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Flogging

Flogging in Mashhad: Man Accused of Murder Given 99 Lashes

Khorasan Newspaper / Translation by Abdorrahman Boroumand Center
Khorasan Newspaper
January 20, 2020
Web article

[The original title of this article was “A 55-year-old murderer was executed at Mashhad’s Central Prison: The ‘Cousin’ Was Hanged!”]

Khorassan Newspaper

Monday, January 20, 2020

Incidents Section, Page 13

Sajjadpur, [reporter] - The Qesas (death penalty) sentence issued in the case of a 55-year-old man was carried out at dawn on January 14, at the Mashhad Central Prison. The man had been arrested five years ago by the Khorassan Razavi Province Criminal Investigation Police detectives for the murder of his cousin (his mother’s sister’s daughter), after a SIM card hidden [at the deceased’s residence] was discovered.

According to a Khorassan newspaper report, this criminal case came to the attention of Qassemambad Police Precinct officers in August of 2014, at which point they contacted the Intentional Murder Special Judge and informed him of the suspicious murder of a 35-year-old woman by the name of “A. M.”. A few minutes later, criminal investigations conducted by Judge Seyyed Javad Hosseini (Intentional Murder Special Judge at the time of the occurrence of the event) began at the apartment where, according to the Coroner, 12 hours had elapsed since the young woman’s death. Additionally, one of the gas lines in the home had been left open.

Subsequent to initial investigations at the scene of the discovery of the body, the deceased’s husband became a suspect; he claimed he had been working in another town and had returned to Mashhad the night prior to the discovery of the body but had not returned to his home for certain reasons. He was then arrested upon issuance of a court order. After detectives carried out further investigations, however, he was found to be innocent in the case and was subsequently released upon issuance of a release order.

The Khorassan report further states that police investigations continued, given the importance and magnitude of the case. The [investigating] judge’s opinion, based on the coroner’s statements, was that the young woman had died due to asphyxiation. Further field investigations by the judge led to discovery of some faint evidence pointing to the presence of a guest at the young woman’s home. At that point, the investigations entered a new stage. Based on guidance provided by the judge, the detectives were able to discover a SIM card hidden in the deceased’s home. Through the tracing of the phone numbers and the text messages in said SIM card, the police’s suspicions were directed at the deceased’s “cousin” (her mother’s sister’s son) who lived in the city of Gorgan. The man was arrested and interrogated but denied having had any contacts with the deceased, and further denied being in Mashhad [at the time]. However, the detectives work led to the gathering of further incriminating evidence, which led to the suspect stopping to tell tales and talk about what had actually happened in the case.

The 50-year-old murder suspect stated: “I had come from Gorgan to Mashhad that night and went to my cousin’s home. I was a guest at her home, and I knew her husband was away in another town and would not return home that night. I then brought up the case of a close family member’s [marital] problems because I was under the impression that she had interfered in their lives. She denied everything and an argument ensued, which resulted in a physical altercation. I pushed her but she was still screaming. I was afraid that the neighbors would hear her, so I pushed her to the floor and put a small pillow over her nose and mouth when all of a sudden she stopped moving and her body became languid. I realized I had killed her. So I decided to create an artificial crime scene: I turned the TV on and opened the gas line so that her death would look like a suicide. I then picked up the cell phone and the pillow and threw them in the garbage can on the street and fled to Gorgan.”

The report continues: “Once the investigations were completed at the Prosecutor’s Office, the case was sent to Khorassan Razavi Province Criminal Court, Branch Five, where the defendant was tried. The case was tried by Judge Mojtaba Alizadeh (the presiding judge) and Judge Mohammad Esmael Andalib (member judge at the time). The defendant expressly confessed to having committed murder and proceeded to describe the details of the crime in the presence of his attorney. At the close of the proceedings, the court’s experienced judges heard the defendant’s closing arguments, at which time they issued a sentence of Qesas of life (“death penalty”) and 99 lashes.”

The Khorassan report further continues that the case went to the Supreme Court upon appeal of the decision by the defendant’s attorney. Upon a careful examination of the case and given the incriminating evidence existing in the case file, the Supreme Court’s experienced judges upheld the Khorassan Razavi Criminal Court One, Branch Five’s ruling. The 50-year-old cousin was thus faced with an impending death penalty.

According to this report, once the preparations for the implementation of the sentence were made at the Mashhad Prosecutor’s Office, this cruel murderer went to the gallows at Mahhad Central Prison in the presence of the Sentence Implementation Judge and other relevant officials. His efforts in creating a fake crime scene did not save him from punishment and he was put to death.

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[This Article’s original title was “A Hidden SIM Card Led The Perpetrator Of The Crime To The Gallows!”]

Khorassan newspaper

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Incidents Section, Page 13

Sajjadpur, [reporter] - A 50-year-old man who was arrested by the Khorassan Razavi Criminal Investigations Police detectives on the charge of murdering his cousin (his mother’s sister’s daughter) after the discovery of a hidden SIM card, was sentenced by the Khorassan Razavi Criminal Court One to Qesas of life (death penalty) and 99 lashes after several trial sessions.

