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RFE/RL Investigation Exposes Long-Hidden Details Surrounding 1992 Murder Of Dissident Iranian Showman

Who Killed Fereydoun Farrokhzad? The Unsolved Murder Of Iran's Dissident Showman
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Who Killed Fereydoun Farrokhzad? The Unsolved Murder Of Iran's Dissident Showman

WASHINGTON—Between 1988 and 1998, dozens of Iranian dissident intellectuals were killed, many outside of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), in what activists have collectively termed the “chain murders.”

One of the most famous victims of the campaign was the iconic entertainer and political activist Fereydoun Farrokhzad, who’s mutilated body was found in his apartment in Bonn, Germany in in 1992. After three decades, the case has not been solved, and German authorities have declined to comment on their investigation or on allegations that the IRI government was behind the operation.

But now, an investigation by RFE/RL’s Persian language service, Radio Farda, reveals that German police thought that Farrokhzad’s murder bore the hallmarks of an Iranian government operation and that the perpetrators appeared to have used one of the singer’s acquaintances to carry out the killing.

  • WATCH Radio Farda’s three-part video documentary “The Melancholic Easterner” (in Persian)

Radio Farda’s investigation also gives its audience an unprecedented look into Farrokhzad’s personal, political, and professional struggles in the final years before his murder based on interviews with those close to him, as well as excerpts from his home videos and diaries never before seen by the public.

The documentary has already proven very popular with Radio Farda audiences—the first episode earned more than 920,000 views on social media and in the first three days after its release.

About RFE/RL's Radio Farda
RFE/RL’s Iranian Service, known as Radio Farda, breaks through government censorship, providing accurate news and a platform for informed discussion and debate to audiences in Iran. Radio Farda’s website earned more than 176 million visits and 310 million page views in FY2021, and it engages with more than 5.5 million followers on Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

About RFE/RL
RFE/RL relies on its networks of local reporters to provide accurate news and information to more than 37 million people every week in 27 languages and 23 countries where media freedom is restricted, or where a professional press has not fully developed. Its videos were viewed 7 billion times on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram/IGTV in FY2021. RFE/RL is an editorially independent media company funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

Martins Zvaners in Washington (, +1.202.457.6948)
Jana Hokuvova in Prague (, +420.221.122.072)