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

Bijan Hoda'i

About

Age: 23
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: November 29, 1981
Location: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Participating in armed demonstrations; Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech

About this Case

Bijan read precociously as a boy, auditing elementary school classes before they’d let him officially enroll. His manners were gentle as he grew into active, passionate, Iranian politics.

Information about Mr. Bijan Hoda’i, son of Hassan, has been drawn from an interview with his brother. He is also one of the 12,028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No. 261), published by Mojahedin Khalq Organization in 1985. The list includes individuals affiliated with various opposition groups, who were executed or killed during clashes with the Islamic Republic security forces from June 1981 to the publication date of the magazine. Additionally, his name is mentioned in the list of “Martyrs of the Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class,” published on the website of Peykar Andeesheh. The execution of Mr. Hoda’i and 29 other persons was announced in the communiqué of the Public Relations Department of the Prosecution’s Office of Tehran Province and published in the Kayhan newspaper on December 1, 1981.

Mr. Hoda’i was born into a political family. Until the coup of August 19, 1953, his parents were affiliated with the Tudeh Party. However, his mother continued her political activism secretly, even after the coup. Bijan spent his childhood and adolescence in Abadan. From childhood, his parents knew that he was very intelligent. He could read from the age of 5 and went to school. However, according to the regulations of the Ministry of Education, 7 was the age that children could go to school. Therefore, Bijan audited classes until he came of age, and he was among the best students. When he was a high school student, his family moved to Tehran, where he went to the Kharazmi High School.

As a high school student, Bijan started to show interest in politics. He joined book clubs and tutored students at another high school in west Tehran. He also formed reading groups with his students. In 1977, he passed the university entrance exam with very good scores and was admitted to study electronics. After enrollment in the university, he started his political activism, which resulted in his discharge from school. The following year, he passed the university entrance exam and was again admitted to study electronics at Tehran University.

After the revolution of 1979, he was one of the organizers of student political activists, working for an organization that sympathized with Khat-e Se (the Third Line). Later, Mr. Hoda’i was a sympathizer of the Peykar Organization and in charge of the activities of high school and university students.

Despite his gentle manners, Bijan was very active and passionate in his political activism.

His sister, Ms. Manijeh Hoda’i, and her husband, Mr. Mas’ud Jigare’i were also executed

The Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class was founded by a number of dissident members of the Mojahedin Khalq Organization who had converted to Marxism-Leninism. Peykar also joined with a number of political organizations, known as Khat-e Se (the Third Line). The founding tenets of Peykar included the rejection of guerrilla struggle and a strong stand against the pro-Soviet policies of the Iranian Tudeh Party. Peykar viewed the Soviet Union as a “social imperialist” state, believed that China had deviated from Marxist-Leninist principles, and radically opposed all factions of the Islamic regime of Iran. The brutal repression of dissidents by the Iranian government and splits within Peykar in 1981 and 1982 effectively dismantled the organization and scattered its supporters. By the mid-1980s, Peykar was no longer in existence.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Hoda’i’s date of arrest is not known. He was forced to go underground in the summer of 1981, when the oppression of political activists intensified, for he was a well-known leftist student. Though he lived underground, he made regular phone calls to his mother to let her know he was fine. From early fall 1981, he no longer called. His family members were not informed about his arrest but believe that he was arrested in early fall. Individuals who knew Bijan informed them that he had been arrested in Tehran during an organizational meeting.

Trial

Mr. Hoda’i was tried at one of the Islamic Revolutionary Tribunals of Tehran Province. There is no other information regarding his trial.

Charges

According to the communiqué of the Public Relations Department of the Prosecution’s Office of Tehran Province, Mr. Hoda’i was charged with “sympathizing with the American organization Peykar and participation in armed demonstrations opposing the regime of the Islamic Republic.”

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

No information is available concerning the evidence presented against the accused.

Defense

No information is available concerning Mr. Hoda’i’s defense.

Judgment

The Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal of Tehran Province condemned Mr. Bijan Hoda’i to death, “in accordance with religious rules.” A few days before his execution, he called his mother on the phone and told her that he had been tried and that his sentence would be issued soon. According to his brother, in this phone conversation “he sounded calm and together. Despite the fact that he definitely knew his sentence, his voice did not quiver. He said goodbye to mother and told her she had always been a good mom.” According to Kayhan he was shot by firing squad in Evin Prison on November 29, 1981. That day arked his 23rd birthday.

Bijan’s brother describes how his family was informed of his execution: “Two or three days after he called our house, I heard my mother’s loud cry at night. I ran to the room only to find her sobbing and bawling. A female relative, who had come over, was trying to console her. They had heard the news of Bijan’s execution on television. The following day, the newspapers announced his execution as well. My mother, I, and an elderly male relative went to Behesht-e Zahra Cemetery. The registrar of the cemetery told us that we should go to the Indians’ cemetery. We said that we did not know where that was. He told us to go to the road to Khorasan and ask around. We found out that Bijan was buried in a cemetery known as Khavaran … .”

Bijan was executed on his 23rd birthday.

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