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Haunted Memories: The Islamic Republic’s Executions of Kurds in 1979

Darwish Issa [Pirvali] was taken and when he came back he was really upset. He said that he was accused of having killed Shater Mohammad but he knew nothing of that affair. He was crying and saying that he doesn’t even know Shater Mohammad […] Issa told us: these jerks have asked me to spy on you for them and report to them. I won’t turn my back on you and will never do such a thing. They have said if I spy for them they will release me—but my honor cannot accept such action.164

When H.B. returned from meeting with Khalkhali, Navareh remembered that “he was very quiet when he returned. He wouldn’t say anything. It was clear they had been hard on him.”

Later that day around two or three p.m., after the meetings with Khalkhali had finished, guards came to the room and called out eight names: Ahsan Nahid, Shahriar Nahid, Jamil Yakhchali, Naser Salimi, Issa Pirvali, Ata Zandi, Amjad Mobasseri, and Mozaffar Rahimi—a 17 year old from the village of Ghareyan, near Sanandaj. The guards told the eight men to put on their shoes and follow them. Jamil Yakhchali and Shahriar Nahid carried Ahsan Nahid out of the room on the stretcher. Only Jamil Navareh, Sasan Partowee, H.B., and the father and son remained in the room. Navareh recalls:

When I asked the guard where they were taking [the eight men], they replied: we are taking them to Kermanshah. I was surprised because Darwish Issa [Pirvali] had just been brought from Kermanshah the night before. So why were they taking them back to Kermanshah? […] Half an hour after they took them out of the room we heard the sound of a helicopter taking off. The sound was very loud, so loud that the vibrations shook our window. I did not hear any shots. I think the helicopter noise blocked it so we couldn’t hear it.

Navareh and the others had no idea what happened to the eight men. Finally, around six p.m. that day, the guards told Navareh he had visitors. Navareh went outside and met his father who was crying and very upset. Navareh suspected something must have happened around the airport for his father to be so visibly shaken. However a guard was monitoring the meeting so they could not speak openly. Navareh stayed at Sanandaj airport for another night or two before a family member came with a house deed in exchange for his release. Only when he got home did Navareh learn that the eight men had been executed by firing squad. A few days later, Navareh left for Tehran to obtain medical attention for his injured hand.165

On August 29, people in Sanandaj protested the executions. Security forces attacked the protesters and one protester, Mansour Alaghemand Bahrami, was injured. He later died in hospital from his injuries. 167

[163] 40 Nafar dar Sanandaj, Mariwan va Saqqez Tirbaran Shudand [40 People Were Executed by a Firing Squad in Sanandaj, Mariwan and Saqqez], ETTELAAT, [Aug. 28, 1979], available athttp://www.iranhrdc.org/english/human-rights-documents/3507-1979-newspapers.html.
[164] Shater Mohammad (Mohammad Rahmanpour) was in charge of the military office of Hojjatolislam Safdari (Supervisor of Corps 28 in Sanandaj). He was fatally wounded by demonstrators reportedly because he shot and killed unarmed civilians during Bloody Nowruz in March. See SAYAR, supra note 39, at 3; Talash Barayih Payan-i Nabardha dar Sanandaj [Efforts to End the Fighting in Sanandaj], KAYHAN, [Mar. 20, 1979], available athttp://www.iranhrdc.org/english/human-rights-documents/3507-1979-newspapers.html.
[165] Navareh Interview, supra note 146.

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