Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Reza Sharifi


Age: 21
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: January 26, 2008
Location of Killing: Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Homosexual rape

About this Case

The execution of Mr. Reza Sharifi, son of Gholam Ali, resident of Najafabad (Esfehan province), was announced in the websites of the Jame Jam newspaper, the E’temad newspaper, as well as in a report of the Fars News Agency (January 26, 2008). According to Jame Jam and E’temad, he was a member of a large family. He dropped out of school after some years of education and entered the work force.

Arrest and detention

Based on the report of E’temad, in the spring of 2006, the family of a young boy who had been molested filed a complaint at the Public Prosecution Office of Najafabad. With another similar complaint, Mr. Sharifi was arrested. The details of his arrest and detention are not known.


No information is available on the defendant’s trial other than he was tried at Branch 17 of the Criminal Court of Esfehan Province.


E’temad reported that Mr. Sharifi was charged with “child molestation.” The age of the boys molested is reported to be “7 to 12” in Jame Jam, “7 to 11” in the story of the Fars News Agency, and “7 to 10” in E’temad. The number of these victims was said to be seven, seventeen, and “at least seven” by each respective source. E’temad stated that the number of the victims might be more but “such children and their families might have decided not to file a complaint in order to keep their honor.” According to the sources, Mr. Sharifi met the boys on their way to/from school, took them with his motorcycle to remote gardens and molested them.” E’temad quoted Mr. Sharifi saying: “Of course I never thought of killing the children. I didn’t have the heart to do that.”

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. The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of guilt

E’temad stated that the children identified Mr. Sharifi as the perpetrator and he “confessed to his Satanic acts in the preliminary interrogations.” The Fars News Agency also mentioned the confessions, but not the identification by the victims. According to E’temad, he was arrested in 2005 for misdemeanor towards children and was released from prison 45 days later.

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 details are available on his defense. E’temad quoted him saying: “When I worked at a store, one day a man attacked, he held me tight so I could not escape, and molested me. After that I hated him and myself, and I wanted to take revenge. I decided to kill him with a knife several times, on occasions I wanted to hit him in the head with bottle and escape, but each time I relented.”


According to E’temad, Branch 17 of the Criminal Court of Esfahan Province condemned Mr. Reza Sharifi to death and this verdict was approved by Branch 15 of the Supreme Court. According to Jame Jam and Fars News Agency, Mr. Sharifi was executed at Asadabad camp of Mobarakeh city, associated with the Esfehan Central Prison on January 26, 2008 in the morning. According to E’temad and Jame Jam, he was executed by a firing squad.

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