Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Jalal Nasimi


Age: 26
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Unknown
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: August 25, 1979
Location of Killing: Marivan Prison, Marivan, Kordestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Unspecified counter-revolutionary offense
Age at time of alleged offense: 26

About this Case

Mr. Nasimi was an elementary school teacher. He was a warm-hearted and genteel person and fervently participated in group activities.

News and information regarding the execution of Mr. Jalal Nasimi, son of Seddiq, was submitted to the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center on February 14, 2019, via electronic form. News of the execution of Mr. Nasimi and 8 other individuals was also published in Jomhuri-e Eslami newspaper (August 26, 1979), Kayhan newspaper (August 26, 1979), Ettela’at newspaper (August 28, 1979), and Komeleh Newsletter (Fall 1980). Additional information was obtained through a Boroumand Center interview with a person who knew Mr. Nasimi, conducted on February 25, 2019, Ettela’at newspaper (July 15, 1979), A Look at the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights (no date), Worker-Communist Party Hekmatist website (August 20, 2017), Imam Khomeini Portal website (August 16, 2014), Sahifeh-ye Imam (“Imam’s Book”), Volume 9, (Declaration of August 18 and 19, 1979; Decree of August 18 and 19, 1979), Iran Global website (August 16, 2016), Kak Foad website(August 19, 2018), Iran Human Rights Documentation Center website (July 12, 2012), Communist Party of Iran (January 8, 2016), Navehkhet website(February 11, 2019).

Mr. Nasimi was an ethnic Kurd and was born on July 19, 1953, into a well-educated family, and had 5 brothers and 3 sisters. Mr. Nasimi was a graduate of [the town of] Bijar Teacher Training College, and an elementary school teacher in the village of Velegir near the town of Marivan. He was a kind, warm-hearted, and genteel people person and actively participated in addressing the villagers’ problems. Mr. Nasimi was fluent in Turkish and was interested in artistic activities and the theater. He had engaged in political activities some time before the 1979 Revolution. He was a member of the Revolutionary Organization of Working People in Kurdistan – Komala (1). (Boroumand Center interview with a person who knew Mr. Nasimi, Electronic form, Communist Aprty of Iran, Kak Foad website). 

Background of the Marivan Events, Spring and Summer 1979

On Saturday, July 14, 1979, protest demonstrations took place in the town of Marivan. These demonstrations resulted in fighting among the people, various political groups, members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, and certain armed Kurdish groups based in the region; the outcome was 26 dead and 60 injured. Some reports have stated the reason for the demonstrations as being popular objection to the news broadcast by the State Radio and Television from the Kurdistan region. Other reports have attributed these demonstrations to the Marivan Farmers’ Union’s (2) objection to the tensions created by some of the region’s landowners under the guise of Islamic Revolution Komiteh (neighborhood militias). Still others have reported the objections of a group of people to the activities of the Koran School (3) or individuals affiliated with it, led by Mr. Ahmad Moftizadeh. There are also conflicting and different accounts of the cause of fighting and of the political groups involved in the incidents. According to some reports, some armed groups among the protestors instigated members of the region’s Islamic Revolution Komiteh, which resulted in bloody skirmishes. Other reports have declared members of the Revolutionary Guards Corps and certain Kurdich activists including members of the School of Islam and Qiadeh Movaghat (“Temporary Leadership”) (4) led by Messrs. Massud and Idris Barzani as the ones firing, as a result of which armed individuals among the protesters took reciprocal action. In addition to the Revolutionary Guards forces, Mr. Moftizadeh’s forces, and Mr Barzani’s forces, members of Komala, Kurdistan Democratic Party members (5) and persons affiliated with Mr. Jalal Talebani (6) were also present at these skirmishes, and later, in the city. According to certain sources, the protests in the city of Marivan had begun in June 1979, following skirmishes between major landowners and other group active in the region. (Ettela’at newspaper, Hekmatist website).

Negotiations between local forces and representatives of the central government who had come to the region to resolve the disputes failed. In order to prevent further conflict and bloodshed, and in protesting the presence of the Revolutionary Guards forces in Marivan, some Kurdish political activists in Marivan encouraged the residents to vacate the city. On July 20, 1979, assisted by active political forces, the city’s residents left town and went to the woods outside the city and settled at the Kanimiran camp. Political negotiations to return the residents back into the city bore no fruit until August 13, 1979. On that day, and at the same time Kurdish forces opposed to the central government were fighting the Armed Forces in the city of Paveh, the people of Marivan returned to the city. (Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Navehkhet website).

From August 13 to August 19, 1979, and following the worsening fighting between Kurdish political activists and the central government in various regions of Kurdistan, especially the city of Paveh, Ayatollah Khomeini, as Leader of the Revolution, issued at least two public statements for the Police forces, the regular Armed Forces, and the Revolutionary Guards Corps, and as Commander in Chief, issued two orders to said forces to attack the region, more specifically the cities of Paveh and Sanandaj (7), and demanded that they arrest and try even those who have fled. From that time period until the end of the hostilities in November 1979, the armed forces firmly settled in various Kurdish regions. At least 58 individuals were tried in proceedings that lasted only a few minutes, and were executed in various cities of Kurdistan and in the city of Kermanshah. At least two Kurdish villages, Qarna and Qalatan, were attacked and a large number of their residents were murdered. This violent clash with the people of Kurdistan continued even after that: To this day, residents of these regions are subjected to various types of systematic violence and oppression. (Imam Khomeini Portal, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Iran Global). 

