Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Sirus Sotudeh


Age: 42
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: August 28, 1980
Location of Killing: Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic

About this Case

The information about Mr. Sirus Sotudeh is based on an interview with a person close to him. Mr. Sirus Sotudeh was an army colonel. He was married and had two daughters and a son. He was a sympathizer of the National Resistance Movement founded by Dr. Shapur Bakhtiar after the Revolution.

Mr. Sotudeh had been arrested, trialed, and executed due to his role in the Nojeh coup. On July 11, 1980, the Islamic Republic of Iran authorities announced the discovering and dismantling of a civil and military network which had planned a coup d’état (known as the Nojeh coup) to overthrow the regime. Following this discovery, more than sixty officers and civilians were executed in several cities of Iran in less than a month. Most of the officers were still active in the army and had not been swept away in the first wave of purges which took place in the army after the fall of the monarchy.

Two months later, the organization Neqab, in a communiqué, claimed responsibility for this attempted ‘uprising.’ Neqab attested that ‘the path of Mossadeq is that of the people’ and today ‘Bakhtiar is its authentic leader.’ The communiqué stated: “We have risen up to put an end to this curse (the Islamic regime) and to entrust the affairs of our land to the faithful disciple of Mossadeq—Shapur Bakhtiar” (Iran: In Defense of Human Rights, National Movement of the Iranian Resistance, Paris, 1983).

Nureddin Kianuri, Secretary General of the Tudeh Party (the Iranian pro-Soviet communist party) mentions the coup d’état in an article dated May 2, 2000 (www.rahetudeh.com). Kianuri stresses the fact that the military branch of the Tudeh, which cooperated with the Islamic Republic's authorities, discovered and “neutralized” the above mentioned organization as well as other groups that planned a coup against the newly established regime.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Sirus Sotudeh was arrested by army soldiers at his residence in Ahvaz on July 17, 1979. After one week detention in Ahvaz, he was sent to Tehran and one week later he was returned to Ahvaz. In his 40 day detention, he was denied the right to have an attorney. His only visitation with his wife and new born took place a day before his execution. According to one of his cellmates who met his family later on, Mr. Sirus Sotudeh was battered severely during his detention period.


His trial was held in Ahvaz. Part of his trial was broadcasted on Ahvaz television. No further detail is known about the court session(s).


The charge against Mr. Sirus Sotudeh was announced as "participation in unsuccessful Nojeh coup." In an indictment dated July 19, 1980 (published in Enqelab Eslami and Jomhuri Eslami newspapers, July 20, 1980), the Public Prosecutor said the following regarding some other participants of this alleged coup d’état plan: “These enthusiasts of the Shah’s rotten, filthy, and reactionary regime, these supporters of the blood-thirsty American imperialism had in mind to bring ‘American social democracy’ as a gift to the liberated people of Iran. They had in mind to re-asses the opinion of our heroic nation about the return of the royal system through a referendum […].”

He added: “This conspiracy is not a single incident and these conspirators cannot be considered ordinary convicts. These are criminals who have undermined the newly-found truth, honor, and dignity of a liberated nation [community of Muslim people]. Considering that, and consulting the holly verses of the Quran regarding the punishment of the ‘rebel’ against the Islamic sovereign, it is imperative that the convicts receive their punishment according to the Shari’a law.”

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

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant.


No information is available about his defense.


Mr. Sirus Sotudeh was executed in public by firing squad under a bridge in Ahvaz on August 28, 1979.

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