Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Hamid Zamani Kandovani


Age: 26
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: May 3, 1987
Location of Killing: Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Fatal
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

The information about Mr. Hamid Zamani Kandovani is drawn from an interview with his wife. He was born on November 28, 1960 in Tehran. He started his political activism before the revolution when he was a teenager. He was a sympathizer of the Fadaiyan Khalq Organization and had actively remained in contact with them. After the split of the Fadaiyan Khalq Organization in 1979, he joined the Minority faction.

Mr. Zamani Kandovani was affable and had a good sense of humor. He had a hopeful and positive attitude. He had a good voice and sang Turkish songs beautifully. His family was from Ardabil and his native tongue was Azeri. He was active and energetic, and had a black belt in karate martial arts.

The Fadaiyan Khalq Organization, a Marxist-Leninist group inspired by the Cuban Revolution and the urban guerilla movements of Latin America, was founded in 1971 by two communist groups opposed to the Pahlavi regime. Following the 1979 revolution, the Fadaiyan Khalq Organization, which had renounced armed struggle, split over their support of the Islamic Republic and of the Soviet Union. The Fadaiyan Khalq Minority opposed the Islamic Republic, and was active mainly in the political arena and the labor movement.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Zamani Kandovani was arrested on May 17, 1985 and taken to Tohid prison. During the previous regime, this prison was known as the Joint Anti-Sabotage Committee, which was later renamed Ward 3000 and then Tohid prison. Before and after the revolution, political prisoners were tortured in this infamous prison, which today is the Ebrat Museum. However, the Ebrat Museum is dedicated to the acts that took place before the revolution and only a pre-selected list of prisoners have been selected to be commemorated.

Mr. Zamadi Kandovani’s family was not informed of his arrest. He was held incommunicado for one year. His family tried their best to find out some information about him – visiting hospitals and even forensic offices to see if he had died – but they were unable to obtain information about him. About six months after his arrest, his wife found out that he was alive through word from other prisoners. Eleven months after his arrest, his family members were allowed to send him clothes and money. One month later, Mr. Zamani Kandovani was transferred to Evin prison and was allowed to have visitors. His family members noted that he had lost a lot of weight and appeared frail. According to his cellmates, he had been tortured and his feet were badly wounded and swollen.


The first trial for Mrs. Zamani Kandovani was held one and half years after his arrest, and condemned Mr. Zamani Kandovani to death. However, and appeal court held another hearing because of his family’s persistence and appeals to higher judicial officials. Both trials were held in Tehran.


The charge brought against Mr. Zamani Kandovani is not known.

Evidence of guilt

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


No information is available on Mr. Zamani Kandovani’s defense. He was denied the right to have an attorney or access to his file.


According to his wife, the second trial approved Mr. Zamani Kandovani’s death sentence due to the fact that he refused to recant his political beliefs and publicly condemn the Fadaiyan Khalq Organization in a filmed interview.

Mr. Hamid Zamani Kandovani was executed on, or soon after, May 3, 1987. On this date, he made a phone call to his wife, who describes the conversation as follows: “Hamid said: ‘I called to say happy birthday to Ronak – our daughter.’ I said: ‘What is going on? Her birthday is a few days away and I will visit you tomorrow.’ Then it occurred to me what the matter was. I asked: ‘What are you trying to say? If you can’t say it yourself, why don’t you give the phone to another prisoner?’ He said: ‘I don’t have much time. Let me talk with you during the remaining time.’ His last words were: ‘I’m sure Ronak will grow up to become a fine and amazing person with your care.’ He wrote the same thing in his will. He also told me: ‘All the love you feel for me – give it to Ronak. I’m going with your memories and your gift.’ He meant the hand-crafted gift that I had made with rocks for him in prison.”

Mr. Zamani Kandovani’s wife added, “The next day, on May 4, six people and I went to visit our loved ones in prison. The authorities told us to stay to the side and then they said that we could not visit that day. I started to yell and scream, ‘Did you kill him? Do you have no mercy?’ There was another woman crying as well. The guard told us to go and return in three days. Other women dragged me away. Three days later, we were informed of the execution.”

Mr. Zamani Kandovani has been buried at the Behesht Zahra Cemetery. His wife went to the cemetery as soon as she heard about his execution. She said, “The first time I went there, I saw a woman whose child had died in a car accident and was also buried there. She said she had seen four bodies had been brought to the cemetery. When she asked who they were, she was told they had also died in an accident, but no family members accompanied the bodies. This means they had been executed [at that time the bodies of execution victims were not returned to the families for burial or memorial services]. Hamid was one of these four.”

At the time of execution, Hamid Zamani Kandovani was 26.

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