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

Amir Mir'arab Bayegi

About

Age: 34
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married

Case

Date of Killing: 1988
Location: Iran
Mode of Killing: Unspecified execution method
Charges: Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech; Apostasy

About this Case

Information regarding Mr. Amir Mir’arab Bayegi was obtained through interview with one of his relatives. Further information was provided by the cellmate of Mr. Mir’arab Bayegi’s wife (in 1984). Mr. Mir’arab Bayegi’s name (spelled Amir Arab) also appears in the book Koshtar-e ‘67 [Massacre of ‘88] by Dr. Mas’ud Ansari.

Mr. Amir Mir’arab Bayegi was a member of the Tudeh Party in the last years of his life. He started his political activity by opposing the monarchy as a university student during the Shah’s time. He was a student at the Sharif University of Technology. He was arrested in the 1970s and spent three years in prison. Once released, he joined the groups that later developed into the organization “Rah-e Kargar” [Worker’s Path] of which he, then, became a member. In 1980, he parted ways with Rah-e Kargar and joined the Tudeh Party.

The Tudeh Party of Iran was created in 1941. The Tudeh ideology was Marxist-Leninist and it supported the former Soviet Union's policies. The Party played a major role in Iran's political scene until it was banned for a second time following the August 19, 1953 coup. After the 1979 Revolution, the Tudeh declared Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic regime revolutionaries and anti-imperialists and actively supported the new government. Although the Party never opposed the Islamic Republic, it became the target of its attacks starting in 1982 when most of the Party's leaders and members were imprisoned. Most of the victims of the mass execution of political prisoners in the summer of 1988 were members or sympathizers of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI, also known as MKO). However, members or supporters of Marxist Leninist organizations such as the People’s Fedaiyan of Iran (Minority) or Peykar, which opposed the Islamic Republic, and the Tudeh Party and Fadaiyan Khalq Majority, which did not oppose the regime, were also among the victims.

Other members of Mr. Mir’arab Bayegi’s family were also arrested in the Islamic Republic. In 1981, his mother and sister were arrested. His wife, who according to her cellmate was no longer politically active, was arrested a few months after Mr. Mir'arab Bayegi in the spring of 1984 along with their nine-month-old son. The baby spent two months in a small cell in Evin Prison’s Ward 209. Then, because he cried so much, the mother had to send him out to her family while he was still nursing. She spent several months in custody.

Arrest and detention

There is no specific information on the defendant’s arrest and detention.

Trial

Specific details on the circumstances of the trials that led to the execution of Mr. Amir Mir’arab Bayegi and thousands of other individuals in 1988 are not known. According to the available information, the Iranian authorities did not try the victims of the 1988 mass execution in a court with in the presence of a defense lawyer. The prisoners who were executed in 1988 had been questioned by a three-member special committee, composed of a religious judge, a representative of the Intelligence Ministry, and the Tehran Prosecutor. The committee questioned the leftist prisoners about their beliefs and their faith in God and religion.

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 already 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 has been publicly leveled 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 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.

Defendants, who did not belong to the Organization named by the leader of the Islamic Republic, may have been accused of being “anti-religion” for not having renounced their beliefs.

Evidence of guilt

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

Defense

No information is available on Mr. Mir’arab Bayegi’s defense. In their open letter, the families of the prisoners noted that defendants were not given the opportunity to defend themselves in court. The same letter, refuting the accusation that these prisoners (from inside the prison) had collaborated with armed members of the Mojahedin Organization in clashes with armed forces of the Islamic Republic, states that such claim “are false considering the circumstances in prisons; for our children faced most difficult conditions [in the prison, with] visitation rights of once every 15 days, each visitation lasting ten minutes through a telephone from behind the glass window, and were deprived of any connection with the outside world. We faced such conditions for seven years, which proves the truth of our claim.”

Judgment

The details of the sentence remain unknown. According to a person close to Mr. Mir’arab Bayegi, his mother noticed while receiving his belongings from the prison that his watch had been stopped deliberately at a particular time and date. She believes that her son had stopped his watch at the time of his execution to let his family know when it had happened. The officials did not return his body to his family. Based on the information that the families of those executed in the summer of 1988 were able to gather, the bodies of leftist prisoners were buried in mass graves in Khavaran Cemetery.

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