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

Seyed Ali Ganji

About

Age: 37
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Unknown

Case

Date of Killing: 1988
Location: Central Prison (Adelabad), Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Fatal
Charges: Actively opposing the Islamic Republic; Membership of anti-regime guerilla group

About this Case

Mr. Seyed Ali Ganji, son of Seyed Taqi and born in 1951 in Eqlid (Fars Province) was a victim of the mass killings of political prisoners in 1988. The majority of the executed prisoners were members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization. Other victims included members or sympathizers of Marxist-Leninist organizations, such as the Fadaiyan Khalq (Minority) and the Peykar Organization, which opposed the Islamic Republic, as well as the Tudeh Party and the Fadaiyan Khalq (Majority), which did not. Information about the mass executions has been gathered by the Boroumand Foundation from the memoir of Ayatollah Montazeri, reports of human rights organizations, interviews with victims’ families, and witnesses’ memoirs. The information about Mr. Ganji has been drawn from an electronic form sent to Omid by an individual familiar with this case.

Mr. Ganji taught mathematics in a high school and was affiliated with the Mojahedin Khalq Orhanization.

Arrest and detention

There is no specific information on the defendant’s arrest and detention, other than Mr. Ganji was arrested in Eqlid and taken to Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

Trial

Specific details on the circumstances of the trials that led to the execution of Mr. Ganji and thousands of other individuals in 1988 are not known. According to existing information, there was no official trial with the presence of an attorney and prosecutor. Those who were executed in 1988 were sent to a three-man committee consisting of a religious judge, a representative from the Intelligence Ministry, and a Public Prosecutor of Tehran.

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 when they were retried and sentenced to death.

Charges

According to the electronic form, Mr. Ganji was charged with “membership in the Mojahedin Khalq Organization” and “opposition to [the regime of] the Islamic Republic.”

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. Ganji’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, rebutting 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 claims “are false considering the circumstances in prisons; for our children faced most difficult conditions [in 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 regarding the execution sentence are not available. Mr. Seyed Ali Ganji was executed at Adelabad prison in Shiraz in 1988. Months after the executions, prison authorities informed the families about the executions and handed in the victims’ belongings to their families. The bodies, however, were not returned to them. The bodies were buried in mass graves. Authorities warned the families of prisoners against holding memorial ceremonies.

Correct/ Complete This Entry