Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Ali Asghar Dehpanah


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: July 5, 1980
Location of Killing: Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Unspecified execution method
Charges: Murder of persons and/or killing Muslims or/and freedom fighters; Corruption on earth

About this Case

The execution of Brigadier General Ali Asghar Dehpanah and 15 others was reported by the correspondents of the Jomhuri Eslami and Kayhan dailies in Shiraz (July 5, 1980).

According to the Shiraz correspondent of the Enqelab Eslami daily of the same date, the religious judge who had attended the Friday Sermon in Shiraz spoke before performing the prayer while announcing the news:

“As I was busy examining the cases of drug dealers, the President asked me in a telephone conversation to examine the cases of first rate criminals with political charges and issue the verdict based on the Shari’a law. I requested that the Islamic Revolutionary Prosecutor of Shiraz give us what they have at the Revolutionary Tribunal. Unfortunately, these cases were not passed on to us, and therefore I sentenced five people to death based on what was available at the prison or the Islamic Revolutionary Guards headquarters, and considering the testimonies of witnesses and unbiased individuals. One or two of these five people were already tried at the court and sentenced to life imprisonment, but I sentenced them to death, considering the crimes they had committed; and I did not think it was even that necessary to examine their cases, anyway. The death sentence was carried out today at dawn, and this was my Islamic and human duty and I have done my job in accordance with Shari’a standards.”

The report of the Friday Sermon speech points to the fact that these executions caused disagreement among the clerics. In response to his critic, the religious judge said: “The gentleman who has been silent so far and has not shown the slightest reaction to the blood of our martyrs, has telephoned certain people last night, telling them that I have acted illegally. It must be said to him that it is none of his business. It would only be fair if I performed my duty to defrock this pseudo-cleric so that other pseudo-clerics do not dare present themselves against the Islamic nature of Iran.”

Arrest and detention

The circumstances of this individual’s arrest and detention are not known.


Based on the Jomhuri Eslami report, the religious judge traveled to Shiraz and, after visiting the Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) headquarters of Shiraz, headed for the Shiraz Tribunal, where he examined the cases of 16 individuals charged with a range of crimes from killing and suppression of revolutionary combatants to drug dealing and sodomy. Brig. Gen. Dehpanah was one of the defendants.


The Jomhuri Eslami mentioned Brig. Gen. Dehpanah’s charge as “being a factor in the mass murder of Muslim people on February 11, 1979,” adding that “the number of people martyred in the clashes supervised by him reached 80.” The Kayhan daily, however, specified that the defendant’s charge had been “active participation in suppressing people” that “resulted in 80 deaths and 470 injuries.”

Evidence of guilt

The reports contain no information regarding the evidence presented against the defendant at the trial.


No information is available on the defendant’s defense.


The judge sentenced the defendant to death. The Jomhuri Eslami report specifies that the sentence included confiscation of property for six of the accused. It is not clear whether or not Brig. Gen. Dehpanah’s properties were confiscated.

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