Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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



Nationality: Unknown
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: May 20, 2002
Location of Killing: Central Prison (Vakilabad Prison), Mashhad, Khorasan\Khorasan-e Razavi Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder; Drug trafficking; Possession of arms

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Abdolnabi, without a last name, along with four others, was published in the Khorasan newspaper on May 20 and 21, 2002, and in the Ettela’at newspaper on May 21, 2002. Additional information was taken from the Ettela’at newspaper on April 30, 2002 and the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper on May 18, 2002.

Mr. Abdolnabi’s case was related to an international twelve-member gang of drug traffickers who transported narcotics to Europe via a Persian Gulf country. (Ettela’at newspaper)

Arrest and detention

Mr. Abdolnabi was arrested on April 27, 2002 and detained for 23 days. According to the Sentence Enforcement judge, he was arrested, along with his collaborators, at the Beirut elevated area near Sabzevar during a clash with security and Basij forces. According to the Khorasan newspaper report, seven smugglers and three Basij members in Bardaskan were killed during this clash; however, according to the Ettela’at newspaper, six smugglers were killed during a clash with security forces in Bardaskan and only one individual was arrested.  


Mr. Abdolnabi was tried; however, no information is available on his trial.


The charges brought against Mr. Abdolnabi and his collaborators were collectively announced as “sedition, carrying weapons, drug trafficking, participation in a clash with the security and Basij forces, and murdering four Basij members.” (Khorasan newspaper on May 21, 2002)

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 Islamic Republic authorities have brought trumped-up charges against their political opponents and executed them for alleged drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences. Thousands of alleged drug traffickers have been sentenced to death following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. Scores of them were executed based on a 1989 law imposing mandatory death sentences on drug traffickers found in possession of specified amounts of proscribed narcotics (5 kg of hashish or opium, and more than 30 grams of heroin, codeine or methadone). The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of guilt

According to the Sentence Enforcement judge, the evidence against Mr. Abdolnabi and his collaborators was “recovery of 500 grams of morphine, 17 Kalashnikov rifles, RPG, a Goryunov weapon [PK machine gun], and three satellite phones.” (Khorasan newspaper on May 20, 2002)


Before being executed, Mr. Abdolnabi and his collaborators told the Khorasan reporter that they “only carried narcotics as guerillas and intended to deliver them at the border with Turkey.”


The court condemned Mr. Abdolnabi to death and the Supreme Court confirmed the ruling. He was hanged, along with his collaborators, in Mashhad Central Prison on May 20, 2002. 

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