegration on August 22, 2022.

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. 

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.

Extrajudicial Killing of Mr. Farshad Chechani

According to available information, Mr. Farshad Chechani was targeted and killed on Friday, October 12, 2018, at 8:00 AM local time in a recreational area near the city of Paveh, at the beginning of the Bidmeiri dirt road, during a confrontation between the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) forces and members of a Kurdish opposition party. According to an informed source in Paveh, before the clash, the special forces of the Revolutionary Guards, armed with semi-heavy weapons, had surrounded the area where the Democratic Party's peshmargas were present with non-military vehicles. In images released by unofficial government sources, bullet marks from light and semi-heavy weapons can be seen on the walls of the building where the clashes took place (Report of KHRN, October 13, 2018; Interview with an eyewitness present on the scene immediately after the incident, October 13, 2018; Telegram of Kurdpa, October 12, 2018). 

The PDKI, in an official statement, reported the killing of two of its members, Shaho Veysi and Zanyar Eslami, and the killing of three IRGC members. The party also confirmed the death of an ordinary civilian named Farshad Chechani (Kurdistan Media and Official Website of the PDKI, October 13, 2018). Government sources also confirmed the occurrence of the clash and the deaths of two members of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan and one ordinary civilian but did not provide information about the casualties among their forces (IRNA news agency and ISNA news agency, October 13, 2018).

Based on reports and available information, Mr. Chechani was hit by at least two bullets. The first bullet hit his leg, and the second bullet hit his side or heart area. It appears that the second bullet was fired after Mr. Chechani fell from the motorcycle due to the impact of the first bullet. He then attempted to change his position, but he was targeted again by security forces (Interview with an informed source, February 18 and 19, 2022).

Although the Ministry of Intelligence initially claimed responsibility for the clashes in a statement, eyewitnesses and those close to Mr. Chechani stated that he was killed by bullets from the central command of the IRGC in Javanrud, Kermanshah Province (Interview a civil society activist from Paveh, May 9, 2022). The security website Bultan News also reported the parties of the clash as "military security forces of the country" and armed members of a Kurdish opposition party (Bultan News, October 17, 2018).

Regarding the  reasons for Mr. Chechani’s presence in the area, the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan announced he had gone there to recreate (Kurdistan Media, October 13, 2018). An informed source also said that Mr. Chechani “was occupied with work managing the irrigation of the gardens of Veymir [Bidmeiri] before his death, and was in the area with the intent to work” (Interview with a former ward-mate, May 3, 2022).

Mr. Chechani's body was handed over to his family and was buried in a ceremony attended by family and friends at the Haji cemetery in Paveh. The funeral ceremony for Mr. Chechani took place on October 13,  2018, at the Shohada Mosque in the city (Interview with an informed source, February 18 and 19, 2022).

Government Reaction

Apart from the official statement by the Ministry of Intelligence, in which the clash between the "Anonymous Soldiers of Imam Zaman" (a term used to identify the  Islamic Republic's intelligence agents) and a "separatist terrorist group in the western region of the country" was confirmed, other government bodies and official authorities did not directly react to this confrontation. However, media outlets close to security institutions, such as Bultan News and Akam News, reported on the details of the clash, framing it as a military security success. These reports also emphasized Mr. Chechani's affiliation with the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan and described him as a "human shield" (Bultan News, October 17, 2018; Akam News, October 22, 2018).

Family's Reaction

According to available information, Mr. Chechani's family has not pursued action regarding his murder case in Iranian judicial courts.

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