Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohammad Reza Ghabra'i


Age: 38
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: September 18, 1985
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: War on God, God's Prophet and the deputy of the Twelfth Imam; Acting against state's security

About this Case


The information about Mr. Mohammad Reza Ghabra’i has been provided by his wife and an electronic form sent to the Boroumand Foundation by one of his friends. Complementary information has been drawn from the book “From those years”, by Mr. Hamze Farahati and the book “Another time and this time….” written by Mr. Behazin, Kar publication and Internet articles.

Mr. Mohammad Reza Ghabra’i, son of Batul and Mohammad Hassan, ID card # 583, was born in Lahijan on 03 December 1947 in a practicing family. He finished Elementary and High School in Lahijan. He graduated in Physics from Tabriz University.

Mr. Ghabra’i started his political activities towards the end of 60s in Tabriz University and joined the Iran FKO. He was arrested along with two others in 1971 and was charged to four years of imprisonment. He joined the organization after being released in 1975 and went underground. Following a Savak crackdown on the FKO in 1976, Mr. Ghabra’i, who was in the FKO Central Committee played a key role in reorganizing the underground activities of the organization. His brother, Mr. Mohammad Kazem, a member of the FKO, was killed in an armed conflict in 1977. According to his wife, Mr. Qabra’i was loved in the family. He liked reading and playing soccer. He had a good voice and liked to dance. He also cooked and believed in the equality between men and women.

The Iran Fedaiyan Khalq Organization was formed in 1970 impressed by the Cuba Revolution and the Latin American Guerilla Movement with a Marxism-Leninism ideology and the belief on urban armed struggles. It is the result of two Anti-Shah Guerilla groups being merged. This organization started negating the guerilla policy right after the victory of the Islamic Revolution. They were ramified by their beliefs to either support the Islamic Republic and the Soviet Union or not. The Fedaiyan Khalq Organization (Majority Faction) believed in Islamic Republic as Revolutionary and anti Imperialist and supported them until the beginning of 1983. Since then, the members of this faction were targeted and suppressed by the Islamic Republic only because of their political views.

Arrest and Detention

On March 6, 1982, Mr. Ghabra’i presented himself to the Prosecutor’s Office located in Evin Prison to respond to some questions related to the FKO publication, Kar. . He was asked to present the license (charter) of the publication. As the license was never issued in writing and issued verbally, he did not have anything to present. He never came back. Based on the existing information, the Revolutionary Prosecution Office sent a threatening letter sent to the office of Kar demanding to know the identity of the author of articles published by the journal. The articles objected to against the execution of the members and sympathizers of the FKO (Majority Faction) and which they considered as illegal. The office of Kar was ransacked and journal was banned. The management of the organization did not introduce the writers of the articles and it was decided that Mr. Ghabra’i who had already been introduced to the Ministry of Interior as Kar’s Editor, would present himself to the Revolutionary Prosecution Office to provide clarifications. Mr. Ghabra’i was detained in Evin Prison for four years. He was in Section 209 of Evin prison until 10 April 1985 and was transferred to the “Asayeshgah” section afterward. He was in cell # 648 on the 4th floor in Evin prison during the last days of his life. During his detention until 1983 he regularly had the monthly visits. Visits took place by phone through a glass window and lasted 10 minutes. On his last visit with his spouse in 1983, Mr. Ghabra’i only talked on the phone but was not visible at the window. This was the last visit, for two years and two months during which he was kept in solitary confinement. His spouse believes that like many other political prisoners, Mr. Ghabra’i was tortured and kept in solitary confinement to accept a televised interview.


There is no information regarding his trials. According to the defendant’s family, once during a visit with his mother he had told her that he had had a trial awaiting the verdict.


Based on the available information, Mr. Ghabra’i was accused of “Acting against national security and waging war against god”.

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

There is no information regarding the evidence presented against the defendant.


There is no information available on his defense. Mr. Ghabra’i did not have a lawyer. According to his spouse, authorities had refused to give the FKO publication the license on paper. The authorization to publish Kar was given orally before each publication and after the relevant authorities reviewed the content.


Mr. Mohammadreza Qabra’i was sentenced to death by the Central Islamic Revolutionary Court. Mr. Ghabra’i talked to his family in Lahijan on the phone for the last time on September 18, 1985 at 2:00 in the afternoon to inform them that the visit has been postponed. He talked to each and every one in the family except his father who avoided talking to him due to his Communism beliefs. According to the death certificate, he was executed by shooting on 18 September 1985. The authorities did not inform the family who learned about the execution a month later when they went to visit him. . The prison’s officials told the family that he was buried in Khavaran cemetery but they didn’t give a specific location. In his will, given to the family after being partially censored, Mr. Ghabara’i wrote: “I am killed for claiming the rights of the people.” The family, warned by the authorities, did not hold a funeral ceremony for him.

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