Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Morteza Mohebi Taban


Age: 32
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: January 13, 1985
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Unknown charge
Age at time of alleged offense: 28

About this Case

News of the execution and information about Mr. Morteza Mohebi Taban, son of Abolfazl, was based on three interviews conducted by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation with a person close to him, a political prisoner who had been his cellmate for two years, and Ms. Vida Hajebi, who had been a member of the Central Committee of the Fadaiyan Khalq Majority – Left Faction along with Mr. Taban before his arrest.

Mr. Mohebi Taban was born in Tehran in 1953. He was the fifth child in his family and liked to read books since childhood. Before the revolution, during his high school years, he was a member of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults and won a scientific prize including a helicopter flight over Tehran. He worked during the summers to provide for his education and participated in supporting his family since adolescence. When he entered the Melli University, he gradually began his political activism by sympathizing with the Fadaiyan Khalq Organization. After the revolution, when the organization divided into three factions, he joined the Left Faction and became a member of the three-member Executive Board of the organization. Two other members were Vida Hajebi and Morteza Karimi, the latter of whom was executed in April of 1983.

Mr. Mohebi Taban was a hardworking, patient, and kind human being who always cared about others. Two of his relatives were also executed including his cousin, Siamak Qorbani, in September of 1981 and his brother-in-law, Amir Azanpur, in October of 1984.  

The Fadaiyan Khalq Organization, a Marxist Leninist group, inspired by the Cuban Revolution and the urban guerilla movements of Latin America, was founded in 1971 by two communist groups opposed to the Pahlavi regime.  Following the 1979 Revolution, the Organization, which had renounced armed struggle, split over their support of the Islamic Republic and of theSoviet Union.  A month after this split, other splits occurred. The Fadaiyan Khalq Majority – Left Faction was the first group to split over opposition to the Majority tendency to cooperate with the Islamic regime and its proximity to the Tudeh party. This group ended its activities after several years of publishing its views inside and outside of Iran.  

Arrest and detention

Mr. Mohebi Taban was incidentally arrested on a street in Tehran after a demonstration by the Mojahedin Khalq Organization on November 24, 1981. For some time his political affiliation remained unnoticed in prison; however, his political position was revealed by a prisoner. His family were able to visit him after being in the dark for a few months. He had an in-person visitation with a relative in the presence of Revolutionary Guards in prison in 1984.

According to his cellmate, Mr. Mohebi Taban had been tortured so severely that for a period they took him to the prison clinic for a pain killer shot every morning. After a panel sent by Ayatollah Montazeri visited the prison, Mr. Mohebi Taban had complained about pains caused by torture and daily pain killers were ordered for him. According to his cellmate, marks of tortures were evident on his soles and feet. He was well-known in prison as the person who suffered the most torture and yet revealed no information. He had been taken for execution several times. At least three such occasions stand out, since Mr. Mohebi Taban gave mementos to various people each time. Once, he gave his watch, the second time his shirt, and the third time his socks to his cellmates before going for execution. According to Ms. Vida Hajebi, Mr. Mohebi Taban was against using cyanide before his arrest, arguing that one must resist and that the prison is a scene for struggle. According to Ms. Hajebi, he showed his resistance in action. He had widespread connections and knew of several safe houses but revealed nothing to his interrogators despite the severe torture he suffered.

According to his cellmate, Mr. Mohebi Taban was a creative person. He created art works using cast-off and rudimentary materials in prison. He had a good relationship with all political prisoners with different affiliations. He was a mountain climber and knew of his imminent execution; therefore, he told a friend who was about to be released that: “Whenever you reach a mountain peak, remember me by calling my name.”   


According to people close to Mr. Mohebi Taban, he had been tried several times. However, no information is available on his trials.  


No information is available on Mr. Mohebi Taban’s charges.

Evidence of guilt

According to people close to Mr. Mohebi Taban, authorities never mentioned any evidence provided against him during his detention period or even after his execution.  


No information is available on Mr. Mohebi Taban’s defense.


Mr. Morteza Mohebi Taban was executed by firing squad at Evin Prison in Tehran on January 13, 1985. According to a cellmate, when they called him to go with all his belongings, he bid farewell to everyone. He had called his family the night before. Referring to the previous mock executions, he stated: “This time seems to be the last one.”

After Mr. Mohebi Taban’s execution, prison authorities told his family that he had written a few lines that they would give to the family. However, they never did. His mother, wearing a red mantua with no hijab, went to the prison the next day and asked for her son’s belongings. She kept going there for several months. She was a strong woman and never told her husband, who was sick, about their son’s execution. Instead she told him that his son was in exile and that she visited him monthly.



Correct/ Complete This Entry