Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Ahmad Ra'uf Basharidust


Age: 23
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: August, 1988
Location: Orumieh, Azarbaijan-e Gharbi Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: War on God, God's Prophet and the deputy of the Twelfth Imam; Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech

About this Case

Information regarding the execution of Mr. Ahmad Ra’uf Basharidust was drawn from the Bidaran website and the web site of the MKO.

Mr. Ra’uf Basharidust was born in Rasht. He was a student at the Rasht Arts High School and a sympathizer of the MKO. He was active within the Organization and had an underground life. He was arrested once, in April of 1982, by the Revolutionary Guards at a Mojahedin base in Rasht. They transferred him to the Guards' prison. He was detained in various prisons for five years before his release. During this period, he was tortured and spenty some time in solitary confinements. According to the Mojahedin website, his mother protested him being held in an adult detention center, while still being a juvenile, but, she was told by the religious judge that Mr. Ra’uf Basharidust was to stay in prison because he was very active in the MKO and a militia commander. After his release, Mr. Ra'uf Basharidust intended to join the Liberation Army in Iraq (those members of the Mojahedin who were in Iraq to fight against the Islamic Republic) but, was not successful.

Arrest and detention

The circumstances of this defendant’s arrest and detention are not known. According to the MKO website, Mr. Ra’ud Basharidust was arrested again at the end of 1987 or the beginning of 1988. All his family’s efforts in trying to find the location of his detention were futile.


There is no information about the trail sessions or its location. 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 refute 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 argue that the official secrecy surrounding these executions is proof of their illegality. They note 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.


No charge has been 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.

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 the defendant’s defence. In their open letter, the families of the prisoners note that defendants were not given the opportunity to defend themselves in court. Against the assertion that prisoners were associated with guerrillas’ operating near the borders, the families submit 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 during 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 reject the claim of the authorities that these prisoners were able to engage with the political groups outside Iran.


No specific information is available about the defendant’s execution sentence. Mr. Ra'uf Basharidust was executed during the mass killings of the political prisoners in August of 1988. According to the MKO website, three years later, the officials of the Information Ministry told his family that he was executed in Orumieh. They refused to offer any information about his burial place.

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