Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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



Age: 22
Nationality: Afghanistan
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: July 22, 2009
Location of Killing: Esfahan Prison, Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder
Age at time of alleged offense: 16

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Esma’il was published in the E’temad and Kayhan newspapers on June 22, 2009. He was an Afghan citizen (Kayhan). According to the existing information, his case was related to the murder of a young girl in Esfahan in 2003. Mr. Esma’il was 16 when arrested (Kayhan). 

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

The Esfahan Police identified and arrested Mr. Esma’il during an investigation into the death of Fatemeh, 19, by suffocation in the fall of 2003. The circumstances of his arrest and detention are not known.


No information is available on Mr. Esma’il’s trial.


The charge brought against Mr. Esma’il was announced as “murder.” He was accused of murdering a young woman, Fatemeh, with a rope. 

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

According to the existing information, Mr. Esma’il’s “confession” and the confession of his collaborator were the main reason for his conviction. The evidence against him was the Esfahan Police report indicating that the defendant had been the last person to contact the victim and also the forensics report indicating that marks of a rope on the victim’s neck and pressure on the vital organ caused the death. 

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. Esma’il was younger than 18 when arrested. No information is available on his defense. According to the E’temad report, he stated that the victim, when informed of his intention to marry another girl, pressured him to either marry or kill her [the victim]. 


A court condemned Mr. Esma’il to death and the Supreme Court confirmed the ruling. He was hanged, along with another person, in Esfahan Central Prison on June 22, 2009. No specific information is available about this execution.

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