Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Hossein Ruhzadeh

About

Age: 29
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Married

Case

Date of Killing: July 22, 2007
Location: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Robbery; Rape

About this Case

News of the conviction and execution of Mr. Hossein Ruhzadeh, along with eleven others, was published on the websites of Isca news on October 12, 2006, the Khabare-Jonub newspaper on November 15, 2006, the Iran newspaper on April 17, 2006, February 13, 2007, and July 22, 2007, the E’temad Meli newspaper on June 26, the Hammihan newspaper on June 28, Fars News Agency on July 22, 2007, and ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) on June 26, July 4, and July 22, 2007, quoting the Public Relations Office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Tehran.

Mr. Ruhzadeh was a member of a gang called Bagh-e Khormalu (Persimmon Garden). According to reports, members of this gang, pretending to be taxi drivers, picked up women and girls as passengers and kidnapped them. They took their victims to a persimmon garden at Chardangeh in Karaj, stole their belongings, and raped them.

Arrest and Detention

According to the media reports, Mr. Ruhzadeh and seven other defendants of this case, known as Bagh-e Khormalu, were arrested following complaints by two young women claiming that they were kidnapped and raped. On January 9, 2006, a young woman filed a complaint in Police Station 150 in Tehransar. She accused three young men of raping her in a persimmon garden. While the police began to search for the perpetrators, another young woman made a similar complaint in Police Station 142 in Kan. In the light of new information, police detectives were able to draw a sketch of Mr. Ruhzadeh. Finally, police officers were able to find the defendants’ car on the Karaj Old Road while the passengers were trying to change a flat tire. They arrested the three passengers including Mr. Ruhzadeh. Following the confessions by these three individuals, five other defendants were also arrested.

Trial

This trial took place in Branch 77 of the Punitive Court of Tehran in closed sessions. No further information is available about Mr. Ruhzadeh’s trial.

Charges

According to ISNA, quoting the General Courthouse, the charges against Mr. Ruhzadeh and seven other defendants of this case were collectively reported as "kidnapping, rape, extortion, robbery, intentional battery, sedition, and disrupting public security and peace."

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

The evidence provided against Mr. Ruhzadeh was his “confession” and the complaints by four women who testified in the court.

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.

Defense

Mr. Ruhzadeh only accepted robbery and kidnapping charges and stated in his defense that gang members only picked up women as passengers in West Tehran and took them to the persimmon garden. During the last court session, other members of the gang also confessed to robberies but denied kidnapping and rape charges.

Judgment

The court condemned Mr. Hossein Ruhzadeh to death and Branch 32 of the Supreme Court confirmed the ruling. He was hanged in the Evin prison on July 22, 2007. 

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