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

Hushang Mohammad-Rahimi

About

Age: 32
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: 1992
Location of Killing: Iran
Mode of Killing: Unspecified execution method
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

He thought of leaving Iran, though opportunities didn’t develop easily.  He taught on his own, keeping in mind a move to the Mojahedin Khalq Ashraf camp in Iraq.

Information about Mr. Hushang Mohammad-Rahimi, son of Jalil, was taken from an interview with a relative (London, February 7, 2011).

Mr. Mohammad-Rahimi was born into a politically active family. He studied architecture in Tehran’s Polytechnic University (renamed Amir Kabir University of Technology). After the 1979 revolution, he became a sympathizer of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO)* and started political activism in the Muslim Student Association of Polytechnic University, which was affiliated with the MKO. As the tensions between the MKO and the newly formed government of the Islamic Republic increased, Mr. Mohammad-Rahimi was arrested by agents of the regime in his university’s dormitory in 1980. He was released soon after.

As political oppression entered a new phase in June 1981, agents of the state attacked the Mohammad-Rahimi house on Adib Street, on July 29, 1981. They arrested Hushang, his brother Ebrahim, his sister Soheila, as well as their parents. His other sister Mehrangiz, another brother Aziz, and his nephew, 15-year-old Hossein Majidi, were also arrested in 1981.

Aziz was executed less than a month after his arrest. Hossein Majidi died due to torture in 1981. Soheila and Mahrangiz were executed during the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. Ebrahim and Hushang were both condemned to ten years in prison and were released in 1991. The stories of Soheila, Mehrangiz, Aziz, and Hossein are documented in Omid.

Those close to Mr. Hushang Mohammad-Rahimi remember him as a quiet, patient, and calm young man. He loved hiking and playing soccer. He helped his cellmates and taught them math in prison. According to the interviewee, after his release, he wanted to finish studying architecture, but the admission office of the Polytechnic University denied him admission because of his political background and banned him from studying. He searched for a job. But he continued to face obstacles. For example, state institutions rejected his applications because of his political background, and private institutions expressed concern that hiring him might lead to problems for their institutions and therefore refused to hire him. Consequently, Mr. Mohammad-Rahimi started to tutor math, Arabic, and English. Before he disappeared, he had told the interviewee that he intended to flee Iran and go to the MKO Ashraf camp in Iraq.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Mohammad-Rahimi was secretly arrested and detained. In the summer of 1992, one day he left the house and never returned. His relatives believe that he was kidnapped by the agents of the Ministry of Intelligence. His family went to the Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office of Tehran Province. The officials not only denied the arrest of Mr. Hushang Mohammad-Rahimi, but also demanded that his family surrender him to the authorities. Former political prisoners were required to periodically report their whereabouts and circumstances to security officials. According to the interviewee, “Three or four weeks after Hushang’s disappearance, a former political prisoner who knew him, indirectly informed us that he saw Hushang at the Prosecutor’s Office of Tehran Province, wearing prison clothes. Just like Hushang, this former political prisoner was required to report to the prosecution office. This was the only news that we had about Hushang after he disappeared.”

Trial

There is no information on whether there was a trial for Mr. Mohammad-Rahimi. Since his arrest was never officially announced, there is no information on the process that led to his death.

Charges

The charge brought against the defendant is not known. His relatives believe that his plan to flee Iran and go to the MKO Ashraf camp was the main reason for his arrest.

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. Mohammad-Rahimi’s defense. But the interviewee states: “After ten years of imprisonment, all doors were closed for him. Overall, his life had become impossible. Whatever he wanted to do his past haunted him. He was really tired of the constant pressure and wanted to leave Iran and go to Ashraf.”

It is worth noting that in spite of the “armed struggle” announcement by the MKO on June 20, 1981, many sympathizers of the organization had no military training, were not armed, and did not participate in armed conflict. Mr. Mohammad-Rahimi’s relatives emphasize that his activities were only political and he was never involved in any armed action or training.