Arrest and detention

According to available information, on August 19, 1979, Mr. Nasimi was identified by Kurdish active forces affiliated with Mr. Moftizadeh near the Tourist Attraction Hotel, close to the Zarivar Lake to the west of the city of Marivan, and arrested by the Islamic Republic Revolutionary Guards Corps forces and jailed at the Marivan Military Base along with eight other individuals.

Mr. Nasimi played an active role in the people of Marivan’s great exodus in July 1979. When Ayatollah Khomeini issued an order for the armed forces to attack Iranian Kurdistan, the Revolutionary Guards Corps forces identified and arrested Mr. Nasimi with the help of certain local people. Upon his arrest, a number of women from Marivan conducted a sit-in which resulted in his temporary release.

A group of Marivani women conducted a sit-in in the city from the time of these individuals’ arrest. Mr. Nasimi was released on bail in the evening of August 24, 1979. The families of Mr. Nasimi and his ward mates took them food up until their release. A person who knew Mr. Nasimi said that he had shown his friends and family the signs of torture on his body after he was released, including cigarette burns on his back and the bottom of his feet, as well as signs of flogging on his body. On August 25, 1979, between 9 and 10 PM, several Revolutionary Guardsmen and some local Kurds took Mr. Nasimi from his home under the pretext of signing some paperwork and taking care of other administrative matters. Mr. Nasimi did not return home that night and his family had no news of him until the next day. (Hekmatist website, Kak Foad website, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Electronic form, Boroumand Center interview with a person who knew Mr. Nasimi).


Marivan Revolutionary Court tried Mr. Nasimi and eight others on August 25, 1979, after 10 PM. Jomhuri-e Eslami newspaper announced that Mr. Nasimi and his co-defendants were tried for “several hours”. According to available evidence, however, the trial of these individuals did not last more than half an hour. (Jomhuri-e Eslami newspaper, Boroumand Center interview with a person who knew Mr. Nasimi, Communist Workers Party website).

Mr. Nasimi did not have access to an attorney.


Mr. Nasimi played an active role in the exodus of the people of Marivan on July 20, 1979, in protesting the conduct of the Islamic Republic of Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps forces in that city. According to the person who knew Mr. Nasimi, after Ayatollah Khomeini issued a decree to quash Kurdistan’s political activists, the government agents dispatched to Marivan were looking for Mr. Nasimi and other activists who had played a role in those protests. (Boroumand Center interview with a person who knew Mr. Nasimi, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center). 

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.  International human rights organizations have drawn attention to reports indicating that the Islamic Republic authorities have brought trumped-up charges, including drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences, against their opponents (including political, civil society activists, as well as unionists and ethnic and religious minorities). Each year Iranian authorities sentence to death hundreds of alleged common criminals, following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. The exact number of people convicted and executed based on trumped-up charges is unknown. 

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant.


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


On August 25, 1979, Marivan Revolutionary Court sentenced Mr. Jalal Nasimi and his eight co-defendants to death.

Mr. Jalal Nasimi and his eight co-defendants were shot by firing squad at Marivan Military Base before midnight on August 25, 1979. (Jomhuri-e Eslami newspaper, electronic form).

According to eyewitnesses, after the execution, government agents placed the bodies of Mr. Nasimi and his eight co-defendants in the back of a compressor truck and emptied the bodies in front of a hospital in the city of Marivan. According to some of the eyewitnesses, blood was flowing from the back of the truck as it was going to the hospital. Some of the individuals who saw the bodies of the deceased stated that many bullets had penetrated each person and the bodies were bloodied and mutilated. (Boroumand Center interview with a person who knew Mr. Nasimi, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center).

Mr. Nasimi’s family buried his body and the body of another one of the people who were executed in the north of the city of Marivan and held a wake for him. (Boroumand Center interview with a person who knew Mr. Nasimi).


