Khosro Golesorkhy,Khosrow Golsorkhi
Khosrau Golesorkhi (23 January 1944,
Rasht - 18 February 1974,
Tehran) was an
Iranian journalist, poet, and communist activist in
Iran during the
Cold War. Hooman Majd has described him as a "Che Guevara-like figure for young Iranians in 1974."
Khosrau was born in Rasht on Jan, 23, 1944. His father Ghadir Golesorkhi and his mother Shamsolsharia Vahid Khorgami were both freedom fighting intellectuals of
Gilan. His father passed away when he was five, and he had to move to his grandfather's house in
Qom with his mother and his 2 year old brother. His grandfather was a comrade of
Mirza Kouchak Khan, the leader of the Jangal Movement. Khosrau was 19 when his grandfather died. Then he came to Tehran and started working to make a living, yet he learned English and
French and started publishing his own anti-regime poems under fake names such as Damoon, Kh.G., Babak Rastegar,
Afshin Rad, and Khosrau Katouzian. At the age of 25, while he was working at the Keyhan Newspaper, he fell in love with the Iranian poet Atefeh Gorgin and married her.
Four years later, he just had a son named Damon.
SAVAK was watching Khosrau Golesorkhi and knew him for his leftist and revolutionary poetry, Golesorkhi was convicted along with his friend,
Keramat Daneshian, a director, of plotting to kidnap the
Shah of Iran's son. He was charged with being a terrorist member of the
CFK organization. The military court was televised live, mainly because at the time of the trial,
Shah was hosting the Conference for
Human Rights in Tehran.
At the time, the shah`s regime was blamed for the deaths (by a car accident) of the poet
Forough Farrokhzad, a woman who promised the appearance of someone who would “distribute bread and cough mixture equally”, the tragic and suspect death of the folk hero and
Olympic gold medalist wrestler
Gholamreza Takhti in a hotel, the drowning of the writer
Samad Behrangi in the river
Ali Shariati’s death abroad, and the tortures, killings and executions of those who had taken to an armed uprising against the regime. Even before this the imperial Court had shown its aggressive nature with the knifing of
Mosaddegh’s young foreign minister Dr
Hossein Fatemi by the Shah’s leader of thugs -
Shaban Jafari, the burning to death of
Karimpour Shirazi, proprietor of the revolutionary newspaper
Shuresh (rebellion) in prison by the Shah’s brother, the execution of
Toodeh army officers, and the mass murder of people in the uprising of June 1963. This was the setting when Khosrau Golesorkhi and Keramat Daneshian stood up in front of the shah’s military court.
A group of 13 people had been arrested, charged with connections to CFK; eight of these people confessed under torture and had asked to be pardoned by Shah! Khosrau Golesorkhi, Keramat Daneshian, Teyfour Bathayi, Abbasali Samakar, and Mohammad Reza Allamezadeh dismissed such charges as baseless. It seemed that by this show trial the SAVAK wanted to exaggerate the extent of leftist danger and justify its harsh and inhumane measures against citizens.
At his trial, just as it looked as if the judges were getting the upper hand he turned the atmosphere of the court: “In the glorious name of the people. I will defend myself in a court which I neither recognize its legality nor its legitimacy. As a
Marxist my address is to the people and history. The more you attack me the more I pride myself, the further I am from you the closer I am to the people. The more your hatred for my beliefs, the stronger the kindness and support of people. Even if you bury me - and you certainly will - people will make flags and songs from my corpse”. When colonel Ghaffarzadeh, the chief judge, admonished him to stick to his defense he replied with a wry smile: “are you frightened of my words?”. The judge shouted back “I order you shut up and sit down”. Eyes flashing in anger Golesorkhi spoke passionately “Don’t you give me any orders. Go and order your corporals and squadron leaders. I doubt if my voice is loud enough to awaken a sleeping conscience here. Don’t be afraid. Even in this so-called respectable court, bayonets protect you”. Earlier Golesorkhi had defended himself: “Iranian society should know that I am here being tried and condemned to death purely for holding Marxist views. My crime is not conspiracy, nor an assassination but my views. In this court, in the presence of foreign journalists, I accuse the court, the fabricators of the dossier against me and against the irresponsible judges. I draw the attention of all human rights authorities, committees, and organizations to witness this stage managed farce, this state crime that is about to take place. The military court did not even give itself the trouble of reading my file. I am a Marxist-
Leninist, I respect
Sharia and will shout my views, for which I die, in a loud voice: nowhere in the world, in countries like ours which are dependent to and dominated by neo-colonialism, can a truly national government exist unless a Marxist infrastructure is created in society”.
Golesorkhi was given the opportunity to read a speech in his own defense. He began with some eloquence comparing the struggle of the Iranian left with that of
Imam Hussein, the revered martyr of
Islam. He then continued to discuss the evils of land reform, as practiced by the Shah's regime, and the struggles of the Iranian peasants who first labored under the feudal system in Iran and then under the corrupt land reform. At this point, the chief judge of the military tribunal told him that he should limit his speech to his own defense. Golesorkhi responded by saying that his defense is the defense of the masses against tyranny. The chief judge said, once again, that he should only defend himself. Golesorkhi picked up his papers and said: "I will then sit down. I will not speak and I will sit down." He sat down and did not speak in his own defense any further. Once asked if he will continue his terrorist business he answered "Yes".
Golesorkhi and his comrades defended their Marxist and revolutionary ideology and had the courage to criticize the
When the judge announced death sentences on both Daneshian and Golesorkhi they merely smiled. They then shook hands and embraced. “Comrade!” said Golesorkhi. “My best comrade!” replied Daneshian. Golesorkhi's execution was broadcast on state television. The court became a symbol of the Shah's dictatorship and hypocrisy, due to its content most of the trial proceedings was censored. After the 1979 revolution the entire trial was shown on public television, but again it was censored after the fall of
Mehdi Bazargan's government.
He was executed, and was acclaimed a hero by socialist Guerrillas because he wished not to be blind-folded.
The cell in which they spent their last night in
Jamshidiyeh prison was covered with slogans. They sang revolutionary songs all night, ate their supper quietly, shouted slogans to the soldiers in the lorry which took them to the
Chitgar execution field, refused blindfolds so that they could see the red dawn and sang together in firm voice: “O comrades! Heroes! We will give our life for our country without fear... They then themselves gave the order to fire! Golesorkhi was 30 years old.
Golesorkhi had written: “A person has an artistic eye whose art has a wider link with the people.... an artist has a style that forges a link to the life of the people of his land and keeps the torch of struggle alight in them. This style may not fit any literary school, just as the poetry of the Fadayian of
Palestinian does not. Why should it fit any literary school? Why imprison our poetry, which is our only effective art form, in literary and stylistic schools? The place of a poem is not in libraries, but in tongues and minds. Literature must retain the role it always had in social movements for us too in the displacement of social order, and fulfill it. The role of literature is to awaken. The role of progressive literature is to create social movements and to help attain the goals of historic development of peoples”.
Golesorkhi and Daneshian were buried at section 33 of the
Behesht Zahra Cemetery. His wife also was sentenced to four years in prison and Khosrau's brother
Farhad ha to look after his son.
His life and death has inspired many revolutionaries and activist to-date.