Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Hamid Abnus


Age: 22
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: August 9, 1990
Location of Killing: Qom, Markazi Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Beheading
Charges: Rape

About this Case

The deliberations were not public, and Mr. Abnus  — a 22-year-old man charged with serious crimes in Qom —  almost certainly lacked representation.

The news of the execution of Mr. Hamid Abnus was published in the Kayhan newspaper on August 11, 1990. This execution was also acknowledged in a list provided to the Special representative of the United Nation’s Commission on Human Rights, Professor Reynaldo Galindo Pohl, by the Government of Iran. This list was published in a 1990 Report of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations on The Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (A/45/697).

Arrest and Detention

According to the Kayhan newspaper, the defendant was arrested a week before the publication of the news. Other details about this defendant’s arrest and detention are not known.


The defendant was tried in Qom Criminal Court. No other information is available on the defendant’s trial. However, it has been reported to the special representative: “That trials before Islamic revolutionary courts have usually taken place in secret, sometimes inside prisons; that defendants have not usually enjoyed the right to be represented by a lawyer, and often have not even been made aware that the proceedings were in fact a trial and not an interrogation session.”


According to the Kayhan newspaper, “the defendant kidnapped 8 girls, ages between 6 and 8, and raped them during the four months period before his arrest.”

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 Islamic Republic authorities have brought trumped-up charges against their political opponents and executed them for alleged 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 report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant.


No information is available on Mr. Hamid Abnus’s defense.


The court condemned Mr. Hamid Abnus to 74 lashes and death. On August 9, 1990, he received 74 lashes and was beheaded in public and in the presence of judiciary officials in a street of Qom.

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