Judgment

There is no information on the verdict leading to this execution. However, security authorities unofficially informed Mr. Mohammad-Rahimi’s relatives of his execution. After the fall of Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq, some relatives went to Iraq to visit loved ones who lived in Camp Ashraf for the Iranian New Year in March of 2005. The Mohammad-Rahimi family went to Ashraf to visit one of Hushang’s brothers who had fled Iran. After they returned to Iran, all the relatives who had travelled to Ashraf were arrested and interrogated about their trip.

In the unease of the post-presidential election of 2009, and as the political oppression intensified once again, the Mohammad-Rahimis were called to report to the security officials in late September 2009. During the interrogation, they were blindfolded and told, “You have gone to Ashraf. You have contact with the Mojahedin and are involved in the current protests. Don’t think you’re free. We have your entire family under close surveillance. We can easily execute you like your two brothers.” After this interrogation, his family members found out that after his enforced disappearance, he was executed.

* The Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) was founded in 1965. This organization adapted the principals of Islam as its ideological guideline. However, their interpretation of Islam was revolutionary and they believed in armed struggle against the Shah's regime. They valued Marxism as a progressive method for economic and social analysis but considered Islam as their source of inspiration, culture, and ideology. In the 1970s, the MKO was weakened when many of its members were imprisoned and executed. In 1975, following a deep ideological crisis, the organization refuted Islam as its ideology and, after many of its members were killed and the purge of other Muslim members, the organization proclaimed Marxism as its ideology. This move created a tense and critical atmosphere among the Muslim activists and sympathizers of the MKO, and finally led to pronouncement of the Marxist-Leninist Section of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization in 1977. In January of 1979 the imprisoned Muslim leaders of the MKO were released along with other political prisoners. They began to re-organize the MKO and recruit new members based on Islamic ideology. After the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the MKO accepted the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini and supported the Revolution. Active participation in the political scene and infiltration of governmental institutions were foremost on the organization’s agenda. During the first two years after the Revolution, the MKO succeeded in recruiting numerous sympathizers, especially in high schools and universities; but their efforts to gain political power, either by becoming appointed officials or elected by the people, were strongly opposed by the Islamic Republic authorities.

The exclusion of MKO members from government offices and the closure of their centers and publishing houses, in conjunction with to the Islamic Republic authorities’ different interpretation of Islam, widened the gap between the two. Authorities of the new regime referred to the Mojahedin as “Hypocrites” and the Hezbollahi supporters of the regime attacked the Mojahedin sympathizers regularly during demonstrations and while distributing publications, leading to the death of several MKO supporters. On June 20, 1981, the MKO called for a demonstration protesting their treatment by governmental officials and the effort to impeach their ally, President Banisadr. Despite the fact that the regime called this demonstration illegal, thousands came to the streets, some of whom confronted the Revolutionary Guardsmen and Hezbollahis. The number of casualties from the demonstration is unknown but a large number of demonstrators were arrested and executed in the following days and weeks. Following that day, the Islamic Republic regime started a repressive campaign – unprecedented in modern Iranian history – and thousands of MKO members and sympathizers were arrested or executed. On June 21, 1981, the MKO announced an armed struggle against the Islamic Republic and assassinated a number of high ranking officials and supporters of the Islamic regime over the next weeks and months.

In the summer of 1981, the leader of the MKO and the impeached President (Abolhassan Banisadr) fled Iran to reside in France, where he founded the National Council of Resistance. After the MKO leaders and many of its members were expelled from France, they went to Iraq and founded the National Liberation Army of Iran in 1987, which entered Iranian territory a few times during the Iran-Iraq war. They were defeated in July 1988 during their last operation, the Forugh Javidan Operation. A few days after this operation, thousands of imprisoned Mojahedin supporters were killed during the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988. Ever since the summer of 1981, the MKO has continued its activities outside of Iran. No information is available regarding members and activities of the MKO inside the country. 

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