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Witness Statement of Mother Shaheed

In this witness statement, Mother Shaheed—a Kurdish homemaker formerly residing in Mahabad—describes the execution of her daughter in 1981. Her daughter was a juvenile at the time.

Name: Mother Shaheed*

Place of Birth: Sanandaj, Iran

Age: 72 years old


Interviewing Organization: Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC)

Date of Interview: February 13, 2011

Interviewer: IHRDC Staff

This statement was prepared pursuant to an in person interview with Mother Shaheed. The statement was approved by Mother Shaheed on February 13, 2011. There are 9 paragraphs in the statement

The views and opinions of the witness expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center.

* A pseudonym has been used to protect the identity of the witness.

1.   My job is a homemaker. I left Iran in 1989 and came to Sweden. I am about 72 years old. I have been here for 22 years. I left Iran because my children live here in Sweden and my daughter and I were alone in Iran.

2.   I am from Mahabad and am a Kurd. I was in Mahabad after the revolution and during the time of the attack on Kurdistan. When the government attacked Kurdistan, it was 1980. [At the time of the attack] we left Mahabad and went to Bukan.

3.   During the time that the Shah left and Bakhtiar[1] also left, the army took control of Mahabad. My sister’s child was killed in this takeover. My sister’s child did not do anything. He was 19 years old and worked at his father’s store. When he was leaving his house, government forces shot at him and killed him. 

4.   During this conflict, my brother’s child was also killed. My brother’s child was a member of the Komala worker’s party and martyred in battle. 

5.   My children were political prisoners. My son, Farhad was in prison for a time and later left Iran for Sweden.

6.   My daughter was executed. It was seven in the morning when government authorities came to our home to take her away in the year 1981. She was still asleep.

7.   My daughter went to court and was sentenced to execution for her political activities. Initially, she was given six years’ imprisonment but after serving only one year, they ordered her execution.  At the time of her imprisonment, she was only 15 years old. She was 16 when they executed her.      

8.   We could not bury her. She was executed in Orumiyeh and was buried there in Rizwan Garden.  My other daughter and I went to that location and there was an elderly man there that was a gravedigger who said that three girls were seized, one of which was my daughter. My older daughter knew Turkish and asked this man (in Turkish) to dig in the location of the graves until we knew which was her gravesite. At first, he said he was afraid of the guards who patrolled the cemetery but my daughter persuaded him, he dug by the gravesites, and my eldest daughter saw which burial plot was hers. 

9.   Even after this, I did not file an official complaint about her execution because there was no forum in which I could lodge this type of complaint. 


[1] As opposition to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s rule grew throughout 1978, the Shah finally turned to a moderate opposition figure, Dr. Shapour Bakhtiar, to form a government. Dr. Bakhtiar had been under-secretary of Labor in Prime Minister Mossadegh’s government in 1951-53 and was arrested and imprisoned on several occasions in the 1960s by the Shah because of his political activities. He was the leader of the social democratic Iran Party, one of the oldest and most influential parties of the opposition National Front coalition. In October 1978 he began to speak out in favor of meeting the Shah halfway with the formation of an interim government. He opposed the decision of other constitutionalist leaders to align publicly with Khomeini. Dr. Bakhtiar assumed the office of Prime Minister on January 3, 1979 but only served in the office for 37 days until he was pushed out by Ayatollah Khomeini and his allies. Dr. Bakhtiar fled to France in July 1979—but even in exile two attempts were made on his life by assassins commissioned by the Islamic Republic of Iran and a third and final attempt in 1989 which proved successful.

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Tagged as:

Kurds, Executions, Child Rights