Human Rights Violator: Hossein Moayed Abedi

 Background:

Hossein Moayed Abedi is from Khoshkeh-Bijar village in Gilan. Further information about his personal life has not yet been found. Also, no photograph of him is yet available.

 Titles and Positions Held:

1981 to 1985 – Head Interrogator and Head of Bandar Anzali Prison

1987 – Worked at the Prosecutor’s Office of Gilan Province

1988 – Head of Gilan Province’s Office of Intelligence

2002 to ? – Chief Officer of the Executive Office of Carrying Out Imam’s Order in Gilan Province

June 2011 – Present – Member of the executive board of the apartment building company of Dehkadeh-yeh Saheli in Bandar Anzali

Witness Accounts of Alleged Violations and Crimes:

Instances of Human Rights Violation Based on Testimony of Political Prisoners and Other Sources

Tenure as Head of Bandar Anzali Prison

In the early years of the 1980’s, bureaucratic relations were not yet implemented fully in prisons of some cities such as Bandar Anzali. For this reason, distinguishing the roles of prison lead interrogator from head of prison was difficult for prisoners during those years. According to the testimony of prisoners held at Bandar Anzali Prison during those years, Hossein Moayed Abedi was the main authority and lead interrogator of Bandar Anzali Prison at that time. In those days, the prisoners called him “Fascist Hossein.”

Based on the literature produced by the political prisoners, at least two prisoners died under torture at Bandar Anzali Prison. Unconscious body of Mohammad Ali (Faranoush) Bakhtiyar, a supporter of theMojahedin-e Khalq Organization held at Bandar Anzali Prison, was transferred to the prison clinic in December 1982. Despite the efforts of the physicians, Bakhtiyar who was covered in blood and had both his arms fractured, died on December 10, 1982. (1) Prior to this incident and in 1981, Abedin (Ahmad) Sajedian had died as a result of injuries inflicted under torture at Bandar Anzali Prison. At the time of both deaths, Moayed Abedi was the lead interrogator and head of the prison.

 

Mohammad Ali (Faranoush) Bakhtiyar

Based on the testimony of Mohammad Khoshzogh, who was arrested in 1983 charged with supporting the Fedaian Khalq Guerilla Organization, during his severe torture session in 1983 while he was whipped with a cable, Hossein Moayed Abedi was present. (2) The male and female wards are located very close to one another at Bandar Anzali Prison, so much so that male prisoners could hear the officials speaking to the female prisoners in their ward. Female prisoners were deprived of having a female warden and were forced to make all their requests and demands from the male wardens. Around March 1982, rumor of raping the female prisoners on death row was spread strongly around Bandar Anzali Prison, deeply concerning the female populace. For this reason, the prisoners ask Moayed Abedi to respond to their questions in that regard. Shayesteh Vatan Doust recalls a day in March of 1982 when the female prisoners discuss in writing their questions regarding the issue of marriage of virgin girls prior to their execution. About the question and answer that followed, she says:

I think it was spring of 1982 when one of the Friday prayer imams proposed the idea that a female prisoner is akin to a war captive and permissible to them. Around the same time, one day Hossein Moayed Abedi who was the head of the prison at the time came for a supervisory visit and asked what problems we had. He was talking and telling us that we are making a mistake and the MEK organization is such and such when we complained and asked why such a proposal was stated. We wrote the question and gave it to him. We stated the question by saying “you have said that you don’t execute virgin girls while virgin girls have been executed.” He said, “You have heard correctly that we don’t execute virgin girls. If someone is going to be executed, before execution, she has to be wedded to one of the brothers…(3)

Hossein Moayed Abedi is one of the few Islamic Republic officials who directly affirmed the issue of rape of the virgin girls prior to their execution. Mahbaz Yousef Zadegan was a 20 year old girl who was executed in May 1982 and during the tenure of Moayed Abedi as the authority at Bnadar Anzali Prison.

shayesteh Vatan Doust says,

Later when I was released, I saw a photo of Mahnaz’s corpse. Right in the middle of her legs was fully bruised. It was clear from the photo that the corpse showed signs of beating and injuries, being tied with a rope and that she had resisted. A friend who saw the body said that she was shot in her genital area. They gave      her body to the family because her mother, who did not know Mahnaz was executed, went to the prison for visitation. Someone called her inside the prison, gave her a box of sweets and told her, “Wish me well me. I married your daughter.” Her mother said, “I will wish you well when you hand me her corpse.” After a few days they showed them the body.” (4)

1988 Massacre at the Naval Prison of Rasht

In summer of 1988, based on a fatwa from ayatollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, thousands of political prisoners were executed in throughout Iran.  Nearly all of them were either in the middle of completing their imprisonment term or had completed it but were not released due to refusal to give an interview in which they express their disgust from their political stance. (5) Basically, none of the executed was sentenced to execution during their court proceedings. In Rasht, the prison massacres took place at the Rasht Naval Prison, the largest center for keeping political prisoners in Rasht in 1988.