1- Several remaining members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran established the Revolutionary Organization of this party in Iraq in the mid 1960s. Esma’il Sharifzadeh, Abdollah Mo’ini, and Molaavareh were among the leaders of this organization who, inspired by the Cuban Revolution, began an armed guerrilla struggle in Kurdistan. When this group was defeated in 1969 and several of its members were arrested, armed struggle was criticized and the Maoist trend overcomes. When some of its leaders were released in 1978, the Revolutionary Organization of Working People in Kurdistan – Komala was established. Based on Marxist theory, Komala was against the capitalists and landlords and encouraged workers and peasants in Kurdistan to an armed uprising against them and the central government. This organization considered the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (PDKI) as the rich party and campaigned against it, resulting in several armed conflicts and hundreds dead. In 1982, Komala joined another Marxist group, Sahand, which was basically a theoretical group, and established the Communist Party of Iran. Then it became called the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran – Komala. Years later, this organization separated from the Communist Party of Iran and faced several schisms. The Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, led by Abdollah Mohtadi, Komala, and the Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran led by Ebrahim Alizadeh are some of these factions.
2- The farmers’ struggle against feudal and large landowners began at the time of Land Reforms of 1963, led and supported by leftist political groups. These struggles continued in certain parts of Kurdistan in a more cohesive way. Immediately after the 1979 Revolution, members of Komala in Marivan established an entity called “Marivan Farmers’ Union”. (Navekhet website).
3- The Koran School – Ahmad Moftizadeh. The Koran School was established in 1977 by Mr. Ahmad Moftizadeh. The activities of this School began in the city of Marivan and expanded to several other cities in Kurdistan. In the course of the 1979 Revolution and during the events of subsequent years in Kurdistan, some of the local activists accused the members of the Koran School of military activity against the Kurds opposed to the central government, and equated them with government military forces such as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the regular Armed Forces. Mr. Moftizadeh was arrested in Tehran in 1982 and spent ten years in prison.
4- Qiadeh Movaghat (“Temporary Leadership”) (Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party) – Massud and Idris Barzani. Messrs. Massud and Idris Barzani were Mostafa Barzani’s children and were among the leaders of Iraqi Kurdistan. Mr. Massud Barzani became the leader of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party or the Kurdistan Democratic Party after his father. Prior to the 1979 Revolution, Mr. Idris Barzani established the Temporary Leadership group. After the 1979 Revolution, these groups played an active role in the events in [Iran’s] Kurdistan Province. The Barzani family had contacts with Iran’s central government after the 1979 Revolution, and some of the region’s Kurdish activists consider them instrumental in quashing their struggles against the central government.
5- The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) was founded in 1945 with the goal to gain autonomy for Kurdistan, in north-western Iran. After the Revolution, conflicts between the new central Shiite government and 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, 1979, 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, the PDKI had lost much of its influence in the region. In the years since various leaders of the PDKI have been assassinated. Following internal disputes, the party split in 2006 and two organizations were established as “The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan,” and “The Democratic Party of Kurdistan.”
6- The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Ettehadieh Mihani Kordestan) was formed in 1975 by Mr. Jalal Talebani. This party was one of the active groups in the post-revolution Kurdistan conflict. 
7- Ayatollah Khomeini’s Declarations and Decrees
Declaration: August 18, 1979, Imam’s Book, Volume 9:
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the MercifulFrom all across Iran, various groups of the Armed Forces, the Revolutionary Guards, and the proud and zealous people of [this country] have asked me to issue an order for them to go to Paveh and put an end to the unrest. I thank them and warn the government, the Army, and the Gendarmerie that if they do not move toward Paveh with tanks, artillery, and full military equipment in the next 24 hours, I will hold them all responsible.As Commander in Chief, I order the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Armed Forces to depart immediately to the region with full military equipment, and I order all Army and Gendarmerie bases to move toward Paveh with all their equipment without waiting for an order from one another and without wasting time, and I order the government to immediately make preparations for the departure of the Guards.Until further notice, I consider the armed forces responsible for these violent killings, and I will act in revolutionary manner if they disobey this order. News repeatedly comes from the region that the government and the Armed Forces have done nothing. If positive action is not taken in the next 24 hours, I will hold the Chiefs of the Armed Forces and the Gendarmerie responsible. That’s it.
Decree: August 18, 1979, Imam’s Book, Volume 9:
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I strictly order the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Armed Forces and the Head of the Gendarmerie of the Islamic [Republic, and the Head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards to order the forces dispatched to the Kurdistan region to pursue the wicked insurgents and aggressors who are fleeing and arrest them and immediately turn them over to the competent courts, and to immediately close the region’s borders so that these wicked insurgents do not flee abroad. And I strictly order that they act authoritatively and arrest and turn over the leaders of the wicked insurgents [to the competent courts]. Carelessness in carrying out this order will be considered dereliction of duty and will be severely punished. That’s it.
Decree: August 19, 1979, Imam’s Book, Volume 9:
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
I just got word that in the city of Sanandaj, their “Democratic Party” has surrounded the armed forces and their organizations and that they will take all the weapons if help does not get there in half an hour. They have informed us from the Sanandaj Mosque that the Democratic Party has taken our women hostage. I strictly order the armed forces to order military bases in [province] centers to move toward Sanandaj in sufficient numbers and quash the wicked insurgents with full force. Revolutionary Guards, wherever they are, must move toward Sanandaj and Kurdistan (by air) in sufficient numbers and quash the wicked insurgents with full force. Any delay, even an hour, will be considered dereliction of duty and will be severely punished. I ask the people of Iran to be mindful and immediately report any official or officer who disobeys [these orders]. I expect to receive news of a general mobilization from the armed forces in half an hour. That’s it.

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