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

Jean-Michel Jamme

About

Age: 25
Nationality: France
Religion: Unknown
Civil Status: Unknown

Case

Date of Execution: July 8, 1980
Location: Paris, France
Mode of Killing: Shooting (extrajudicial)
Charges: Unspecified offense

Human rights violations in this case

Extrajudicial killings


Since the inception of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, national and international human rights organizations have blamed the Islamic Republic authorities for the extrajudicial killing of their opponents, both within and outside of Iran's borders. Although over two hundred cases have been reported, the exact number of victims remains unknown.

Extrajudicial executions carried out in Iran are rarely investigated; the few cases that have been investigated have indicated that the Iranian state security apparatus has been involved. Agents of the Islamic Republic have also targeted dissidents outside the country, assassinating opposition members in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and in the United States,.

In many assassination cases outside Iran, local authorities have made no arrests. However, investigations, when they have taken place and been made public, have led to the single hypothesis of State ordered crimes. The organization and execution of these crimes constitute a pattern that Swiss prosecutor Roland Chatelain describes as “common parameters” following a “meticulous preparation.” Similarities between different cases in different countries have created a coherent set of presumptions designating the Islamic Republic as the instigator of these assassinations.

 

In cases involving prominent Iranians assassinated in France, Germany, and Switzerland, local prosecutors have provided evidence linking Iranian authorities to the crimes in question.

 

In France, for example, the Iranian Deputy Minister of Telecommunications has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the 1991 murder of two dissidents. In Germany, agents of Iran's secret services and Lebanese Hezbollah have been convicted for the 1992 murder of four dissidents in Berlin. Currently, the Islamic Republic's Minister of Information and Security at the time of this murder is under an International arrest Warrant launched by German judicial authorities for his involvement.

 

The German court in Berlin found that Iran's political leadership ordered the murder through a "Committee for Special Operations," whose members reportedly include the Leader of the Islamic Republic, the President, the Minister of Information and Security, and other security officials.



The Islamic Republic’s officials have claimed responsibility for some of these assassinations while denying involvement in others. In the 1980s, Iranian authorities justified extrajudicial executions of dissidents and members of the former regime and actively worked for the release of Iranians and non-Iranian agents who were detained or convicted in the West for their involvement in those killings. During the 1990s, they systematically denied any involvement in extrajudicial killings and often credited the killings to infighting amongst the opposition.

 

Still, the rationale supporting these killings was articulated as early as in the spring of 1979 when the First Revolutionary religious judge publicly announced the regime's intention to carry out extrajudicial executions. He said:

 

“no state has the right to try as a terrorist the person who kills [exiles] in foreign lands, for this person is implementing the verdict issued by the Islamic Revolutionary tribunal.”

 

More than a decade later, in August, 1992, the Minister of Intelligence and Security publicly boasted about the success of Iran's security forces, alluding to the elimination of dissidents:

 

"We have been able to deal blows to many of the mini-groups outside the country and on the borders...."

Human rights violations

Based on the available information, the following human rights have been violated in this case:

  • The right to liberty and security of the person. The right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention.

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 9.1.

  • The right not to be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honor and reputation.

    UDHR, Article 12, ICCPR, Article 17.1.

  • The right not to be punished for any crime on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time it was committed.

    UDHR, Article 11.2; ICCPR, Article 15, Article 6.2.

  • The right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, including the right to change and manifest one’s religion or belief.

    UDHR, Article 18; ICCPR, Article 18.1, ICCPR, Article 18.2; Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, Article 1 and Article 6.

    In its general comment 22 (48) of 20 July 1993, the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee observed that the freedom to "have or to adopt" a religion or belief necessarily entailed the freedom to choose a religion or belief, including the right to replace one's current religion or belief with another or to adopt atheistic views, as well as the right to retain one's religion or belief. Article 18, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights bars coercion that would impair the right to have or adopt a religion or belief, including the use of threat of physical force or penal sanctions to compel believers or non-believers to adhere to religious beliefs and congregations, to recant their religion or belief or to convert.

  • The right to freedom of opinion and expression, including the right to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas.

    UDHR, Article 19; ICCPR, Article 19.1 and ICCPR, Article 19.2.

About this Case

An armed receptionist, of sorts, for guests of former prime minister Bakhtiar in his Neuilly sur Seine apartment. M. Jamme was there to screen and protect.

