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

Mohammadreza Rahimi

About

Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown

Case

Date of Killing: October 9, 1979
Location: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Murder of persons and/or killing Muslims or/and freedom fighters; Corruption on earth

About this Case

The execution of Officer Mohammad Reza Rahimi was reported in the Kayhan (October 9, 1979) and Enqelab Eslami dailies (October 9 & 10, 1979).

Arrest and detention

Based on the Kayhan report, the defendant explained the conditions of his arrest as follows: "I was sitting at home when they came to get me. They blindfolded me and shot in the air several times. As a result, my heart started hurting and I fainted out of fear." He explained that after an attempt to suicide, he was hospitalized and then interrogated at the police station and held in the Qasr prison.

Trial

Based on the Kayhan report, the court held a session at 10 a.m. at Evin Prison. The Enqelab Eslami reporter (October 9) mentioned that the session lasted until 1 p.m. and the court was in deliberation for a few hours after that.

Charges

Based on the Enqelab Eslami report (October 10), Mr. Rahimi was charged with the following: “Participation in the killings of June 1963 [referring to protests incited by some clerics against the Shah’s White Revolution, resulting in bloodshed and Ayatollah Khomeini’s arrest and exile]; killing at least 5 [un-named] combatants and protesters in the Molavi neighborhood, the Sirus intersection, the Bazaar, and the Barforushan and Shush squares; blackmailing; harassing people; and participation in the arrest of some of the combatants.”

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

Based on the Kayhan and Enqelab Eslami reports (October 9), 35 people testified against the defendant in the court. Of this number, some mentioned that they had seen the defendant passing by in a jeep with a machine-gun in his hand but were not certain whether or not he had used the gun and whether or not anyone was killed as a result of his shooting (except for a mule in one case). Some others testified that, when the protestors rushed to the Police Station # 6 in an attempt to take over and disarm the police, they had seen the defendant shooting at the demonstrators instead of in the air, resulting in at least one injury and one death. One of the witnesses testified that the defendant had partaken in the arrest of Tayyeb Haj Rezayi. Two others mentioned that he had warned them not to come before his gun or he would shoot them..

Defense

Based on the Kayhan and Enqelab Eslami reports (October 9), Officer Rahimi denied the charges raised against him and described the events of June 1963 as follows: "At 9 a.m. on the day of the protests, the Chief of the Police Station # 6, Major Sa'atsaz, was notified that a great number of people were moving towards Molavi Square. through Shush Sq. The Chief gathered everyone and begged them to promise to treat the protestors peacefully as long as they did not initiate an attack and to only disperse the protestors by firing in the air in case they did attack. He then gave us clubs and fire arms. About 4000 people were rushing to the Station. As they got closer, we realized that they were armed with knives, sticks, bricks, rocks, and so forth. They had set fire to all the bus ticket kiosks and also several buses on their way. They had pulled light poles out of the ground and left them out in the middle of the streets. They were planning to disarm the police. Finally, when some 400 protestors started attacking the Police Station and the telephone booths at around 10 a.m., we were ordered by the Chief to start shooting in the air to disperse the crowd. That was done and no one was hurt. After half an hour, the Chief requested a large number of armed soldiers to be sent to the help of the police. Once a group of soldiers were stationed at the Police Station and several trucks full of soldiers were sent to the streets where the protestors were, we were notified that a curfew was announced."

Regarding the arrest of Tayyeb Haj Rezayi, the defendant denied having participated in the arrest, which, he said, was carried out by the SAVAK [Shah's political police] about 7 or 8 days after the events of June 1963.

Regarding the testimonies, Officer Rahimi said: "The individuals who have testified against me today are the same people who attacked Dr. Mosadeq's [Iran’s Prime Minister 1951-1953] house and acted against him in the 1953 Coup. Now they've become devout Muslims and talk about boosting Islam. All of their accusations are false." He ended his defense statement asking the court to declare him innocent.

The reports did not refer to any opportunity for exchange between the defendant (or an attorney) and witnesses against him and did not mention whether he was given an opportunity to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as those against him.

Judgment

The Fifth Branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of the Center declared Officer Rahimi a "corruptor on earth" and sentenced him to death. He was executed at dawn.

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