Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohammad Reza Ajorlu


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: November 30, 2003
Location of Killing: Qasr Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder; Sexual Offense

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Mohammad Reza Ajorlu was published on the website of Jamejam newspaper on November 30, 2003 and in the Iran newspaper on December 1, 2003.

Mr. Ajorlu, known as ‘Uncle Skits’, was a puppeteer for children’s shows at daycare centers in Tehran. He began puppeteering when he was young. He had lived with the support of a Welfare Organization when he was a child. His case was related to the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in Tehran in March of 1991.

Mr. Ajorlu had an arrest and detention record. He was arrested and detained for keeping children illegally in his house and taking advantage of them. (Iran newspaper)  

Arrest and detention

While investigating the disappearance of a six-year-old girl named Zahra, Tehran Police agents arrested Mr. Ajorlu in his house at Shari’ati Street in Tehran on March 7, 1992 at 11:30 a.m. He was detained for 12 years (Iran newspaper). The circumstances of his arrest and detention are not known.


Mr. Ajorlu was tried three times in various courts. In the summer of 1992, Branch 142 of the Criminal Court of Tehran tried him. After the Supreme Court referred the case, Branch 139 of the Criminal Court of Tehran Province tried him for the second time in 1994. Finally, in the spring of 2001, Branch 604 of the Public Court of Tehran tried him in the presence of his attorney and the victim’s family in several sessions for the third time (Jamejam newspaper). No details are available on his trials.


According to the indictment, the charges brought against Mr. Ajorlu were announced as “molestation [rape] and murder of a six-year-old girl.” 

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. Ajorlu’s “confession” was the main reason for his conviction. He confessed to murdering Zahra, covering her body in a white sack, and hiding it in an area on Sheikhsafi Street in Tehran. (Iran newspaper)


No information is available on Mr. Ajorlu’s defense. The Supreme Court demanded a medical examination of Mr. Ajorlu about his sanity. Following this request, the Medical Commission confirmed his sanity. According to the existing information, he had confessed to the murders of four other children during the interrogation. However, the police investigation revealed that his story was unreal. He later claimed that his phony confession was due to fear of punishment. (Iran newspaper)


Branch 142 of the Criminal Court of Tehran condemned Mr. Mohammad Reza Ajorlu to death for rape and to death in public for murder on September 19, 1992. After his objection, Branch 20 of the Supreme Court nullified the ruling and referred the case to a court of siimilar stand. Branch 139 of the Criminal Court of Tehran condemned him to death two counts for the second time on June 26, 1994. Following another objection by Mr. Ajorlu, Branch 20 of the Supreme Court nullified the ruling again. After referring to Branch 604 of the Public Court of Tehran, this court issued the same ruling for the third time on June 14, 2001.

The ruling was confirmed by the Supreme Court. Mr. Ajorlu was hanged in Qasr Prison on November 30, 2003 (Iran newspaper). No further information is available about his execution.

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