Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Ahmad Morammazi


Age: 35
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: December 31, 2007
Location of Killing: Karun Prison, Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: War on God; Acting against state's security

About this Case

Mr. Morammazi was married and had two children. He resided in the town of Sarbandar, in the South of Khuzestan Province.

News of Mr. Ahmad Morammazi’s execution was published by numerous sources, including: Amnesty International (February 7, 2008); the Ahvaz Human Rights Organization (January 30, 2008); and the Ahvaz Democratic Popular Front (January 3, 2008). Additional information was obtained from an interview conducted by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation with two individuals accused in the case, which has been referred to as “the Ahvaz bombings case” by Iranian authorities, including a prison mate, as well as other sources.*

Mr. Morammazi was 35-years-old, married, and had two children. He resided in the town of Sarbandar, in the South of Khuzestan Province, and had a middle school education.

Mr. Morammazi along with Abdolhossein Horaibi and Hossein Asakereh, were the sixth group of Khuzestan Province ethnic Arabs who were executed in Ahvaz, in connection with the 2005 bombings and unrest.The sentence and execution issued for this group of individuals prompted numerous reactions from The U.N. human rights institutions; the European Parliament; Amnesty International (October 18, and December 7, 2007); and the Ahwaz Human Rights Organisation (November 5, 2007, and January 2, 2008). In a resolution issued on December 19, 2006, the UN General Assembly expressed grave concern about widespread human rights abuses, the use of torture and execution in Iran, and, more particularly, regarding discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities. The open publication of seven of the Ahvaz bombing defendants’ attorneys resulted in their prosecution on the charge of endangering national security in Ahvaz. (ILNA, October 7, 2006). The attorneys’ trial was supported by the UN Special Rapporteurs’ objections. (UN website, January 10, 2007). On January 22, 2008, the European Parliament strongly condemned the execution of four “Arab political activists,” including Mr. Morammazi.

Historical Background of the Ahvaz Bombing

Subsequent to the publication of a letter ascribed to a government official concerning systematic modification of the fabric of Khuzestan Province’s ethnic Arab population, demonstrations broke out on Friday, April 15, 2005, in [the city of] Ahvaz, and then in [the town of] Hamidideh. In quashing the demonstrations, security and police forces resorted to violence, which led to the death and injury of dozens of protestors and resulted in the protests and the unrest spreading to a number of other Khuzestan cities, continuing for at least 10 days.**These protests were the beginning of a series of incidents, including widespread arrests, multiple bombings, and successive executions in Ahvaz. For instance, a series of bombings followed on June 12 and October 15, 2005, and on January 24 and February 27, 2006, in various regions of Ahvaz, Abadan, and Dezful. These bombings were carried out in front of government buildings and in public places and left in their wake more than 20 dead and dozens injured.***According to government sources, other bombings (targeting oil pipelines and non-residential regions around Ahvaz) occurred at the end of summer and in the fall of 2005, which did not leave any casualties.

In response to the Ahvaz bombings, security forces arrested dozens of the region’s ethnic Arab individuals, charging them with participation in the bombings. They were then kept in solitary confinement cells, for months, at the Information Ministry’s Detention Center. People being held were subjected to torture, in order to confess having taken part in the bombings. According to the Ahvaz Prosecutor, ultimately a total of four cases were opened at the Revolutionary Court, Special Branch, and at least 45 individuals were charged. Dozens of these individuals were tried in closed sessions and were sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court. At least 20 of these sentences were carried out. Dozens of other Arab citizens were given long-term sentences.

Government officials never accepted that these bombings had internal reasons which had arisen following the Khuzestan incidents. In multiple, and sometimes contradictory, statements, political and judicial authorities imputed responsibility to groups opposing [the Islamic Republic], including, “Those loyal to the previous regime and residing in England;” “Fugitive SAVAK (the Shah’s security and intelligence apparatus) members, and family members of the destroyed Monafeqin (MKO);” “Wahabis;” “secessionists;” and/or to groups affiliated with the UK and other foreign countries. The Iranian government officially accused the UK of involvement in the bombings and declared that the bombers had been trained in Iraq, in regions under British army control, where they had acquired their arms and explosives. In one such statement, then-President Mahmud Ahmadinejad spoke of the clear and obvious footprint of Iraq’s occupiers in the Khuzestan incidents. (ISNA, January 25, 2006). The British government officially denied these accusations and expressed its concern regarding such statements made by Iranian officials. (BBC, November 1, 2005).

