Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Hushang Safa'i


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Unknown
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: December 22, 1981
Location of Killing: Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Acting against state's security; Corruption on earth; War on God

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Hushang Safa’i, along with sixteen others, was published in the Kayhannewspaper on December 22, 1981. The Army Public Prosecutor’s Office announced these executions, the defendants' names and their charges, and released this to the media. Additional information has been drawn from the indictment of other individuals who were also involved in the Nojeh coup, as published in the Jomhuri Eslami and Enqelab Esmali newspapers on July 20, 1980.

According to available information, the planners of the Nojeh coup were members of the armed forces and the Iran Party (social democrats and part of the Iranian National Front) who opposed the religious rule and believed in the separation of church and state. The core of the coup d’état plan was to fly aircraft from Nojeh base in Hamedan and bomb some military targets as well as the residence of Ayatollah Khomeini. Another team was to take over the radio-television building in Tehran in order to announce the coup and expose the motives to the population. Some Bakhtiari tribes were also participating in this coup. The Nojeh coup d’état plan was betrayed a few hours before being carried out.

On July 9, 1980, the Islamic Republic of Iran authorities announced the discovering and dismantling of a civil and military network which had planned the coup d’état to overthrow the regime. Two months later, the organization Neghab, in a communiqué, claimed responsibility for this attempted ‘uprising.’ The Organization attested that ‘the path of Mossadegh is that of the people’ and today ‘Bakhtiar is its authentic leader… We have risen up to put an end to this curse [the Islamic regime] and to entrust the affairs of our land to the faithful disciple of Mossadegh – Shapur Bakhtiar’” (Iran: In Defense of Human Rights, National Movement of the Iranian Resistance, Paris, 1983).

Following the discovery of the plan for the coup, more than sixty officers and civilians were executed in several cities of Iran in less than a month. Most of the officers were still active in the army and had not been swept away in the first wave of purges which took place in the army after the fall of the monarchy. Executions of individuals involved in the Nojeh coup continued in the months and years to come; at least 200 persons were executed in connection with the coup.

Nureddin Kianuri, Secretary General of the Tudeh Party (the Iranian pro-Soviet communist party) mentioned the coup d’état in an article, dated May 2, 2000, posted on the Rah-e Tudeh website. Kianuri stressed the fact that the military branch of the Tudeh Party, which cooperated with the Islamic Republic’s authorities, discovered and “neutralized” the above mentioned organization as well as other groups that planned a coup against the newly established regime.

Arrest and detention

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


The Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran Army tried Mr. Hushang Safa’i. No information is available on the defendant’s trial.


The charge against Mr. Hushang Safa’i was announced as, “acts against the Islamic Republic.”

In an indictment dated July 19, 1980, the Public Prosecutor said the following regarding some other participants of this alleged coup d’état plan: “These enthusiasts of the Shah’s rotten, filthy, and reactionary regime, these supporters of the blood-thirsty American imperialism, [had in mind to] bring about ‘American social democracy’… and after two years of curfew and absolute oppression, put the monarchical system on referendum…”

The Public Prosecutor emphasized: “This conspiracy was not planned in a vacuum and hence cannot be described in a single indictment; and these conspirators cannot be considered ordinary convicts. They are criminals who have undermined the newly regained truth, honor, and dignity of a liberated community of Muslim people. Considering this, and consulting verses of the holy Quran regarding the punishment of a ‘rebel’ against the Islamic sovereign, it is imperative that the convicts receive their punishment according to the Shari’a law.”

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 did not provide any specific information on the evidence presented against the defendants.


No information is available on Mr. Hushang Safa’i's defense.


َThe Islamic Revolutionary Court of Tehran Army identified Mr. Hushang Safa’i as "Mofsed (corruptor on Earth) and Mohareb (fighter) against God." He was condemned to death. The ruling was carried out when he was executed by firing squad in Tehran on December 21, 1981. No specific information is available about the defendant’s execution.

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