According to the testimony of Ahmad Mousavi who was himself held at Rasht Prison at the time, from the 120 political prisoners held at ward 1 of Rasht Prison during those days, over 95 of them were called throughout August of 1988 and save for two individuals who returned, the rest were never to be seen again. All the aforementioned individuals were serving imprisonment sentences. (6) There was also a group whose sentence had been reduced as declared to them as late as two weeks prior to the onset of the massacre. They were awaiting their release. (7)

According to the testimony of Mohammad Khoshzogh, 75 male prisoners were executed from section 3 of the male ward, over 30 from the solitary ward, and 75 individuals from Malek-e Ashtar Prison of Lahijan. (8)

Based of the testimony of Shayesteh Vatan Doust, out of the 30 female political prisoners held at the ward, only four prisoners survived the massacre. The rest were called for execution in two sessions while neither they, nor the other prisoners knew of the fate awaiting them. Shahin Sahami was one of such prisoners. While she was 17 at the time of her arrest in 1986, Sahami was called from the ward on July 31, 1988 at the age of 19. She was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment during her trial.

According to Ahmad Mousavi, in Rasht the Death Committee comprised of local officials and included four individuals: representative of the Prosecution office, representative of the Office of Intelligence, Interrogator of the case and Abdullahi (9) head of the prison. Testimony of the prisoners suggests that over 300 prisoners were massacred in Gilan Province during the 1988 prison massacres.

According to Shayesteh Vatan Doust, as representative of the Office of Intelligence, Hossein Moayed Abedi was one of the officials responsible for the mass execution of the prisoners at the Naval Prison of Rasht. About the Massacre of 1988 at female ward of the Naval Prison of Rasht, Vatan Doust says: “They only called two people for questioning, or “court”—Faranak Tavousi (10) and Maryam Vahedi. (11) They took them at 9 am and 10 am on July 30. When they returned they told us that Abedi (12) and two other men whom they didn’t know asked three questions of them—they were not blindfolded and assumed the questions were for the purpose of releasing them. The questions were: What is your opinion about the Munafiqin organization? What is your opinion about the Islamic Republic? And are you willing to do an interview? They didn’t call either of them back until later that night when they came with a list. Faranak had a month left of her prison term and was supposed to be released on September 7. Mahnaz had recently been arrested and had a 10 years prison term.” (13) The two were executed along with another 24 who went before this court or death committee.

Shayesteh Vatan Doust says, “20 people were called out of the ward in the afternoon of July 30 and the rest around 2 am on July 31. Shahin was one of them. In fact, I spoke with Shahin in those last moments, while she was wearing her chador next to the window. I asked her where they were being taken. I was worried but wasn’t thinking about execution at all. Mostly I was thinking that they were being taken away and I was being left alone.” (14)

Shayesteh Vatan Doust believed that Shahin was executed that very night—on July 31. However, she is not certain whether Shahin and the other ladies from Bandar Anzali were executed in Rasht or in Bandar Anzali. She says that the family members of Shahin and the other women from Bandar Anzali were shown unmarked graves in the Cemetery of that city and told that it was the location of their children’s burial. Some families never believed the graves to be the final resting place of their daughters.

Shayesteh Vatan Doust recounts from a reliable source (15) that “someone brought a box of sweets for Shahin’s mother and told her that he married her daughter before she was executed.” (16)

 

Sources:

(1)   List of those executed in the early years of the 1980’s, Iran’s Human Rights Center, Sweden. See also, page dedicated to Mohammad Ali (Faranoush) Bakhtiyar at Boroumand website, available athttp://www.iranrights.org/farsi/memorial-case–4102.php.

(2)    Mohammad Khoshzog, “Great Crime,” printed in Behrouz Sheida, “The Long, Sharp-fanged Nightmare, Prison Memoirs” (2003) Sweden, Baran Publication, P. 77.

(3)    Witness Testimony of Shayesteh Vatan Doust, Justice For Iran.

(4)    Witness Testimony of Shayesteh Vatan Doust, Justice For Iran.

(5)    Prisoners called this group “Melli-Kesh.”

(6)    Interview with Ahmad Mousavi regarding the prison massacre of 1988 in Rasht, Monireh Baradaran, June 5, 2008, Bidaran website, available at http://www.bidaran.net.spip.php?article152.

(7)    Ibid.

(8)    Mohammad Khoshzog, “Great Crime,” printed in Behrouz Sheida, “The Long, Sharp-fanged Nightmare, Prison Memoirs” (2003) Sweden, Baran Publication, P. 119

(9)    Ali Abdullahi Aliabadi. He is currently the Security and Law Enforcement Deputy of the Ministry of Interior.

(10) Further information about Faranak Tavousi can be found at http://www.iranrights.org/farsi/memorial-case–3439.php and http://www.mojahedin.org/pages/martyrsDetails.aspx?MartyrId=19680.

(11) Further information about Maryam Vahedi can be found athttp://www.mojahedin.org/pages/martyrsDetails.aspx?MartyrId=19940.

(12) Same as Hossein Moayed Abedi.

(13) Witness Testimony of Shayesteh Vatan Doust, Justice For Iran.

(14) Witness Testimony of Shayesteh Vatan Doust, Justice For Iran.

(15) Information about the source is kept confidential at Justice For Iran.

(16) Witness Testimony of Shayesteh Vatan Doust, Justice For Iran.

 

More information:

Further research about the instances of human rights abuse committed by this individual is being done.

If this individual had a hand in the violation of your rights or those of someone you know, please forward us the necessary information using the email info@justiceforiran.org. Your collaboration will aid the completion of this case file so that it can be handed to international authorities