Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohammad Ali Ashrafi


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: October 25, 1980
Location of Killing: Aghajari, Khuzestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Counter revolutionary opinion and/or speech

About this Case

The execution of Mr. Mohammad Ali Ashrafi and another person was announced in the Peykar publication, number 80, dated November 10, 1980. Further information was published in the Peykargar (a publication of the Peykargar Student Union in West Berlin), number 10, dated March 1, 1987. Mr. Ashrafi is one of the 430 “Martyrs of the Peykar Organization for the Liberation of the Working Class” who is published on the Andeesheh va Peykar website of the Peykar Organization . This list contains the names of those members of the organization who died after the revolution of 1979. More than 400 of the individuals on this list have been executed.

Mr. Ashrafi was born in Aghajari (in the south-western province of Khuzestan) on September 23, 1953. He worked for the National Iranian Oil Company and was a Peykar sympathizer in Aghajari. He was married and had a child. He was arrested twice during the Shah’s time, once for making a film depicting the working class of Aghajari, and the second time in relation to a friend’s arrest.

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 was also joined by a number of political organizations, known as Khat-e Se (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 the 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

According to the Peykargar, Mr. Ashrafi was arrested on October 21, 1980 during an attack by the regime’s agents on the sympathizers of the Peykar Organization. No further information is available about his arrest or detention.


Mr. Ashrafi was tried in a court headed by the cleric Ayatollah Khalkhali without an indictment or legal representation (Peykar).


According to the Andeesheh va Peykar website , Mr. Ashrafi was charged with “propaganda and speaking against the Iran-Iraq war.” Peykar described the court where Mr. Ashrafi and another person were tried. The religious judge asked about his ideology and said, “Are you a communist?” The defendants answered in the positive. The judge then asked, “If released, will you continue on the same path?” The defendants answered in the affirmative once again.

Evidence of guilt

According to the information available, there was no evidence against Mr. Ashrafi except for his own statements at the trial. The Peykar magazine reported that Mr. Ashrafi asked the judge, “With what evidence are you trying us?” The judge replied, “There is no need for evidence. Just the fact that you went to Kordestan to fight is enough” (referring to fighting between Kordish oppositional groups and the agents of the Islamic republic).


When the religious judge accused Mr. Ashrafi of taking part in the fighting in Kordestan, the latter responded, “Although it would have been an honor to fight in Kordestan, we have not gone there. You try us merely for our beliefs and love for the working class.” Ayatollah Khalkhali asked, “Why does your organization say that those internally displaced due to the war are opposed to the war? Did Emam [Khomeini] not say that we would fight until victory?” Mr. Ashrafi's co-defendant replied that the stance of the Peykar Organization reflected the will of the people.

Mr. Ashrafi stated in his will, “I am totally innocent and there is no evidence against me for which I am being executed” (published in the Peykar magazine).


The religious judge condemned Mr. Ashrafi to death. He was executed by firing squad in Miankuh, near Agahjari, on October 25, 1980. Peykargar states that his body was not returned to his family for 24 hours, and then it was returned only with the condition that he would not be buried in the city cemetery since he was an “apostate and thereby unclean.” His body was buried in a village near Omidieh where some of his relatives lived.

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