Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Esma'il Musavi


Age: 22
Nationality: Unknown
Religion: Unknown
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: September 18, 2011
Location of Killing: Raja’i Shahr (Gohardasht) Prison, Karaj, Alborz Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Drug possession; Drug trafficking
Age at time of alleged offense: 19

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Esma’il Musavi, along with 21 others, was published on the websites of the Iran newspaper and Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran on September 19, 2011. This case was related to the transportation and possession of narcotics and importing them into the prison. 

Arrest and detention

Mr. Musavi was detained for three years. On September 18, 2011, he was transferred from ward two in Qezelhesar Prison to solitary confinement of Section One in Gohardasht Prison. The circumstances of his arrest and detention are not known.


The Islamic Revolutionary Court tried Mr. Musavi. No information is available on his trial.


The charges brought against Mr. Musavi were announced as “supplying, distribution, selling, and possession of narcotics.” (Iran newspaper)

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). 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

The evidence presented against Mr. Musavi was “possession of 150 kilograms of opium.” (Iran newspaper)


No information is available on Mr. Musavi’s defense.


The Islamic Revolutionary Court condemned Mr. Esma’il Musavi to death and the General Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the ruling. He was hanged, along with 21 others, either at the Evin Prison yard in Tehran or in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj on September 18, 2011.   

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