Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Gholam Reza H.


Age: 19
Nationality: Afghanistan
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: October 29, 2008
Location of Killing: Esfahan Prison, Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder
Age at time of alleged offense: 17

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Gholam Reza H. was published on the websites of Esfahan General Courthouse on October 29, 2008, Iscanews on October 31, 2008, and the Kargozaran newspaper on November 1, 2008. He was an Afghan citizen and his case was related to the murder of a young Afghan man in Najafabad in November of 2006. Mr. Gholam Reza H. was only 17 years old when the incident occurred.

International laws have strictly prohibited capital punishment against 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 to avoid capital punishment for an offence committed before the age of eighteen.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Gholam Reza H. was arrested after confessing during the interrogation by police following the recovery of a body belonging to an Afghan man in a street in Najafabad on November 20, 2006. The police investigation resulted in his connection with the victim. He was detained for two years. (Esfahan General Courthouse)


Branch 17 of the Criminal Court of Esfahan tried Mr. Gholam Reza H. No information is available on his trial. (Esfahan General Courthouse)


The charge brought against Mr. Gholam Reza H. was announced as “murder.” (Esfahan General 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.  International human rights organizations have drawn attention to reports indicating that the Islamic Republic authorities have brought trumped-up charges, including drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences, against their opponents (including political, civil society activists, as well as unionists and ethnic and religious minorities). Each year Iranian authorities sentence to death hundreds of alleged common criminals, following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. The exact number of people convicted and executed based on trumped-up charges is unknown.  

Evidence of guilt

The evidence presented against Mr. Gholam Reza H. was “recovery of the victim’s body, his confession, testimonies of the victim’s friends, and reconstruction of the crime scene.” (Esfahan General Courthouse)

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.


Mr. Gholam Reza H. was younger than 18 when the crime was committed. In his defense, he stated that he had been friends with the victim for years and he loved him like a brother. But, he spoke ill of his sister and insulted his honor. Therefore, he became crazy, made a rendezvous with victim in Heidarabad, Esfahan, fought with him, and stabbed him with a knife several times.” (Iscanews)


Branch 17 of the Criminal Court of Esfahan condemned Mr. Gholam Reza H. to death. Branch 33 of the Supreme Court and the Head of Judiciary confirmed the ruling. He was hanged in Esfahan Central Prison on October 29, 2008.    

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