Habibollah Panahi

Born: 1933, Azerbaijan

Assassinated in Tabriz on 4 February 1980


Habibollah Panahi was born into a Baha’i family.  He completed elementary and junior high school in Tabriz.  In 1956 he moved to Urmia and opened his own business.  He was a member of the Local Spiritual Assembly[1] of the Baha’is of Urmia for 22 years.  He regularly received life treats and in 1978, his shop was set on fire and destroyed.   Under such circumstance Habibollah was forced to leave Urmia. Subsequently he spent a few months in different cities in Iran and eventually returned to Urmia to recover his business, nevertheless the threats resumed. For the safety of his family he arranged for them to leave Iran.

On 1 February 1980, on his way back home from a Local Spiritual Assembly meeting, he was shot in the head by two armed men.  He was still alive when a young member of the Baha’i community found him at the doorsteps of his home.   He was rushed to a hospital in Urmia and then Tabriz where he passed away on 4 February 1980.  His wife immediately returned to Iran for his funeral.  His family was able to bury him in accordance with Baha’i law in Vadi-e-Rahmat, a Muslim cemetery.


(This brief biographical note is based on the best available information. If you find any inaccuracies, or any important facts omitted, please email us through the Contact page.)





[1] Local Spiritual Assembly: a nine-member administrative body elected annually by the Baha’is of a particular area, tasked with overseeing the affairs of the Baha’i community of that area.