Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Ehsan Shekari


Age: 24
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: September 21, 1997
Location of Killing: Qasr Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder

About this Case

A fugitive from compulsory military service, Mr. Shekari was frequently on the run.  A letter from a kidney association gave him reason to travel to Tehran for an organ donation.

The execution of Mr. Ehsan Shekari was announced on the website of the Hamshahri newspaper on September 22, 1997 and the Kayhan newspaper on September 21, 1997.

Arrest and detention

According to the Kayhan newspaper report, in spite of the defendant’s constant travels, he was arrested on May 1, 1996 due to the authorities’ efforts to arrest him in Mashad and Nishabur (Khorasan province).


No information is available on the defendant’s trial other than it took place at Branch 35 of Tehran Public Court.


According to the Kayhan newspaper report, “Ehsan Shekari, age 24, and a fugitive soldier [i.e. serving compulsory military service]… was referred from Mashhad to Tehran in order to donate one of his kidneys to the victim’s mother, based on a letter by the Association for Supporting Kidney Patients. In preparation for the transplant and completing the necessary medical tests, he resided in the victim’s house several times. During his last stay overnight, he murdered the 13 year old member of the family, with satanic motives.” This report provides no explanation of such motives.

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial. International human rights organizations have drawn attention to reports indicating that the Islamic Republic’s authorities have brought trumped-up charges against their political opponents and executed them for drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences. Each year, Iranian authorities sentence to death hundreds of alleged common criminals, following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of guilt

The evidence of guilt against the defendant are his own “confession” and the statements of the victim’s father. The Kayhan newspaper quotes this person: “On April 17, 1996 at 5 am, I woke up anxiously with the cry of my son, Mohsen… When I entered his room, I saw him submerged in his blood, and a bloody knife was in the hand of the murderer. I tried to catch the knife but it cut my hand and the killer was able to escape.”

International human rights organizations have repeatedly condemned the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its systematic use of severe torture and solitary confinement to obtain confessions from detainees and have questioned the authenticity of confessions obtained under duress. In the case of political detainees, these confessions are, at times, televised. The National Television broadcasts confessions during which prisoners plead guilty to vague and false charges, repent and renounce their political beliefs, and/or implicate others. Human rights organizations have also pointed to the pattern of retracted confessions by those prisoners who are freed.


No information is available on Mr. Shekari’s defense.


The court condemned Mr. Ehsan Shekari to death. After the confirmation of the Supreme Court he was executed at Qasr prison (Tehran) in the presence of the victim’s family and the officials on September 21, 1997.

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