Archive for May 11th, 2012

1958: Khosrow Roozbeh

Add comment May 11th, 2012 Headsman

On this date in 1958, Iranian communist Khosro(w) Roozbeh was shot in Qezel Qal’eh prison.

“A popular teacher at the Military Academy, Rouzbeh was the author of a number of pamphlets on chess, artillery warfare, and, together with Ovanessian, the country’s first political lexicon,” blurbs Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran.

He was also not only a communist, but a radical within the context of Iran’s communist Tudeh Party.

After the 1953 CIA-backed coup restored the Shah of Iran, his government persecuted Tudeh activists as a fifth column.

Thousands were arrested, and brutally tortured into betraying their comrades. While most weren’t put to death, Roozbeh was both a true militant — he opposed moderates’ attempt to make common cause with the liberal Mossadegh government that the Shah had deposed — and the organizer of a network of military infiltrators. The British embassy called him the “Red Pimpernel” for his uncanny talent for slipping traps and getting about in disguise. But that act never has a long shelf-life.

Roozbeh was finally winged in a 1957 shootout and taken into custody, where he was tortured into his own confessions (e.g., that he had assassinated Tudeh members who were too willing about their police collaboration). After spending his last night on this planet putting NaNoWriMo to shame by cranking out a 70-page political manifesto, he’s supposed to have met his executioners defiant to the last, refusing a blindfold and crying “Long Live the Tudeh Party of Iran! Long Live Communism! Fire!”

But the volley that silenced Roozbeh’s cry can be seen in retrospect to mark the definitive elimination of communism from Iran’s political stage, the piece de resistance for SAVAK’s campaign of suppression.

After Roozbeh, Tudeh slipped into irrelevancy (Spanish link) … leaving little but the outsized myth of its most renowned martyr.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Activists,Assassins,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,Famous,History,Iran,Martyrs,Murder,Power,Revolutionaries,Shot,Soldiers,Terrorists,Torture

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