Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Saleh Gudarzi


Age: 39
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Sunni)
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: October 13, 2002
Location of Killing: Sanandaj, Kordestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Armed rebellion against the Islamic Republic; Membership of anti-regime guerilla group

About this Case

Sometimes Mr. Gudarzi worked as a laborer and sometimes he made his living by selling goods that he took from Kamyaran to Tehran.

News of the execution of Mr. Saleh Gudarzi was published on the websites of Mihan on October 14, 2002, and Asre-no on October 16, 2002, quoting the statement by the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan. Additional information was taken from an interview by Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF) with a person close to Mr. Gudarzi on January 19, 2015.

Mr. Gudarzi was from the Ziveh Village near Kamyaran. He was married with three children. He was illiterate and a professional. Sometimes he worked as a laborer and sometimes he made his living by selling goods that he took from Kamyaran to Tehran. During the months before his arrest, Mr. Gudarzi and his family worked and resided in Tehran. He was funny, sociable, and good-humored; he was very sensitive regarding the Kurdistan issues. (ABF interview)

Mr. Gudarzi was a member and sympathizer of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan(PDKI). According to the statement issued by this party, he stopped working with the party due to family problems after five years and turned himself in to the Islamic Republic authorities in 1984 in order to have a normal life. This resulted in his arrest and detention for a year. (Mihan website)

The PDKI was founded in 1945 with the objective to gain autonomy for Kurdistan, in north-western Iran. After the Revolution, conflicts between the new central Shiite government and the mainly Sunni Kurdistan, regarding the role of minorities in the drafting of the constitution, specification of Shiite as the official state religion, and particularly the autonomy of the region, ended in armed clashes between the Revolutionary Guards and the peshmerga (the militia of the PDKI). The PDKI boycotted the referendum of April 1, when people went to polls to vote for or against the Islamic regime. On August 19, 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini called the PDKI the “party of Satan” and declared it “unofficial and illegal.” Mass executions and fighting broke out and continued for several months in the region. By 1983, PDKI had lost much of its influence in the region. Various leaders of the PDKI have been assassinated.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Gudarzi was arrested by Intelligence Office agents without a warrant in October or November of 1999 around midnight. He was transferred to the detention center of the Intelligence Office in Kamyaran. According to the interviewee, he was detained in solitary confinement at the Intelligence Office detention center in Kamyaran for five months and at the Intelligence Office detention center in Sanandaj for four months. He suffered physical and psychological torture throughout this period. During this nine month period, he had no visitations or phone calls with his family except once when his brother visited him at the public prison in Kamyaran when he was about to transfer to Sanandaj. After nine months, Mr. Gudarzi was able to have cabin [by phone] visitations with his family weekly and in person visitations monthly when he was transferred to the public prison in Sanandaj. (ABF interview)


The Islamic Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj tried Mr. Gudarzi in four sessions without the presence of an attorney. His family’s efforts to hire an attorney proved fruitless since attorneys did not accept the case due to its complications. (ABF interview) No further information is available on his trial.


According to the interviewee, the charges against Mr. Gudarzi were “cooperation with the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, encouraging young people to act against the Islamic Republic, and armed activities.” (ABF interview)

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. Gudarzi.


No information is available on Mr. Gudarzi’s defense; however, according to the interviewee, he was denied effective defense and his trial sessions proceeded without an attorney.


The Islamic Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj condemned Mr. Saleh Gudarzi to death and the Appeals Court of Sanandaj confirmed the ruling. He was hanged at the Sanandaj public prison yard on October 13, 2002 at dawn. Authorities did not inform his family and they had no last visitation. A prison guard informed Mr. Gudarzi’s brother that he had been transferred to solitary confinement before the ruling was carried out. When he went to the prison, he could only talk to his brother over the phone. (ABF interview)

Authorities gave the body of Mr. Gudarzi to his family on the condition of having no mourning ceremony. His body was buried in the presence of local residents in the Cherusaneh Village near Kamyaran.

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