The televised confessions of a number of those arrested were broadcast several times on local TV and on Iran’s English language, Press TV. In one of these programs, broadcast on local TV on November 13, 2006, 10 of these individuals declared themselves to be members of “Katibeh Shohadaye Mohiuddin Al Nasser,” (“Mohiuddin Al Nasser Martyrs Brigade,”) or (the military wing of the Al-Nazal movement). No group officially accepted responsibility for the Ahvaz bombings. However, a video recording was distributed in the name of Katibeh Shohadaye Mohiuddin Al Nasser and “Harakat Al-Nazal Al-Arabi Le-Tahrir Al-Ahvaz (“Ahvaz Arabic Liberation Movement”), showing some of the bombings, including the explosion in front of the Natural Resources Organization building and oil pipeline explosions. At a later time, Harakat Al-Nazal officially accepted responsibility for some of the oil pipeline explosions.

Arrest and Detention

Mr. Morammazi was arrested by Information Administration agents on February 23, 2006 (Padmaz, April 12, 2014). ). On March 2, 2006, the Minister of Information announced the arrest of ten individuals “who had carried out the Ahvaz bombings.” (Iran Newspaper).

There is no direct information about Mr. Morammazi’s place and his conditions of detention. Two of the defendants in the bombing cases, as well as other Arab activists who were detained by the Information Administration at the same time, testified in an interview with the Boroumand Foundation that the accused in the bombing cases were kept in solitary confinement cells at Ahvaz Information Administration’s secret detention center, and routinely and continuously underwent physical and psychological torture. There was no possibility of contact and visitation with their families. According to one of Mr. Sanavati’s prison mates, he and a number of the accused in the case were transferred to Ahvaz’s Karun Prison in the middle of summer 2006. (ABF Intrview)


There is no detailed information about Mr. Morammazi’s trial. According to Amnesty International, the Shadegan Islamic Revolutionary Court tried Mr. Morammazi and two other defendants in a single-day, closed session. (Amnesty International, December 7, 2006). According to Arab human rights activists, however, Mr. Morammazi was tried in the Ahvaz Islamic Revolutionary Court, Branch Two. (Padmaz, April 12, 2014). There is no information on whether or not Mr. Morammazi had an attorney in said court.


According to Arab activists, the charges against Mr. Ahmad Morammazi were “Moharebeh” (“waging war against God”), and “acting against national security.” (Padmaz, April 12, 2014). According to Amnesty International, the defendants in this case had been accused of interfering [and participation] in bombing oil pipelines in Khuzestan Province. (Amnesty International, December 7, 2006).

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.


There is no information about evidence presented at trial.


There is no information about the defendant’s case. According to available information, however, Ahvaz bombing defendants were not given the opportunity for an effective defense.

Three U.N. Special Rapporteurs sent two letters to the Islamic Republic officials in August and November 2006, demanding clarifications regarding the Ahvaz bombing defendants’ claims of torture and unfair trial. The government did not, however, reply to these letters. (U.N. Human Rights website, January 10, 2007).

Three of the individuals accused in the Ahvaz bombing case testified, in an interview with the Boroumand Foundation, that the prison guards in bombing cases applied severe physical and psychological torture in order to elicit incriminating confessions about themselves and the other accused individuals. According to them, a team had come from Tehran for the purpose of making videotaped confessions and that the defendants had been subjected to pressure and beatings for several nights in order to show their “confessions” on film. (ABF Interview).


According to Amnesty International, on November 6, 2006, the Islamic Revolutionary Court sentenced Mr. Ahmad Morammazi to death. He was hanged in Karun Prison, in Ahvaz, on December 31, 2007, along with two other defendants. According to his prison mate, Mr. Morammazi’s body was not turned over to his family and was buried by security agents. The agents did not allow the family to conduct an official wake for him. (ABF Interview).


