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

Khanjan Ahani

About

Age: 46
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Married

Case

Date of Killing: June 5, 1979
Location of Killing: Unesco Prison, Dezful, Khuzestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Collaborating with the political police SAVAK
Age at time of offense: 46

About this Case

Mr. Ahani was a reputable man in the Khuzestan and Lorestan regions, and Lor and Arab citizens still remember him fondly.

News and information regarding the execution of Mr. Khanjan Ahani, son of Darab Khan, was submitted to the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center through electronic forms by several individuals who knew him on October 3, 2019; February 6, 2018; August 2, 2016; April 7, 2015; March 25, 2014; and March 5, 2007. News of this execution was also published in Ettela’at newspaper (June 6, 1979). Additional information was obtained from Ettela’at newspaper (May 2, 1979), Daneshju News Agency (January 27, 2017), and Pajuheshnameh Tarikh (“History Research Review”) (Fall 2015).

Mr. Khanjan Ahani is one of 438 victims listed in a March 13, 1980 Amnesty International report. The report lists defendants who were convicted by Revolutionary Tribunals in the period from their inception until 12 August 1979. The list of victims and charges is drawn from sources including translations of indictments, reports of trials carried out by local and foreign media and the bulletins of the official Pars News Agency reports. Additional information has been sent to Omid via an electronic form by an individual familiar with this case.

Mr. Ahani was born in 1933-34 in the rural community of Baqer in the village of Qal’eh Ali Khan near the city of Shush in Khuzestan Province. He had three wives and 14 children. He had an elementary school education. Mr. Ahani was a landowner from the Sagvand tribe. He was an employee of the Khuzestan Water and Electricity Authority in the city Andimeshk, and was in charge of the security of the Dez dam. According to a person who knew Mr. Ahani, he also cooperated with the State Information and Security Organization (SAVAK). He was a monarchist and a member of the Rastakhiz Party.* (Electronic form, February 6, 2018; August 2, 2016; April 7, 2015; March 25, 2014; and March 5, 2007; Ettela’at newspaper, May 2, 1979).

Mr. Ahani was a reputable man in the Khuzestan and Lorestan regions, and Lor and Arab citizens still remember him fondly. (Electronic form, August 2, 2016).

Arrest and detention

One day in the month of May, 1979, between the hours of 8 and 10 o’clock in the morning, Mr. Ahani was arrested at his place of work located in the Fourth of Aban Administrative Complex, also known as the White House, at the Dez dam. He spent approximately one month at the city of Dezful’s UNESCO Prison. (Electronic form, February 6, 2018; August 2, 2016; and March 25, 2014).

Mr. Ahani did not visit with his family during his detention. (Electronic form, March 25, 2014).

Trial

Mr. Ahani was tried by Dezful Revolutionary Court in mid to late May 1979. According to a person who knew Mr. Ahani, his trial took place in Dezful’s Great Mosque. (Ettela’at newspaper, May 2, 1979; Electronic form, August2, 2016, and March 25, 2014).

No further information is available on Mr. Ahani’s trial session(s).

According to available information, Mr. Ahani did not have an attorney at trial. (Electronic form, March 25, 2014).

Charges

A general charge was brought against Mr. Ahani and was stated to have been “the killing of the people of Dezful and Andimeshk”. A specific charge of “cooperation with the disbanded SAVAK, and gathering hoodlums to oppress Dezful’s youth and warriors [of Islam]” was also brought against Mr. Ahani. (Ettele’at newspaper, June 6, 1979).

One of the individuals who knew Mr. Ahani stated that the charge brought against him was cooperation with the Shah’s regime and the SAVAK. (Electronic form, March 25, 2014).

Amnesty International’s report states the charges against Mr. Ahani as “rioting, creating turmoil, and murder”.

Certain sources mention Mr. Ahani’s name as one of the individuals who played a role in the assassination of Mr. Teymur Bakhtiar** in Iraq. It is said that Mr. Bakhtiar’s assassination in August of 1970 was planned and implemented by the SAVAK. (Daneshju News Agency, History Research Review).

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 does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against Mr. Ahani.

Defense

No information is available on Mr. Ahani’s defense.

Judgment

Dezful Revolutionary Court found Mr. Khanjan Ahani to be “Mofsed fel-Arz” (“one who spreads corruption on Earth”) and sentenced him to death. (Ettela’at newspaper, June 6, 1979)

Mr. Ahani’s death sentence was carried out approximately one month after his arrest. He did not have access to an attorney and it is not clear what kind of evidence and documentation was used against him at trial.

On the morning of June 6, 1979, Mr. Khanjan Ahani and 4 others were executed by a firing squad in Dezful’s UNESCO Prison. (Ettela’at newspaper, June 6, 1979; Electronic form, February 6, 2018).

A person who knew Mr. Ahani stated that he was executed on June 4 or 5. Amnesty International has also asserted that June 5 was the day he was executed. (Electronic form, October 3, 2019; February 6, 2018; August 2, 2016; March 25, 2014; Amnesty International report).

Mr. Ahani’s family were not informed of the date of his execution. Mr. Ahani’s body was turned over to his family and was buried in the city of Shush. (Electronic form, October 3, 2019, and February 6, 2018). 

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*The Rastakhiz Party was established in 1975 as a single party, after the abolition of such parties as Novin and Mardom. The regime at the time announced membership in Rastakhiz to be the civil duty of all citizens. The main principles of Rastakhiz were: loyalty to the Constitution, the Monarchy, and the goals of the White Revolution. The latter was a series of reforms, launched by Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (1919-1980) in order to improve the economic and social situation in the country. Land reforms and women’s suffrage were at the center of the White Revolution. Among other reforms of the White Revolution were combating illiteracy and the formation of “Army of Knowledge” and “Army of Health,” which added a component of civil service in remote areas to the compulsory military service.
**Teymur Bakhtiar was the first chief of the SAVAK from 1956 to 1960. He started to criticize the Iranian government after he was dismissed. Upon the Shah’s approval, Ali Amini, the then-Prime Minister, Bakhtiar was banished from Iran and sent into exile. In May 1969, Bakhtiar took up residence in Iraq upon an official invitation by that country’s government. On August 7, 1970, SAVAK agents assassinated Bakhtiar on Iraqi soil. He died on August 16, 1970, at a hospital in Iraq.

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