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

Eshaq Hajmaleki

About

Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Unknown

Case

Date of Killing: September, 1988
Location: Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech; Apostasy

About this Case

Mr. Eshaq Hajmaleki is one of the victims in the mass killings of political prisoners in 1988. The majority of the executed prisoners were members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO). In addition to members of those Marxist-Leninist organizations oppose to the Islamic Republic, activists of organizations such as the Tudeh Party and the Fedaiyan Khalq (Majority) that were not against the Islamic Republic, were also among the victims of this mass killings.

The following information about Mr. Hajmaleki is taken from the book The Tudeh Martyrs, copyright 2001 by The Tudeh Party of Iran publications. He joined the Tudeh Party after he graduated from the university. He was arrested once during the previous regime. He migrated to the US after his release and lived there until the 1979 Revolution.

The Tudeh Party of Iran was created in 1941. The Tudeh's ideology was Marxist-Leninist and it supported policies of the former Soviet Union. The Party played a major role in Iran's political scene until it was banned for the second time following the August 19, 1953 coup. After the 1979 Revolution, the Tudeh Party declared the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic regime revolutionaries and anti-imperialists and actively supported the new government. Although the Tudeh Party never opposed the Islamic Republic, it became the target of government attacks beginning in 1982 when most of the Party's leaders and members were imprisoned.

Arrest and detention

The circumstances of this defendant’s arrest and detention are not known. Mr. Eshaq Hajmaleki was arrested in 1983.

Trial

Mr. Eshaq Hajmaleki was tried and condemned to seven years imprisonment. There is no information about the trial. Also, there is no specific information about the circumstances of such trials that condemned this defendant and thousands of other political prisoners to death in a few months period.

The relatives of political prisoners executed in 1988 refuted the legality of the judicial process that resulted in thousands of executions throughout Iran. In their 1988 open letter to then- Minister of Justice Dr. Habibi, they argued that the official secrecy surrounding these executions is proof of their illegality. They noted that an overwhelming majority of these prisoners had been tried and sentenced to prison terms, which they were either serving or had already completed serving at the time they were retried and sentenced to death.

Charges

No charge was publicly levelled against the defendant. In their letters to the Minister of Justice (1988), and to the UN Special Rapporteur visiting Iran (February 2003), the families of the victims refer to the authorities' accusations against the prisoners – accusations that may have led to their execution. These accusations include being "counter-revolutionary, anti-religion, and anti-Islam," as well as being "associated with military action or with various [opposition] groups based near the borders."

An edict of the Leader of the Islamic Republic, reproduced in the memoirs of Ayatollah Montazeri, his designated successor, corroborates the reported claims regarding the charges against the executed prisoners. In this edict, Ayatollah Khomeini refers to the PMOI's members as "hypocrites" who do not believe in Islam and "wage war against God" and decrees that prisoners who still approve of the positions taken by this organization are also "waging war against God" and should be sentenced to death.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution contains no evidence provided against the defendant.

Defence

In their open letter, the families of the prisoners noted that defendants were not given the opportunity to defend themselves in court. Against the assertion that prisoners were associated with guerrilla troops operating near the borders, the families submitted the isolation of their relatives from the outside during their detention: "Our children lived in most difficult conditions. Visits were limited to 10 minutes behind a glass divider through a telephone every two weeks. We witnessed, over the past seven years, that they were denied access to anything that would have allowed them to establish contacts outside their prisons' walls." Under such conditions the families rejected the goernment’s claim that these prisoners were able to engage with the political groups outside Iran.

It is possible that the prisoners who were members of organizations other than the Mojahedin Khalq were charge for being "anti religious" and were condemned for insisting on their beliefs.

Judgment

No specific information is available about the defendant’s execution. Mr. Eshaq Hajmaleki was hanged during the mass killings of political prisoners in September 1988.

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