18-Year-Old Mehdi Mohammadi-Fard Sentenced to Death over Protests

The Revolutionary Court of Sari sentenced Mehdi Mohammadi-Fard to death on the charges of “spreading corruption on earth” and “enmity against God (Moharebeh).” He was previously arrested at protests in Nowshahr.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Mehdi Mohammadi-Fard, age 18, was sentenced to death (two times for two counts).

Along with this death sentence, Mohammadi-Fard received six months for “propaganda against the regime,” two years for “inciting people to murder and disrupt national security,” and one year for “insulting the Supreme Leader of Iran.”

According to a report obtained by HRANA, Mohammadi-Fard has been denied the right to choose his lawyer. Also, an informed source told HRANA that all his confessions had been extracted under torture and ill-treatment.

Mohammadi-Fard was arrested at protests on September 30, 2022, in Nowshahr.

HRANA has detailed the legal cases of 58 citizens sentenced to death or under the impending threat of death sentence over protests. Read this report here.

 

 

 

World Day Against the Death Penalty: Annual Report on Execution in Iran 2021-2022

Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA)- On the World Day against the Death Penalty, the Center of Statistics of Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) has published its annual report in an effort to sensitize the public about the death penalty situation in Iran, particularly thousands of death-row convicts awaiting their looming executions.

HRA’s Statistics Center relies on the work of HRANA reporters, as well as a network of independent and verifiable sources. It also incorporates the judicial authorities’ announcements or confirmations of prisoner executions on media, and as such, is exposed to a margin of error representing efforts by the Iranian authorities to omit, conceal, or restrict the collection of such data.

Between October 10, 2021, and October 7, 2022, at least 528 convicts were executed by hanging in Iran, rising to 98% compared to the same period last year. Of these executions, one was carried out in public. Many of the defendants were denied a fair trial and due process.

Click here to download report in PDF format

HRANA obtained 439 reports regarding executions and death penalty in Iran during this period. The identified executed individuals, include 20 women and 6 juvenile offenders under the age of 18 at the time of alleged crime. Compared to the last period, the execution of female offenders has raised 55%.

According to the reports obtained by HRANA, over this period, Iranian authorities sentenced at least 89 defendants to death penalty, including at least 5 women, and 7 public executions.  Issuing death sentence decreased by 1% compared to the last year.

As the chart below shows a breakdown of executions by capital offense: 50.38% were charged with murder, 41.29% with drug and narcotic offenses, 3.03% with rape, 1.70% with non-political armed robbery/offenses classified as “corruption on earth,” and 0.38% with political or security-related offenses. Moreover, 0.38% were convicted of security charges (spying, terror, and bombing), 0.38% were convicted of armed robbery, and 2.46% of charges are unknown.

The pie chart below displays execution numbers by the province in which they took place. According to this chart, the Sistan and Baluchestan Province had the highest number of executions at 16%. Alborz (where three overcrowded prisons are located) and Fars Provinces come second and third, with 16.48% and 11.93%, respectively.

The chart below depicts the distribution of executions’ information sources. The chart indicates that 70% of HRANA-confirmed executions were not announced by the official Iranian sources. Undisclosed executions are referred to as “secret” executions.

 

The chart above shows the execution numbers by gender.

The pie chart below displays execution numbers by the prison where the executions were carried out. The Rajai-Shahr Prison officials have carried out the highest number of executions with 14.42%. Zahedan Prison ranks second with 12,33% executions.

The chart below displays percentage of executions carried out in public Vs. the number of executions that were carried out in prison. According to statistics, 0.19% of the executions in Iran were carried out in public.

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Click here to download the report in PDF format.

For further inquiries please contact Skylar Thompson, Senior Advocacy Coordinator Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) at [email protected]

Death Sentence of Hossein Kheiri Commuted to Five Years Imprisonment

Branch 29 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran sentenced political prisoner Hossein Kheiri to five years in prison. He had been sentenced to death for “enmity against God (Moharebeh), through destruction of public property with the intention to defy the regime.” Once the verdict was revoked by the Supreme Court of Iran in mid-January of this year, the case was handed over to Branch 29. Recently, Mr. Kheiri was relocated from Evin to Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, the death sentence of Hossein Kheiri was commuted to five years imprisonment.

Seven other defendants of this case, Majid Kahrari, Fardin Asgari, Nima Heidari, Milad Karami, Mahmood Karami, and two others were sentenced to a total of 34 years and 6 months by Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran. The charges against them varied from “assembly and collusion to act against national security” to “enmity against God.”

Earlier, in reaction to the death penalty verdict against his client, attorney Babak Paknia stated that “there are many flaws in this case” and “the charge of Moharebeh does not fit the actions taken by my client.” He had expressed hope that the Supreme Court would reduce the verdict.

In 2020, along with seven other individuals, Hossein Kheiri, age 35, was arrested by security forces in Tehran.  

Juvenile Offender’s Death Sentence Revoked After 18 Years In Prison

The Supreme Court of Iran revoked the death sentence against Mohammad-Reza Haddadi who committed murder when he was 15 years old. The verdict was reduced, requiring Haddadi to pay Diyah (blood-money). Haddadi spent 18 years in prison and was sent to the gallows several times, but the executions were halted at the last moment.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Deutsche Welle Persian, the Supreme Court’s verdict statement clarifies that due to the passage of time, forensic medicine is not able to assess if the defendant was rational and mature at the time of the crime. Secondly, other defendants’ statements about the victim’s suffocation Haddadi are not conclusive enough to determine intention.

Moreover, the Supreme Court states that two other defendants have refuted their earlier statements and the Judges also doubted the intentionality of the homicide. Therefore, the verdict was reduced to paying a full Diyah (blood money).