According to a Khorassan newspaper report, this criminal case came to the attention of Qassemambad Police Precinct officers on August 19 of last year, at which point they contacted the Intentional Murder Special Judge and informed him of the suspicious murder of a 35-year-old woman by the name of “A.” A few minutes later, judicial investigations conducted by Judge Seyyed Javad Hosseini (Intentional Murder Special Judge at the time of the occurrence of the event) began at the apartment where, according to the Coroner, 12 hours had elapsed since the young woman’s death. Additionally, one of the gas lines in the home had been left open.

Subsequent to initial investigations at the scene of the discovery of the body, the deceased’s husband became a suspect; he claimed he had been working in another town and had returned to Mashhad the night prior to the discovery of the body but had not returned to his home for certain reasons. He was then arrested upon issuance of a court order. After detectives carried out further investigations, however, he was found to be innocent in the case and was subsequently released upon issuance of a release order.

The Khorassan report states that police investigations continued given the importance and magnitude of the case. The [investigating] judge’s opinion, based on the coroner’s oral statements, was that the young woman had died due to asphyxiation, but there was no reliable evidence of that. There was some faint evidence pointing to the presence of a guest at the young woman’s home. With the investigating judge’s guidance, the detectives were able to discover a SIM card hidden in the deceased’s home. Through the tracing of the phone numbers and the text messages in said SIM card, the police’s suspicions were directed at the deceased’s “cousin” (her mother’s sister’s son) who lived in the city of Gorgan. The man was arrested and interrogated but denied having had any contacts with the deceased. However, the detectives’ work led to the gathering of further incriminating evidence, which led to the suspect to stop telling tales and talk about what had actually happened in the case.

The 50-year-old murder suspect stated: “I had come from Gorgan to Mashhad that night and went to my cousin’s home. I was a guest at her home, and I knew her husband was away in another town and would not return home that night. I then brought up the case of a close family member’s [marital] problems because I was under the impression that she had interfered in their lives. She denied everything and an argument ensued, which resulted in a physical altercation. I pushed her but she was still screaming. I was afraid that the neighbors would hear her, so I pushed her to the floor and put a small pillow over her nose and mouth when all of a sudden she stopped moving and her body became languid. I realized I had killed her. So I decided to create an artificial crime scene: I turned the TV on and opened the gas line so that her death would look like a suicide. I then picked up the cell phone and the pillow and threw them in the garbage can on the street and fled to Gorgan.”

The report continues: “Once the investigations were completed at the Prosecutor’s Office, the case was sent to Khorassan Razavi Province Criminal Court Branch Five where the defendant was tried. The case was tried by Judge Mojtaba Alizadeh (the presiding judge) and Judge Mohammad Esmael Andalib (member judge at the time). The defendant expressly confessed to having committed murder and proceeded to describe the details of the crime in the presence of his attorney. At the close of the proceedings, the court’s experienced judges heard the defendant’s closing arguments, at which time they issued a sentence of Qesas of life (“death penalty”) and 99 lashes.” The sentence can be appealed to the Supreme Court.

 

ABF Note

 

Findings of guilt in the Islamic Republic of Iran's Judicial Proceedings

The Islamic Republic of Iran's criminal justice system regularly falls short of the standards for due process necessary for impartiality, fairness, and efficacy. Suspects are often held incommunicado and not told of the reason for their detainment. Defendants are frequently prohibited from examining the evidence used against them. Defendants are sometimes prohibited from having their lawyers present in court. Additionally, confessions, made under duress or torture, are commonly admitted as proof of guilt. Because Iran's courts regularly disregard principles essential to the proper administration of justice, findings of guilt may not be evaluated with certainty.

Corporal Punishment: the Legal context in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Islamic Republic's criminal code recognizes corporal punishment for a wide range of offenses: consumption of alcohol, theft, adultery, "flouting" of public morals, and mixing of the sexes in public. Judges have the latitude to mete out corporal punishment for those sentenced to death. In such cases, the flogging is carried out before death to maximize the suffering of defendant. Aside from flogging, the Islamic Republic also employs amputations as a punishment for theft. In such cases, the defendant is taken to a hospital and put under anesthesia as his hand or foot is amputated. In some cases the left foot and right hand are cut off, making it difficult for the condemned to walk, even with the assistance of a cane or crutches.

The Islamic Republic's Systematic Violation of its International Obligations under International Law

The use of corporal punishment is contrary to international law and is addressed in several international agreements. Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which Iran has ratified, states that, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Identical language is also used in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which Iran is also a party to. The strongest expression of international disapproval is contained in the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). This treaty defines torture as, "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as ... punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed." Although the Islamic Republic of Iran has yet to sign the CAT, the prohibition on torture is now considered jus cogens and, therefore, part of customary international law. Furthermore, even though the norm against corporal punishment is not yet a jus cogens, there is increasing evidence that it is illegal under international human rights law.[1] In Osbourne v. Jamaica, the Committee Against Torture (a body of experts responsible for monitoring compliance with the Convention) held that "corporal punishment constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment contrary to Article 7 of the Convention." The Islamic Republic of Iran's systematic violations of its obligations under international law have been addressed by the UN General Assembly multiple times, most recently in December 2007. In Resolution 62/168, the UN expressed deep concern with Iran's continued flouting of international human rights law, particularly, "confirmed instances of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations."