Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Fakhri Sheida'i


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Unknown
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: November, 1980
Location of Killing: Azarbaijan-e Gharbi Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

The information about Ms. Fakhri Sheida’i, born in Kordestan, was sent to Omid by a person familiar with this case. Her name is also mentioned in the list of the Fakhaiyan Khalq Organization, Majority Branch, among those who were killed or executed. Mr. Sheida’i studied fine arts in Tehran.

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. After the 1979 Revolution, the organization, which renounced armed struggle, split over their support of the Islamic Republic and of the Soviet Union. The Fadaiyan Khalq Majority supported and considered the Islamic Republic as a revolutionary and anti-imperialist regime. After the spring of 1983, however, the Islamic Republic targeted its members solely because of their political beliefs.

Arrest and detention

After Iranian universities closed due to the Cultural Revolution in April 1980, Ms. Sheida’i was traveling from Tehran to Kordestan to visit her family. She was arrested near the city of Mahabad (in West Azarbaijan province) along with a 17 year old high school student. Based on available information, they were both raped while in detention.

The Cultural Revolution began after Ayatollah Khomeini gave a speech in March 1980 and ordered that universities be purged of all those who opposed his regime and be transformed into “learning environments” [as opposed to political forums] where “an all-Islamic curriculum” would be taught. The first wave of violence began on April 15, 1980 during a speech by Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani [a member of the Council of the Islamic Revolution and Minister of Interior] at the University of Tabriz. Following the speech, students supporting the regime took control of the University’s central building and demanded that the “university be purged” from “pro-Shah elements and other sellouts.”

On April 18, the Council of the Islamic Revolution issued a communiqué accusing political groups of converting higher education institutions into “headquarters of discordant political activities” and naming them as obstacles to the radical transformation of the universities. The communiqué gave these groups three days (Saturday April 19 to Monday April 21) to shut down their activities in the universities. The Council stressed that the decision included libraries along with activities related to arts and sports. Political groups, which recruited members and had strong support in the universities, refused to evacuate.

Before the Council’s deadline, serious clashes took place between leftist groups and Islamist Associations, which were at times supported by security forces and paramilitary groups. These clashes, which peaked at the end of the three-day deadline, resulted in the death of several people and the wounding of hundreds of others on university campuses around the country.

On April 21, the Islamic Republic authorities announced the victory of the Cultural Revolution and the closure of all universities in order to Islamicize the curricula. The universities remained closed for two years. One of the outcomes of the Cultural Revolution was the purging of many university professors and students based on their political beliefs.


No information is available on the defendant’s trial.


The charge brought against the defendant is not known.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant. The source of information states that there was no evidence that she belonged to any particular oppositional political faction.


No information is available on Ms. Sheida’i’s defense. The person familiar with this case believes that she was arrested because of the fact that her family is a well-known in Kordestan and her brothers were affiliated with the Komaleh Party and the Kordish Democratic Party of Iran.


There is no information about the verdict leading to this execution. Ms. Sheida’i was executed by firing squad in November 1980.

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