Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Abdolmajid (Abdolhamid) Rigi


Age: 36
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: June 1, 2011
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: War on God, God's Prophet and the deputy of the Twelfth Imam; Drug trafficking; Murder
Age at time of alleged offense: 31

About this Case

News of Mr. Abdolmajid (Abdolhamid) Rigi’s execution was published in Iran newspaper (June 2, 2011) and in the Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran website (June 1, 2011). Additional information about this case was obtained from Javan newspaper (April 17, 2006, and June 14, 2006), ISNA news agency (September 12, 2009), and from other sources.

Mr. Abdolmajid Rigi was 36 years old, from the city of Zabol, and residing in the city of Zahedan in Sistan and Baluchestan Province.

This case is related to the killing of a police officer and a civilian in the course of a police chase of two suspects.

On the afternoon of April 15, 2006, police officers became suspicious of two passengers in a black Xantia automobile with dark windows on Khalij Fars Street off of Tehran’s Azadegan Highway. Based on available information, the suspects disobeyed the police order to stop and sped away. The police gave chase, which ultimately led to a shootout between the police and the suspects around the Nematabad neighborhood in the south of Tehran in which a police officer, several civilians, and both suspects were injured. The police officer and one of the civilians died of their injuries before arriving at the hospital. 

Arrest and detention

On the afternoon of Saturday, April 15, 2006, in the course of a shootout with the police in which he was shot in the leg, Mr. Mr. Abdolmajid Rigi was arrested and taken to the Shapur Street Criminal Investigations Office. He spent five months in detention there. Thereafter, two separate cases were opened against Mr. Rigi and he was then transferred to the city of Karaj’s Rajaishahr Prison. He spent five years at the prison’s Ward One until May-June 2011. Mr. Rigi was deprived of visitations with his family for the last eight months of his incarceration.


Tehran Revolutionary Court Branch 15 tried Mr. Abdolmajid Rigi’s first case toward the middle of February, 2008, with his attorney in attendance. Mr. Rigi’s other case was tried in Tehran Province Criminal Court Branch 71 on April 18, 2009.


Mr. Abdolmajid Rigi was charged with “transporting and trafficking 380 kilograms of opium, Efsad fel-Arz (“spreading corruption on Earth”), Moharebeh (“waging war against God”), intentional murder, combating the police, and creating insecurity in society”.

Evidence of guilt

Based on available information, Mr. Rigi’s confession during the interrogation phase and the confession of the other defendant in the case, and the recovery of two Kalashnikov weapons from the defendant’s car along with 17 cartridges and 537 bullets, were used as evidence against Mr. Rigi. The testimony of eyewitnesses regarding the killing of a police officer and a passer-by was also presented as evidence in this case.


Mr. Abdolmajid Rigi spent five months at the Shapur Street Criminal Investigations Office being interrogated and tortured, while still suffering from a gunshot wound. Based on available information, the interrogators would plunge a wooden stick in his wound in order to extract a confession from him (Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran website, May 31, 2011).

Mr. Rigi and the other defendant in the case were not carrying any drugs at the time of their arrest. There is a discrepancy regarding the amount of drugs Mr. Rigi and Defendant Number 2 of the case were accused of trafficking: some reports stated the amount as 280 kilograms, others as 400 kilograms (Javan newspaper, September 26, 2012, September 11, 2009).

Additionally, although Mr. Rigi and the other defendant in the case had been forced to confess in the interrogations that they had come to Tehran for a drug deal, the judicial investigations did not produce any drugs, despite the fact that a seat from the car was discovered in the home of one of the defendant’s acquaintances (Hamshahri newspaper, July 12, 2006).

The murder of a civilian attributed to Mr. Rigi was not proven in the course of judicial investigations, and it became clear that the passer-by who was killed and the other people who were injured had been shot by the police (Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran website, May 31, 2011).


Tehran Revolutionary Court Branch 15 sentenced Mr. Mohammad Reza Rigi to two instances of capital punishment: the first for transporting and trafficking drugs, the second for Moharebeh and Efsad fel-Arz. The Supreme Court upheld the decision. Furthermore, at the request of the police officer’s next of kin, Tehran Province Criminal Court Branch 71 sentenced Mr. Rigi to death (Qesas of life). This decision was also upheld by the Supreme Court Branch 16.

On the day prior to his execution, officials transferred Mr. Rigi and the other defendant in the case, who was his nephew, from Rajaishahr Prison’s Ward One, Hall One, Cell 24, to solitary confinement cells. The implementation of Defendant Number 2’s sentence was, however, delayed.

Mr. Abdolmajid Rigi was hanged in the Evin Prison yard at dawn on June 1, 2011. His family and his attorney were unaware of his execution. Mr. Rigi was deprived a of a last visitation with his family. When they got to Tehran from Zahedan, the sentence had already been carried out and the agents intended to bury the prisoner in Behesht Zahra Cemetery. Mr. Rigi’s body was ultimately turned over to his family, however, upon the latter’s insistence that he be buried in their hometown in Zahedan. On the morning of his execution, Mr. Rigi’s ward mates held ceremonies in his honor at Gohardasht (Rajaishahr) Prison’s Ward One which were disrupted and dismantled upon the guards’ attack (Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran website, May 31, 2011).


*Other sources: Iran newspaper (February 17, 2008, October 25, 2010), Iskanews website (September 12, 2009), and SIRNA website (April 14, 2009), Hamshahri (July 12, 2006), Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran website (May 31, 2011).

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