Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohsen Gholami


Age: 30
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: January 30, 2008
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder
Age at time of alleged offense: 30

About this Case

After a murder-suicide attempt, Mr. Mohsen Gholami thanked the family who demanded his execution. 

News of Mr. Mohsen Gholami’s execution along with four other people was published by Fars News Agency and Iscanews (January 30, 2008) and by Tehran Emrooz newspaper (January 31, 2008). Additional information about this case was obtained from Ettele’at newpaper (May 22, 2005), Sharq and Qods newspapers (October 23, 2005), Javan (May 21, 2006), and Human Rights and Democracy Activists’ weblog (January 29, 2008).

Mr. Gholami was 30 years old and a worker at the Iran Khodro car manufacturing plant located on the Karaj Special Highway. He had a close friendship with one of his co-workers, but that co-worker’s parents were opposed to their friendship. Mr. Gholami went to his friend’s home to find out why he had not come to work. The friend’s father repaid a one million Tuman debt that his son owed to Mr. Gholami and, bothered and upset, asked him to leave the premises and end his friendship with his son. Mr. Gholami did not accept the money and said that he had gone there simply to find out how his friend was doing. At work the next day, Mr. Gholami went to talk to his friend and to complain about his parents’ attitude toward him, but the conversation turned into an argument.

This case is related to the murder of Mr. Gholami’s friend in one of the Iran Khodro Company’s warehouses located on Karaj Special Highway.

Arrest and detention

On May 21, 2005, Mr. Gholami was arrested following the report of a fight at Iran Khodro Company to Chitgar Police Precinct 154. Based on available information, at 9 o’clock that morning, Iran Khodro workers discovered the bloodied body of one of their co-workers at the plant’s warehouse number 46, and then discovered and saved Mr. Gholami, who had cut open the main artery in his arm and hanged himself in another warehouse. They informed the police and took both of the injured to the hospital. The other person died at the hospital due to the extent of his injuries. After being questioned by the investigating judge on call, Mr. Gholami was turned over to Tehran Criminal Investigations Bureau’s 10thDivision as the defendant in a murder case.


On October 22, 2005, a panel of judges at Tehran Province Criminal Court Branch 71 tried Mr. Gholami in the presence of the prosecutor’s representative and the victim’s family. Upon presentation of the indictment, the prosecutor’s representative asked that the appropriate sentence be issued, and the victim’s family asked for the issuance of a sentence of Qesas (retribution). The murder victim’s father said that the reason for his opposition to his son’s friendship with Mr. Gholami was that the latter was a wicked and mischievous person. The judge considered the seven stab wounds to the victim’s chest and legs to be a sign of the defendant’s hatred toward him.

Stating that he did not want to continue to live, Mr. Gholami thanked the next of kin for demanding Qesas.


Mr. Gholami was charged with the “intentional murder” of his friend. He was accused of having killed his best friend with multiple knife stab wounds following an argument.

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

The defendant’s statements in the investigations stage and at trial; the Medical Examiner’s report and declaration that the cause of death had been blows with a sharp object; confirmation of the defendant’s mental health by the Medical Examiner; discovery of the murder weapon; and the testimony of witnesses, were among the evidence presented against Mr. Gholami at trial.

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. Gholami stated at trial that he had not gotten into a physical fight with his friend. He claimed that as he was holding a knife, he had told his friend: “I want to stab myself with it.” His friend had replied: “Stab me if you can!” Under the influence of sedatives, Mr. Gholami had stabbed his friend without a motive, and was so upset by his actions that he had then tried to commit suicide, but his co-workers had intervened.


Upon deliberation with member judges, the presiding judge at Tehran Province Criminal Court Branch 71 sentenced Mr. Mohsen Gholami to death (Qesas of life, “retribution by taking a life”). Supreme Court Branch 33 upheld the ruling. Mr. Gholami was transferred from the city of Karaj’s Rajaishahr prison to Tehran’s Evin Prison one day prior to the implementation of the sentence. He asked the next of kin for forgiveness before the sentence was carried out but they did not heed him. Mr. Gholami was hanged in the Evin Prison courtyard on January 30, 2008.

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