Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Sa'id Naruii

About

Age: 27
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Sunni)
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: October 26, 2013
Location: Zahedan Prison, Zahedan, Sistan Va Baluchestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: War on God; Membership of anti-regime guerilla group; Corruption on earth

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Sa’id Naruii and fifteen other prisoners was published by a number of sources including the Prosecutor General of Sistan and Baluchistan Province (October 27, 2013,) Fars News Agency (October 26, 2013,) Central News Unit (October 26, 2013,) and HRANA (December 11, 2013.) Further information on the case was obtained from interviews conducted by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation with a person familiar with Mr. Naruii (ABF interview) as well as other sources.*

Mr. Sai’d Naruii, son of Mirza, was a young bachelor and member of Iran’s Baluch minority who lived in Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan province. He worked as an ordinary laborer. According to an acquaintance, Mr. Naruii was an intellectual committed to his Sunni faith.

Background

Following an armed attack by Jaish ul-Adl* on a border station in Saravan, Sistan and Baluchistan (Friday night, October 25, 2013), as a result of which at least 14 border guards were killed and seven injured, the Ministry of Justice of the province reported the execution of 16 prisoners on Saturday, October 26. The Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor of Zahedan referred to the execution of the 16 “villains connected to enemy groups” as “retaliation.” According to the Chief Justice of Sistan and Baluchistan, the execution of these convicts had been “postponed out of Islamic compassion” but due to Jaish ul-Adl’s assault on provincial border guards and “insistence on cowardly terrorist attacks,” the sentences were at last carried out (Asr-e Hamoon, Fars News Agency.) The convicts had been arrested during the preceding few years and were not connected to Jaish ul-Adl’s armed attack, which took place only a few hours before their execution. They faced various charges across different cases: according to provincial judicial authorities, eight of them had been accused of drug offenses (Ministry of Justice of Sistan and Baluchistan.)

Human rights organizations and activists called this mass summary execution a “reprisal” and protested against the execution of the prisoners who were not directly connected to the armed attack. Ahmed Shaheed, United Nations Special rapporteur on the Human Rights situation in Iran, called the execution of these people a type of retaliation in-kind and an illegal act according to international human rights laws. Shirin Ebadi, lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch expert, also considered the execution of the 16 prisoners in retaliation for the border guards’ killing as a violation of legal norms and an indicator of the lack of independence of Iran’s judiciary. Both experts condemned the executions. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, human rights activists, and the International Federation for Human Rights also issued statements protesting the reprisal.

Arrest and Detention

Precise details of Mr. Naruii’s arrest and detention are not known. Security agents took him into custody in a crowd of laborers gathered at a work site in Zahedan before transferring him to solitary confinement in an Intelligence Ministry detention facility. An acquaintance of Mr. Naruii’s reported that he was subjected to torture and threats of arrest to his family here, forcing him to falsely confess. After some time, he was transferred to the general population of Zahedan Prison (ABF interview.)

Trial

Mr. Naruii was tried by the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Zahedan. Proceedings were conducted without the presence of his lawyer (ABF interview.)

Charges

No precise information is available regarding the charges brought against Mr. Naruii in court. A statement from the Sistan and Baluchistan Prosecutor General details the charges brought against Mr. Naruii and seven other codefendants as “moharebeh (‘war against God,’) corruption on earth through collaboration with and membership in Jundullah, and effective participation in terrorist incidents in the province in recent years” (October 27, 2013.)

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

There is no precise information regarding the evidence presented at trial.

Defense

No official information is available on Mr. Miaii’s defense.

The families of some of the executed prisoners addressed a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei. Referring to the statement of the Deputy Prosecutor of Zahedan in his meeting with the families, they wrote “You killed 16 of us, so we will kill 16 of you, too”. Referencing the instances of torture to which the defendants were subjected, including “connecting electrical cords to the body, pressing hot irons against the body, hanging weights from delicate body parts, and suspension from the hands and feet,” they protested the violation of the rights of the defendants and asked for a special team to be sent to investigate the issue, to talk to the prisoners about their torture and to the families of the executed prisoners to find out why their children had been killed. The families believed that the executions represent an extension of ethnic and religious discrimination in Sistan and Baluchistan, stating that “They don’t care about people’s complaints; as soon as people complain, any investigation is cast as a sectarian and ethnic matter and is therefore terminated. Cruelty, tyranny, and torture increase and everybody accepts that they should not complain, that they should be prepared to be arrested, tortured, imprisoned, and executed and think they deserve it… [in our province] articles 19, 32, 36, and 39 of the Constitution have been replaced by the principles of arrest, torture in prison, and execution. People don’t have a voice and if they speak out…they are members of Abdolmalek’s group who have helped the enemies, so the complaint is halted right away.” (HRANA, December 11, 2011.)

Judgment

The Islamic Revolutionary Court of Zahedan sentenced Sa’id Naruii to death on the charge of War on God “moharebeh.” Zahedan’s Public and Revolutionary Attorney General reported that the sentence was confirmed by judiciary officials without providing further detail (Prosecutor General of Sistan and Baluchistan.) An acquaintance of Mr. Naruii stated that the sentence was never so confirmed, however (ABF interview.)

Mr. Naruii was hanged along with 15 other prisoners on October 26, 2013, at Zahedan Central Prison. The execution was conducted in secret and without observing proper legal procedures such as notifying his lawyer or a final visit with family. Mr. Naruii’s body was not turned over to his family. According a source close to him, the Intelligence Ministry office in Zahedan responded to further questioning from families by naming a distant region as the burial place of Mr. Naruii and seven other executed prisoners. The family was not informed of a precise resting place, however (ABF interview.)

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*Sources: Human Rights Activists for Democracy in Iran (September 14, 2013), Asrehamoon (October 26, 2013), Jaish ul-Adl weblog (October 26, 2013), ISNA (October 26, 2013), HRANA (September 13, 2012; October 27, 2013), Radio Farda (October 27, 2013), Deutsche Welle (October 30, 2013), ‌Baloch Campaign (October 27, 2015).
** The Popular Resistance Movement of Iran, known as Jondollah, was established in 2003. This group declared its goal as the struggle for achieving the religious and national rights of Baluch and Sunni people in Sistan Va Baluchestan province in Iran and emphasized that it is not a separatist group. In 2005, this group began a series of military operations against Islamic Republic forces during which dozens of the regime’s forces were captured or killed. In response, the Islamic Republic arrested and executed dozens of members of this group; military operations continue in Sistan Va Baluchestan. In an interview with the media outside of Iran, the leader of this group, Abdolmalek Rigi, rejected the government’s labels of “terrorist” and “foreign agent” and claimed that they began their struggle against the Islamic Republic to replace it with “a popular regime that recognizes the rights of all humans.” The news of this arrest was published by the Intelligence Ministry of Iran on February 23, 2010, and the circumstance of his arrest is yet unknown. Abdolmalek Rigi was hanged in the Evin prison on June 20, 2010. In early 2011 a number of Jondollah’s members under the leadership of Sallahudin Farroughi established the Jaish ul-Adl organization, implementing organizational and structural changes and reconsidering some of their former methods. Jaish ul-Adl describes itself as a Sunni group emphasizing “federalism for Iran and self-rule for Baluchistan” as well as “armed struggle against the Islamic Republic.”

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