Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Ahmad Azizpur

About

Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Unknown

Case

Date of Killing: August 23, 1981
Location: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Plotting to overthrow the Islamic Republic; Robbery; Armed rebellion against the Islamic Republic; Membership of anti-regime guerilla group; Possession of arms; Bombing

About this Case

Mr. Ahmad Azizpur, Sympathizer of Mojahedin Khalq Organization is one of the 12,028 individuals listed in an addendum to the Mojahed magazine (No 261), published by Mojahedin Khalq Organization in 1985. The list includes individuals, affiliated with various opposition groups, who were executed or killed during clashes with the Islamic Republic security forces from June 1981 to the publication date of the magazine.

The news of the execution of Mr. Azizpur and 13 other individuals was announced in a communiqué by the Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office published in Kayhan and Jomhouri Eslami newspapers on August 25, 1981. In this communiqué the executed individuals are referred to as “hacks of the criminal U.S. imperialism.”

The Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) was founded in 1965. This organization adapted the principles of Islam as its ideological guideline. However, its members’ interpretation of Islam was revolutionary and they believed in armed struggle against the Shah’s regime. They valued Marxism as a progressive method for economic and social analysis but considered Islam as their source of inspiration, culture, and ideology. In the 1970s, the MKO was weakened when many of its members were imprisoned and executed. In 1975, following a deep ideological crisis, the organization refuted Islam as its ideology and, after a few of its members were killed and other Muslim members purged, the organization proclaimed Marxism as its ideology. This move led to split of the Marxist-Leninist Section of the MKO in 1977. In January of 1979, the imprisoned Muslim leaders of the MKO were released along with other political prisoners. They began to re-organize the MKO and recruit new members based on Islamic ideology. After the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the MKO accepted the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini and supported the Revolution. Active participation in the political scene and infiltration of governmental institutions were foremost on the organization’s agenda. During the first two years after the Revolution, the MKO succeeded in recruiting numerous sympathizers, especially in high schools and universities; but its efforts to gain political power, either by appointment or election, were strongly opposed by the Islamic Republic leaders. *

Arrest and detention

The circumstances of Mr. Azizpur’s arrest and detention are not known.

Trial

There is no specific information regarding Mr. Azizpur’s trial.

Charges

According to the communiqué of Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, Mr. Azizpur was charged with “rebelling against the Islamic Republic.” In addition, along with six other individuals, he was charged with “membership in armed branches, responsibility for councils, forming a thirty-person group composed of five strike and destruction teams, planning seventeen explosions, eight of which have materialized, following and identifying people, stealing automobiles in order to transport weapons and explosives, hiding the armed wing of the organization, protecting information and communications, and providing anything necessary to overthrow and weaken the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” It was not clear which one of the above charges specifically applied to Mr. Azizpur, and the date and location of the explosions attributed to him was not mentioned in this communiqué.

The validity of the criminal charges brought against Mr. Azizpur cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.

Evidence of guilt

No information is available concerning the evidence presented against Mr. Azizpur.

Defense

No information is available concerning Mr. Azizpur’s defense.

Judgment

The Central Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal found Mr. Azizpur to be “waging war against God and the Prophet, a corrupter on earth, and a rebel,” and sentenced him to death. He was executed by a firing squad on August 23, 1981.

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*The exclusion of MKO members from government offices and the closure of their centers and publishing houses, in conjunction with to the Islamic Republic authorities’ different interpretation of Islam, widened the gap between the two. Authorities of the new regime referred to the Mojahedin as “Hypocrites” and the Hezbollahi supporters of the regime attacked the Mojahedin sympathizers regularly during demonstrations and while distributing publications, leading to the death of several MKO supporters. On June 20, 1981, the MKO called for a demonstration protesting their treatment by governmental officials and the government officials’ efforts to impeach their ally, President Abolhassan Banisadr. Despite the fact that the regime called this demonstration illegal, thousands came to the streets, some of whom confronted the Revolutionary Guardsmen and Hezbollahis. The number of casualties that resulted from this demonstration is unknown but a large number of demonstrators were arrested and executed in the following days and weeks. The day after the demonstration, the Islamic Republic regime started a repressive campaign – unprecedented in modern Iranian history. Thousands of MKO members and sympathizers were arrested or executed. On June 21, 1981, the MKO announced an armed struggle against the Islamic Republic and assassinated a number of high-ranking officials and supporters of the Islamic regime.

In the summer of 1981, the leader of the MKO and the impeached President (Banisadr) fled Iran to reside in France, where they founded the National Council of Resistance. After the MKO leaders and many of its members were expelled from France, they went to Iraq and founded the National Liberation Army of Iran in 1987, which entered Iranian territory a few times during the Iran-Iraq war. They were defeated in July 1988 during their last operation, the Forugh Javidan Operation. A few days after this operation, thousands of imprisoned Mojahedin supporters were killed during the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988. Ever since the summer of 1981, the MKO has continued its activities outside of Iran. No information is available regarding members and activities of the MKO inside the country.

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