Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Manuchehr Nikandam


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


Date of Killing: October 25, 1980
Location of Killing: Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Printing/distributing leaflets; Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech

About this Case

Mr. Manuchehr Nikandam is one of the 430 individuals whose names appear on the list of “Martyrs of the Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class” published on the website of Andeesheh va Peykar. This list contains the names of those members of the organization who died after the revolution of 1979. More than 400 of the individuals on this list have been executed. His execution was also reported in the Peykar magazine (November 10, 1980) and the Paykargar magazine (March 1987).

Mr. Nikandam was born in 1956 in Aghajari in the south-western province of Khuzestan. He was a teacher, a husband, and a father of two. He was in charge of the Peykar Organization’s activities in Aghajari. His will, dated one day prior to his execution has been published in Peykargar.

The Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class was founded by a number of dissident members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization who had converted to Marxism-Leninism. Peykar was also joined by a number of political organizations, known as Khat-e Se (Third Line). The founding tenets of Peykar included the rejection of guerrilla struggle and a strong stand against the pro-Soviet policies of the Iranian Tudeh Party. Peykar viewed the Soviet Union as a “social imperialist” state, believed that China had deviated from the Marxist-Leninist principles, and radically opposed all factions of the Islamic regime of Iran. The brutal repression of dissidents by the Iranian government and splits within Peykar in 1981 and 1982 effectively dismantled the Organization and scattered its supporters. By the mid-1980s, Peykar was no longer in existence.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Nikandam was arrested on October 21, 1980 when the regime’s agents attacked sympathizers of the Peykar Organization during the flooding in Kuzestan.


According to the Peykar publication, Mr. Nikandam was tried in a court headed by Ayatollah Khalkhali without an indictment or a defense attorney.


According to the Andeesheh va Peykar website, Mr. Nikandam was charged with “propaganda and speaking against the Iran-Iraq War.” Peykar describes the court where Mr. Nikandam and another person were tried. The religious judge asked about his ideology and said, “Are you a communist?” The defendants answered in the positive. The judge then asked, “If released, will you continue on the same path?” The defendants answered in the affirmative once again.

Evidence of guilt

According to the information available, there was no evidence against Mr. Nikandam except for his own statements at the trial. The Peykar magazine reports that his co-defendant, Mr. Mohammad Ali Ashrafi asked the judge, “With what evidence are you trying us?” The judge replied, “There is no need for evidence. Just the fact that you went to Kordestan to fight is enough” (referring to fighting between Kurdish oppositional groups and the agents of the Islamic republic).


When the religious judge accused Mr. Nikandam and his co-defendant of taking part in the fighting in Kordestan, the latter responded, “Although it would have been an honor to fight in Kordestan, we have not gone there. You try us merely for our beliefs and love for the working class.” Ayatollah Khalkhali asked, “Why does your organization say that those internally displaced due to the war are opposed to the war? Did Emam [Khomeini] not say that we would fight until victory?” Mr. Nikandam replied that the stance of the Peykar Organization reflected the will of the people.


Mr. Nikandam was executed by firing squad in Aghajari on October 25, 1980.

In his will, dated October 24, 1980, Mr. Nikandam wrote: “Fati, my dear wife, Behrang my son, Sharareh my daughter, you were shining starts of my life… My beloved wife, do not worry too much; raise our children regardless of the problems and tell them how their father was killed. Try to be courageous in life, as courageous as you were at the time of farewell… My last word is that I do not want you to suffer thinking about me. I’m sure you will find your way, just as you have in the past. Whichever path you choose in your life, I know you will live honorably.”

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