Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Ja'far Kiani


Age: 47
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: July 5, 2007
Location of Killing: Takestan, Zanjan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Stoning
Charges: Adultery

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Ja’far Kiani was published on the websites of Amnesty International, the E’temad Melli newspaper, Noruz, and Ruz on July 9, 2007; IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) and the Sharq newspaper on July 15; ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) and the E’temad newspaper on July 11; IRNA on July 10; Varash blog on July 6; Tuday Link on July 8; Kavirnameh on June 20; Entekhab newspaper on July 10 and 31; Asre-Iran on July 8 and August 5; Jame-Jam on September 30, 2007; and Baraye-Azadi Weblog on February 24, 2007.         

The execution of this ruling had a widespread reflection on the national and international media. The United Nations and international community consider stoning as an inhumane punishment and torture. However, Mohammadjavad Larijani, the Head of Iran Human Rights Base, rejected this criticism and stated, “Stoning is neither torture nor unsuitable punishment.” And, this is only the westerners interpretation. Nevertheless, this ruling created a discussion among the Islamic Republic officials regarding the regime’s interests.

This case had two defendants. The other defendant, Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, had problems with her first husband and filed for divorce at the Family Court of Eslamshahr eleven years before.  According to the existing information, Mokarrameh requested the divorce and got into temporary marriage [Sigheh] with Ja’far Kiani. They had two children together. One of them was born in the prison and both children spent most of their lives with Mokarameh in the prison. Meanwhile, her first husband did not file any complaint against Mokarrameh.       

Arrest and Detention

Mr. Ja’far Kiani and his wife, Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, were arrested in Takestan for adultery in 1995. Sometimes later, when they had only one child, they were released on bail. After a year, they were rearrested. It is unknown if the defendants had an attorney. However, Ms. Shadi Sadr, stated years later that, “as the attorney of the case, I could not read it. I only received a copy of the case which was not complete.”


This trial first took place in a court in Takestan in 1995. The judge condemned the defendant and his wife to death with stoning. However, this ruling was rejected by the Supreme Court due to lack of enough proofs. Then, it was referred to Branch 101 of Takestan Criminal Court.    


The charge against Mr. Ja’far Kiani was announced as "adultery with married woman."    

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

Evidence of Guilt

According to Ms. Shadi Sardr, Mr. Ja’far Kiani never confessed to illegitimate relationship and there is no witness in the case. The judge issued the stoning sentence only based on his own knowledge.


No information is available on Mr. Ja’far Kiani's defense. According to the media reports, this case had several legal and religious problems. The official judiciary clerk has issued a temporary marriage certificate [Sigheh] for 99 years based on the absentia divorce certificate of Mokarrameh. Additionally, their children had official and legal identification cards. According to Ms. Shadi Sardr, Mokarrameh was an illiterate and simple woman who couldn’t read or write when arrested.   

According to the existing reports, Mr. Ja’far Kiani was convicted only based on the judge's knowledge. Whereas, according to Ayatollah Hossein’ali Montazeri, in his interview with Radio Farda, “Carrying out the ruling only based on the judge’s knowledge is problematic. What happened in Takestan recently was against Shari’a law.” 

During an interview with ISNA, the Head of Appeal Court in Tehran considered the judge's knowledge insufficient to issue the ruling and said the common knowledge must be obtained. Also, according to the spokesman to judiciary, regarding stoning in Islam, there were cases hardly provable. (IRNA)  

The Head of Human Rights Base for the Judiciary, Mohammadjavad Larijani, called this ruling a mistake.    


The stoning ruling against Mr. Ja’far Kiani based on the Judge’s knowledge was confirmed by the Pardon Commission of the Judiciary and was suppose to be carried out in public in Takestan on June 21, 2007. In the morning of June 20, the ruling was stopped by the order of Hashemi Shahrudi, the Head of Judiciary and referred to be investigated further. However, the judge transferred the defendant to Aqchekand Village and ordered the ruling to be carried out on July 5, 2007 in the morning. According to local residents, the ruling was carried out only in presence of the judge and agents accompanied him. According to Asre-Iran, quoting Mokarrameh’s attorney, “Based on unofficial reports, Ja’far was still alive in spite of his nose and ear were smashed. When the coroner physician confirmed that he was alive, someone smashed his head with a cement block and killed him. This is prosecutable charge if proven.” According to Ms. Shadi Sardr, the stone were so large that even the form of this sentence execution is problematic. These stones were transferred to Tehran as evidence.” Mr. Ja’far Kiani was 47 years old.          


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