Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Arman Mohammadi


Age: 23
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: August 20, 2013
Location of Killing: Central Prison (Dizelabad), Kermanshah, Kermanshah Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder
Age at time of alleged offense: 17

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Arman Mohammadi was published in various sources including the website of Kermanshah Courthouse on August 20, 2013, ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) on August 25, 2013, and Kordpa on August 20, 2013. Additional information was taken from an interview by ABF with a person close to Mr. Mohammadi. According to the interviewee, he was a resident of Ravansar in Kermanshah, 23 years old, and the only son of his family.

According to the existing information, Mr. Mohammadi’s case was related to the murder of a Nissan driver in Ravansar who had resisted carjacking by three individuals including Mr. Mohammadi in 2007. (ABF interview)

Arrest and detention

Mr. Mohammadi was arrested by police in 2007 when he was only 17 years old. He was identified and arrested along with two of his friends during a police investigation. (ABF interview) The circumstances of his arrest and detention are not known. Mr. Mohammadi was detained at the Dizelabad Prison in Kermanshah for six years. (ABF interview and Kordpa)


No information is available on Mr. Mohammadi’s trial.


The charge brought against Mr. Mohammadi was murdering Mr. Hassan Ali, 55 years old. (ABF interview and the website of Kermanshah Courthouse) 

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 the interviewee, Mr. Mohammadi’s confession was essential for his conviction. He had accepted the murder charge during the trial. (ABF interview) The evidence provided against him and the other defendants in this case included recovery of the driver’s body, the abandoned [Nissan] truck at Kurzan near Kermanshah, and testimonies of those who testified that they witnessed the three defendants offer to carry the driver’s load. (ABF interview)


According to the interviewee, two other defendants in the case convinced Mr. Mohammadi to take responsibility for the murder of the driver, reasoning that he was under aged and the only son of his family and he would not be condemned to death. In return, they promised to hire an attorney for him and get the victim’s family’s pardon. Mr. Mohammadi accepted their offer. After the ruling was issued, he denied the murder charge; however, the judge did not accept his denial. According to the person close to him, Mr. Mohammadi’s family believes that he did not commit the murder and the real murderer is another defendant, who is a relative. (ABF interview)

International laws have strictly prohibited capital punishment for those who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime. As a party to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran has the obligation not to impose capital punishment for an offence committed before the age of eighteen.

A Summary of the Legal Defects in Mr. Arman Mohammadi’s Case

There is no precise information regarding the adjudication of the present case and the details of the defense.  The Boroumand Foundation’s interview with a person close to Mr. Arman Mohammadi and reports published in certain media nonetheless suggest that Mr. Mohammadi’s two collaborators were the main perpetrators of the murder and had duped Mr. Mohammadi into consenting to confess to the murder, but that Mr. Mohammadi had denied committing the murder in court proceedings. It is not clear whether the authorities in charge of investigating the case paid attention to these statements or not. However, pursuant to Iranian law, a confession is valid only when it is true. In other words, the judge must conduct the necessary investigation into the veracity of the confession. If such investigation was not conducted and Mr. Mohammadi was sentenced to death solely based on his preliminary confession, it can be said that the ruling was contrary to the law.

The other noteworthy matter in this case is the modification of the Islamic Penal Code regarding the death penalty for individuals under the age of 18. Mr. Arman Mohammadi had allegedly committed murder when he was 17 and the death sentence was carried out on August 20, 2013. Revisions to the Islamic Penal Code were enacted and came into force in April 2013. Pursuant to the previous Islamic Penal Code which was in force at the time of the commission of the crime, the punishment for young adults (boys who had reached the age of 15) was no different than the one for adults. The Islamic Penal Code was changed, however, on April 21, 2013, and prescribed different rules for crimes committed by individuals under the age of 18. Under the old Islamic Penal Code, the punishment for murder for adults (those who had reached puberty, i.e., the age of 15 for boys) was Qesas; the new Code, however, displaying more flexibility, provides for the possibility of dispensing with Qesas for criminals under the age of 18. Although the new Code provides the same punishment for crimes that are subject to Hadd and Qesas for adults as well as for individuals under 18 who have attained puberty, if the individual under the age of 18 is not aware of the nature of the crime, and there is doubt as to his maturity, the punishment will be dropped and changed to incarceration and rehabilitative educational measures. Pursuant to Islamic Penal Code Article 91, “In crimes requiring Hadd or Qesas, if the individuals under the age of 18 who have attained puberty cannot comprehend the nature of the crime or the prohibition thereof, or if there is doubt as to their mental development [and capacity] and maturity, they will be sentenced to the punishments prescribed in this chapter on a case by case basis. Note: In order to ascertain mental development and maturity, the court may obtain the medical examiner’s opinion, or utilize any other method it deems appropriate.” This provision paved the way for exemption from the death penalty for criminals under 18. Since most killings committed by individuals under the age of 18 are “heat of the moment” murders, and usually at that age, an individual has not reached the level of maturity to comprehend the nature of his actions, this provision may in practice save criminals under 18 from the death penalty. According to an established legal principle, in the event that the subsequent law is more lenient to an accused or a convicted criminal than the prior law, the subsequent law will be applied even though a final judgment has been rendered. On that basis, the new law must apply to individuals under the age of 18 who have attained puberty and have been tried and sentenced to death while the previous law was still in force, and such individuals must be able to take action under Article 91 in order to avoid the death penalty. Moreover, in practice courts have viewed Article 91 as applying to those having a final death sentence. In fact, in December 2014 the Supreme Court General Council issued a Uniform Procedure Decision regarding the manner of Article 91’s applicability to individuals under the age of 18 who have attained puberty. The decision provides: “Whereas Article 10(b) of the Islamic Penal Code of April 21, 2013 provides for exemption from crimes requiring Hadd and Qesas punishments in said Article’s opening provision, and whereas the powers prescribed for the sentence implementation judge in amending a sentence and/or the convicted individual’s right to ask the court for a reduced sentence as provided for in said paragraph is not in conflict with the Law on General and Revolutionary Courts Rules of Criminal Procedure Article 272, Paragraph 7 and does not nullify the same, therefore, in the event that individuals sentenced to Qesas who were under the age of 18 at the time of the commission of the crime, and the final sentences in their cases were issued prior to the Islamic Penal Code of April 21, 2013 coming into force, claim the applicability of Article 91, since the modification and reduction of the sentence as provided for in said article ultimately constitutes a reduced sentence and a more favorable punishment, they may ask for de novo adjudication pursuant to Article 272(7) of the aforementioned Rules of Procedure...” (Uniform Procedure Decision number 737, December 2, 2014, Supreme Court General Council).

Although this Uniform Procedure Decision was issued a few months after Arman Mohammadi’s execution, courts regarded Article 91 as applying to individuals under 18 sentenced to death prior to its issuance as well; the difference of opinion was a procedural one and dealt with the manner of adjudication. Mr. Mohammadi was executed at a time when could have asked for renewed adjudication based on this Article. Given that Mr. Mohammadi was executed two months after the passage of this article, it is clear that judicial authorities did not provide him with the necessary time and opportunity to take advantage of this article.


The court condemned Mr. Arman Mohammadi to death.  No specific information is available about his execution. The court also condemned the two other defendants in this case to 29 years imprisonment for participation in murder. Following the refusal of the victim’s family to pardon him, Mr. Mohammadi was hanged at the Dizelabad Prison in Kermanshah on August 20, 2015 in the morning. (Website of Kermanshah Courthouse)

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