Casualties of The Iranian Revolution - Casualties of The Islamic Government

Casualties of The Islamic Government

Following the overthrow of the Shah's government on 11 February 1979 (22 Bahman 1357), members of the old regime, including senior generals, were executed by revolutionary leadership. In the first couple of months, over 200 of the Shah's senior civilian officials were killed as punishment and to eliminate the danger of coup d'état. On 8 May 1979, a total of 21 former Iranian officials, including three former high-level politicians, were executed. They were Javad Saeed, former Majlis speaker, Gholam Reza Kianpor, former information minister, and Mohammad Reza Ameli Tehrani, former education minister. On 9 May 1979, eight men, including a prominent Jewish executive, and former information minister, Abdul Hassan Saadatmand, were executed, raising the number of the executed people 119 since February 1979. On 23 July 1979, five more men were executed in the Khuzestan province. The death toll became 363 with these executions since February 1979.

By January 1980, the number had reached at least 582. Critics complained that the brief trials lacked defense attorneys, juries, transparency or opportunity for the accused to defend themselves, were held by revolutionary judges such as Sadegh Khalkhali, the Sharia judge. Among those executed was Amir-Abbas Hoveyda, former Prime Minister of Iran. Those who escaped Iran were not immune. A decade later, another former Prime Minister, Shapour Bakhtiar, was assassinated in Paris, one of at least 63 Iranians abroad killed or wounded since the Shah was overthrown, although these attacks are thought to have stopped after the early 1990s.

The pace of executions then accelerated, leading to at least 906 executions between January 1980 and June 1981. After president Abulhassan Banisadr was impeached on 20 June 1981 (30 Khordad 1360), a concerted effort was made to find and prosecute the erstwhile supporters turned opposition, primarily leftists. Bloodletting became much worse. According to Shaul Bakhash,

The number who lost their lives will probably never be known with certainty. Amnesty International documented 2,946 executions in the 12 months following Bani-Sadr's impeachment. A list compiled the following year by the Mojahedin-e Khalq cited 7,746 persons who had lost their lives through executions, in street battles, or under torture in the short period from June 1981 to September 1983.

According to historian Ervand Abrahamian, revolutionary courts executed more than 8000 opponents between June 1981 and June 1985. These were mainly members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq, but also included

Fedayins and Kurds as well as Tudeh, National Front, and Shariatmadari supporters. ... Thus the toll taken among those who had participated in the revolution was far greater than that of royalists. This revolution — like others — had devoured its own children.

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