In March of 2021, Haddadi wrote a letter to the then Head of the Judiciary, Ebrahim Raisi, and asked that his case be reviewed.

During the initial investigation and the first court session held on October 30, 2003, he confessed to the robbery and murder. However, eight days later, in a letter to the court, he claimed his confession was made due to the request of one of the other defendants, who asked him to confess to the killing in exchange for money. He had accepted the request based on the assumption that he is a minor and hence will not receive the death penalty.

Haddadi has been imprisoned for 18 years and suffers from severe renal failure and ulcers.

Mohammad Javad Vafai Sentenced to Death Penalty By the Revolutionary Court

Political activist, Mohammad Javad Vafai was sentenced to death by Mashhad’s Revolutionary Court on the charge of “spreading corruption on earth”.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, Branch 4 of the Revolutionary Court of Mashhad city sentenced Mohammad Javad Vafai to death.

His lawyer Babak Paknia stated that according to the indictment letter, his client has been charged with “spreading corruption on earth through destruction of government property including the building of Suspending Organization of Iran.”

Mohammad Javad Vafai, 26 years old and a boxing coach was arrested in March of 2020 by security forces in Mashhad city.

Earlier, he was granted a high bail which he could not afford to provide, and hence has been in jail since the arrest.

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Inmate Executed in Yasuj Prison

On Thursday, December 30, an inmate previously sentenced to death for rape was executed in Yasuj Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ISNA News Agency, the Public Prosecutor of Yasuj City announced that the execution had been carried out. The inmate was arrested and convicted last year, and the verdict was upheld by the Supreme Court of Iran. The Prosecutor did not reveal the identity of the executed prisoner.

The most recent report from the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between January 1 of 2021 and December 20 of 2021, at least 299 citizens, including four juvenile offenders, were executed. In addition, 85 citizens were sentenced to death in this period.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 88% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

Two Inmates Executed in Mashhad and Kerman Prisons

Two inmates were recently executed in Mashhad and Kerman Prisons.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rasank News, in two separate cases, Emrahim Narooie and Heydar Gholjaie, both residents of Zahedan County, were executed in Mashhad and Kerman Prisons respectively. They had been sentenced to death on drug-related charges.

On Sunday, November 28,  Narooie was executed in Mashhad Prison. Gholjaie was executed in Kerman Prison on Thursday, November 25.

Reportedly, Heydar Gholjaie visited his family before his execution. In 2018, he was arrested at a checkpoint on the road connecting Bam City to Kerman for carrying drugs. Since then he had been jailed in Kerman Prison.

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities have not publicly announced over 82% of executions. These unreported executions are dubbed as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

Official sources and news outlets inside Iran have not reported on these executions as of this writing.

 

 

Three Inmates Executed in Rajai Shahr and Kerman Prisons

This week, in addition to juvenile offender Arman Abdolali, three inmates were executed in Rajai Shahr and Kerman Prisons.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting ISNA, an inmate who was previously convicted of murder was executed in Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj on Wednesday, November 24. At the same time, three other inmates, after being sent to the foot of the gallows, were able to obtain additional time from the “blood avengers” at the very last minute, and were sent back to their cells.

Reportedly, the executed man was personnel of a contracting company working for Tehran municipality. As part of his duty, he stopped a van driver, who was working as a scrap metal collector, to check his permit for this work. The verbal quarrel ends up in a fight between them. During the fight, the van driver was hit in the head, fainted and subsequently died from the fracture in his head in hospital.

According to the victim’s son, who witnessed the incident, the man hit his father’s head with brass knuckles led to his death. Despite recognizing the homicide as a semi-deliberate killing by the judge in the first trial, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict. In the second trial, he was sentenced to death and the verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court. He had been sent to the gallows the previous year, but was that time able to obtain some more time from the blood avengers before being executed.

In Kerman Prison, according to Rasank news, on Thursday, November 25, two inmates, who have been identified as Abdolsattar She-Baksh and Khan-Mohammad Rahman-Zehi, were executed. They have been charged with drug-related crimes. Both had been in jail for three years.

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 82% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

Couple Executed in Yasuj Central Prison

On Tuesday, November 23, a couple was executed in Yasuj Central Prison.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Rokna, the man and woman had previously been sentenced to death after being charged with the murder of two people. HRANA has identified the executed man as Siavash Ardeshiri. The identity of the executed woman is still unknown as of this writing.

Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Yasuj Seyed Ali Malek-Hosseini commented on the verdict.

“On December 18, 2018, a man and his wife are arrested on the charge of murdering two people and subsequently were sentenced to death,” Malek-Hosseini stated. “This verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court. The convicted man claimed that his motivation for these homicides was to save his marriage relationship.”

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.

As the report points out, Iran’s judicial authorities do not publicly announce over 82% of executions. These unreported executions are known as “secret executions” by human rights organizations.

 

 

Park Ranger Sentenced to Death for Murder of Illegal Hunter

The criminal court of Kermanshah Province recently sentenced a park ranger to death for the murder of an illegal hunter while he was poaching in the protected nature area Bisotun.

According to HRANA, the news agency of Human Rights Activists, quoting Javan Online, Branch 3 of the Criminal Court has issued this verdict. The report has identified the convicted park ranger as Boroomand Najafi.

In August 2020, during a fight between several forest rangers and several illegal hunters, one of the hunters was shot dead.

The most recent report of the Statistics and Publication Center of the Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA) states that between October 8 of 2020 and October 9 of 2021, at least 266 citizens, three of whom were juvenile offenders, were executed and 90 citizens were sentenced to death.