Jean-Michel Jamme is one of two individuals killed in the assassination attempt of Shapur Bakhtiar, which took place on July 18, 1980, in the suburb of Paris, Neuilly sur Seine.

Information concerning this assassination attempt was collected by the French press (Le Figaro July 19, 1980, France Soir July 18, 1980 and July 19, 1980, Le Monde July 19, 1980, February 27, 1982, March 5, 1982, March 12, 1982, L’Express from June 14 to June 20, 1980 and of July 26 August 1, 1980).

A five-member terrorist commando group composed of a Lebanese Christian, Anis Naccache, an Iranian member of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, Nejad Tabrizi, a Palestinian, Fawzi El Satari, and two individuals, Salah Eddine El Kaara and Mohamed Jenab, of either Syrian or Lebanese descent according to different sources, carried out the July 18, 1980, attack at the apartment building in Neuilly sur Seine where Mr. Bakhtiar resided.

The commando group arrived at the building at 8:45 am, carrying silencer guns and press cards from the newspaper L’Humanite (affiliated to the French Communist Party). The police officers assigned to Bakhtiar’s protection allowed them to enter the building's lobby where Jean-Michel Jamme was in charge of informing Bakhtiar of visitors through the lobby's intercom. He was shot before he could call Bakhtiar’s apartment. The commandos then reached the second floor where Bakhtiar’s apartment was located and mistakenly knocked on his neighbor’s door. The commandos shot Yvonne Stein dead as soon as she opened the door, and also wounded her sister. When the commandos finally rang the door bell of Bakhtiar’s apartment, the latter’s cousin, suspicious of the early-hour visit, attached the door’s security chain before opening it. The commandos shot through the door crack but failed to gain access to the apartment and complete its mission.

The members of the commando group were arrested as they were leaving the building. They were detained and interrogated by French police. At all stages of the judicial process, they claimed responsibility for their acts. They were charged with murder by the Criminal Court of Hauts de Seine, which held hearings from February 5 to March 10, 1982. The accused refused to attend their trial (except for one hearing), deeming the Court incompetent, since, according to them, ‘only Allah is a judge’. All the members of the commando group were sentenced to life imprisonment except for Fawzi El Satari who was sentenced to twenty years.

Jean-Michel Jamme’s name is in OMID with victims of human rights violations by the Islamic Republic of Iran, because the available information indicates that he was shot by agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the course of the assassination attempt against Shapur Bakhtiar, for which Iranian authorities later claimed responsibility.

During the only hearing he attended, the head of the commando group, Naccache, argued that the assassination plan was based on a verdict issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal in Tehran. ( Le Monde, March 10, 1982)

Mr. Bakhtiar’s assassination attempt was claimed immediately on July 19, 1980 in a communiqué issued by the Revolutionary Guards and read on the official Radio-Tehran.

In an interview given to L’Express magazine published during the week of June 14-20, 1980, Ayatollah Khalkhali, designated by Khomeini as the Head of the Islamic Revolutinary Tribunal, stated that Bakhtiar was on his blacklist and that a commando unit was in charge of killing him (p 141).

Le Figaro on July 19, 1980, also mentioned the blacklist in which Bakhtiar’s name follows some relatives of the former Shah. Khalkhali said: "I have sent a commando unit to get him, he can not escape us".

Furthermore, in an interview given to the newspaper Le Monde on December 1, 1992, Anis Naccache explained that "At the time, killing the former prime minister under the Shah was a political necessity and legally justified".

Anis Naccache made headline news again during a bombing campaign that hit France between February1985 and May 1986 that killed 14 and injured 335 people. Responsibility for these attacks was claimed by Islamist groups close to the Lebanese Hezbollah, which received ideological guidance and logistical support from the Islamic Republic. After the bombings, those responsible called for the liberation of three people imprisoned in France, including Anis Naccache of the Jihad (Didier Bigo in Culture and Conflicts n°4 (1992) pp. 147-173).

On July 27, 1990, President Mitterand pardoned Anis Naccache, the leader of the commando group and his accomplices. Naccache left for Tehran and reportedly has lived between the Iranian capital and Beirut ever since. On August 6, 1991 Shapur Bakhtiar, and his assistant, Soroush Katibeh, were assassinated in Suresnes (a Paris suburb where Bakhtiar had lived since the 1980 attempt on his life). The assassination was carried out by members of the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards Corps. 

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