ISNA (January 25, 2006), ILNA (October 7, and November 18, 2006), Radio Farda (Ocotber 19, 2007), BBC Parsian (November 1, 2005, June 21 and 26, 2006), Padmaz (April 12, 2014), Amnesty International (December 24, 2006, and January 10, January 15, February 7, December 7, 2007), U.N. Human Rights website (January 10, 2007), Ahvaz Democratic Popular Front (January 3, 2008), Ahwaz News Agency (November 5, 2007, January 2 and 30, 2008), Emadoddin Baqi Website (June 15, 18, 21, 23 and 26, 2006), Iran Newspaper (March 2, 2007).

** A Summary of the Khuzestan Protests on April 2005
Subsequent to the publication of a letter dated July 24, 1998, ascribed to then-President Khatami’s Chief of Staff, Mohammad Ali Abtahi, demonstrations protesting the letter broke out on Friday, April 15, 2005, first in [the city of] Ahvaz, and then in other cities, such as Mahshahr and Hamidideh, and continued for several days. The letter emphasized the modification of Khuzestan Province’s ethnic Arab population through promotion and encouragement of the migration of non-native populations to the province, [thus] reducing Khuzestan’s Arab population to one third of the total population of the province. Although the government’s spokesperson officially denied [the existence of] this letter on Saturday, April 16, the demonstrations that had been called for by the “Coordination Committee for Popular Protests in Ahvaz” continued extensively in the coming days. In calling for demonstrations, [the organizers] highlighted various factors, including “the central government’s policies in expropriating Arab farmers’ lands for various projects such as sugar cane development,” and “marginalization of, as well as profound discontent among, Khuzestan’s Arab [population], as a result of the regime’s efforts to obliterate Arab identity.”
The demonstrations that had started in Kui-e Alavi (Shelangabad /Da’ereh), one of [the city of] Ahvaz’s poor neighborhoods, quickly spread to the center of Ahvaz and to the cities of Mahshahr and Hamidieh. Citing Ahvaz News (a regional news organization) and eyewitnesses at the scene, the Ahvaz Human Rights Organization’s bulletin, dated April 15, 2005, stated, “Around three thousand Arab people of Ahvaz have gathered together and started extensive but peaceful demonstrations in Kordovani Street and Square, along with thousands of others in neighborhoods such as Shelangabad, Malashieh, Ameri, and Kut Abdollah, among others. Security forces are attacking the demonstrators, first with tear gas, and are subsequently firing on them in Da’ereh and Malashieh neighborhoods.” The degree of violence resorted to by security and police forces in quashing the demonstrations was such that it led to the death of a number of protestors. Dozens more were injured. Subsequent to these deaths, the intensity and magnitude of the protests increased. In a number of towns, demonstrators proceeded to cut off roads and to occupy government buildings and police posts. These protests continued for ten days in many Arab regions of Khuzestan. Protestors demanded a government apology to the region’s Arabs. Official government sources, quoting the Islamic Republic’s Defense Minister, announced the death toll as standing at three or four. (ISNA, April 19, 2005) Civil society activists, however, declared the number of people killed during these events to be between 50 and 60. Amnesty International stated the number as 29; Human Rights Watch, 50; and the Ahvaz Human Rights Organization, 160. Dozens of others were injured. The Ahvaz General and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office announced the arrest and arraignment of 447 individuals. (IRNA, April 25, 2005) Local sources, however, announced the number as being greater than 1200. A number of intellectuals and ethnic leaders were among those arrested. Although the demonstrations subsided after ten days, widespread arrests, multiple bombings, successive executions, and popular protests continued on various occasions, including the anniversary of the events.

***Ahvaz Bombings in 2005 and 2006:
June 12, 2005:  Four explosions occurred in front of the Governor’s building, the Planning and Budget Organization building, the Housing and Urban Development Organization building, and in a residential neighborhood, leaving at least 8 dead and 98 injured.
September 1, 2005:  The bombing of oil installations and two pipelines in the Zargan region of Ahvaz.
October 15, 2005:  Two explosions occurred prior to Iftar, in the month of Ramadan, at two locations on Salman Farsi (Naderi) Street, leaving at least 6 dead and 100 injured.
January 24, 2006:  Bombings at Saman Bank --  in the Kianpars neighborhood of Ahvaz and at the Khuzestan Province Natural Resources General Administration building --  left at least 6 dead and 45 injured (certain reports indicating 8 or 9 dead).
February 27, 2006:  Bombings at the Governor’s buildings in the cities of Dezful and Abadan left 4 injured.

Correct/ Complete This Entry