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

Ebrahim Dadkhah Tirani

About

Age: 54
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Shi'a)
Civil Status: Married

Case

Date of Execution: October 11, 1979
Location: Najaf Abad, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Execution: Shooting
Charges: Assault and battery; Fighting against the revolution/blocking the path of God; Anti-revolutionary offense
Age at time of offense: 54

Human rights violations in this case

The Legal Context

The Courts

 

Islamic Revolutionary Courts, 11 February 1979-1994

 

In the immediate aftermath of the 11 February 1979 Revolution, an ad hoc tribunal, initially referred to as the Extraordinary Revolutionary Tribunal, was set up to try the officials of the previous regime, for which no specific procedures were devised. In a decree dated 24 February 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, the revolutionary religious leader, appointed a cleric as Shari’a Judge and instructed him “to issue Shari’a-based rulings,” thereby establishing the foundation of a system of special courts.

 

Initially, the revolutionary courts’ jurisdiction was determined by the religious judge’s interpretation of the Shari’a (Islamic law based on the teachings of the Qur’an, the traditions of the Prophet, the 12 imams, and the teachings of Shi’a scholars. On 17 June 1979, the Revolutionary Courts and the Prosecutor’s Office Rules of Procedure, which was only selectively observed, established the latter’s jurisdiction and make-up.

 

The Courts’ jurisdiction encompassed a wide array of offenses including moharebeh (“waging war with God”), efsad e fel arz (“spreading corruption on Earth”), crimes against national and international security, economic crimes, murder, profiteering, prostitution, rape, and narcotic drugs-related crimes. The law required that two of the three principal members of the Revolutionary Courts be Shari’a judges.

 

 

Islamic Revolutionary Courts, 1994-2002

 

With the adoption of the Law for the Establishment of General and Revolutionary Courts of 14 June 1994, and the Code of Criminal Procedure for General and Revolutionary Courts of 19 September 1999, a uniform code of procedure was applied to both revolutionary and general courts. The jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Courts was limited to 6 categories of offenses:

1. Crimes against national and international security,“moharebeh” (enmity with god) and “efsad e fel arz” (corruption on earth;)

2. defaming Ayatollah Khomeini and the Supreme Leader;

3. plotting against the Islamic Republic of Iran, armed action, terrorism, and sabotage;

4. espionage;

5. smuggling and drug-related crimes; 6. claims under Principle 49 (economic crimes) of the Constitution.

 6. Furthermore, pursuant to the Law on the Manner of Punishing Individuals Engaged in Unauthorized Audio and Visual Activities, Article 11, the revolutionary courts have jurisdiction over crimes that fall within the purview of said Law, including production and distribution of obscene materials and misuse and abuse thereof.

These courts continued, however, to try cases falling outside their jurisdiction, such as theft and sexual offenses. Further, the vagueness of laws regarding national security allowed the revolutionary courts to try political and media crimes whenever they wished to do so.

 

The new law eliminated the Prosecutor’s Office and gave the judges inthe Revolutionary Courts the power to perform the duties of the prosecutor, as well as their own, in any case brought before them.

 

Islamic Revolutionary Courts, 2002-Present

 

The Amended Law for the Establishment of General and Revolutionary Courts of 2002 reinstated the Prosecutor’s Office in both revolutionary and general courts. In cases involving political and media crimes, revolutionary courts’ jurisdiction overlaps with that of Province Criminal Courts.

 

With the passage of the new Rules of Criminal Procedure in 2014, and its coming into force in June 2015, the jurisdiction of the revolutionary courts remains unchanged, with slight modifications in procedural aspects of adjudication. For instance, the new law provides that for crimes subject to the death penalty, life imprisonment, amputation, third degree, or higher, the revolutionary court shall convene with three judges, whereas, prior to the passage of this law, adjudication of all crimes within the jurisdiction of revolutionary courts took place with only a single judge.

The Appellate System of Revolutionary Courts, 1979-Present

 

From their inception until 1994, the rulings of the Revolutionary Courts were not subject to appeal. In the early 1980s a court entitled the Supreme Court of Qom was established in the city of Qom and which reviewed cases of execution and confiscation of properties, thereby forming a first tier form of appeal. The exact date of the creation of the court is not clear, but, based on available information, the court became operational in the early 1980s, even though Ayatollah Khomeini's official order for its creation is dated 1985. The court’s procedure was not systematic and did not meet the international standards for a court of appeals; there was no official record of its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court of Qom was dissolved in 1989.

 

The Law of 14 June 1994 subjected the Courts’ decisions to appeal. An appellate court was established at each provincial capital, called the Province Court of Appeals, composed of a three-judge panel, to review decisions made by the Revolutionary Courts. The Supreme Court was designated as the appellate authority for particular decisions, including those involving capital punishment.

 

Narcotic drugs-related crimes constitute a significant exception to the appeals process. Governed by the Anti-Narcotic Drugs Law of 1988, as Amended on 8 November 1997 and 31 July 3 2010, these crimes are within the jurisdiction of, and are adjudicated on a regular basis by, Revolutionary Courts whose decisions are final. After being handed down by the judge, death sentences are sent to the Prosecutor General or the Head of the Supreme Court as a matter of administrative approval.

 

With the passage of the new Rules of Criminal Procedure in 2014 (and its coming into force in June 2015), however, drug related crimes became subject to appeal as well.

General Courts, 1979-1982

 

In cases not falling under the jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Courts, the system devised under the previous regime continued to function in parallel with new systems devised by laws passed by the Judicial Council, one of which, entitled The Legal Bill for the Establishment of General Courts of 11 September 1979, radically changed the entire structure and categorization of the courts. It divided the courts in three branches: Criminal, Civil, and Peace (a sort of arbitration court dealing with minor financial and other disputes). Specialized courts such as family courts were eliminated.

 

General Courts, 1982-1994

 

The Law of the Amendments to the Rules of Criminal Procedure of 1982 established a new criminal courts system, Criminal Courts I and II. Criminal Court I, established only in provincial capitals, had jurisdiction over more serious offenses, including those punishable by death, and Criminal Court II heard less serious crimes.

 

General Courts, 1994-2002

 

The Law for the Establishment of General and Revolutionary Courts of 14 June 1994 established umbrella courts called General Courts, which replaced and dissolved pre-existing civil and criminal courts. The law dissolved the Prosecutor’s offices and tasked a single person with the roles of judge, prosecutor, and investigator.

 

General Courts, 2002-2015

 

In 2002, the 1994 Law was amended, reviving the role of the Prosecutor’s Office in General Courts. The prosecution offices were re-established in a gradual process over several years. The amended law also re-established specialized branches within general courts dealing separately with criminal and civil matters. In addition, this law allocated a number of branches of the Province Court of Appeals to have original jurisdiction over a number of cases including the most serious offenses, as well as political and media crimes. In these cases, the branches are called the Province Criminal Court.

 

General Courts, 2015 to Today

 

With the passage of the new Rules of Criminal Procedure in 2014 and its coming into force in June 2015, general courts underwent certain changes as well. Criminal courts were divided into Criminal Court One, Criminal Court Two, Military Court, Juvenile Court, and Revolutionary Court. Criminal Court One has jurisdiction over serious crimes such as those subject to the death penalty, life imprisonment, amputation, third degree, and higher, as well as political and media crimes. Criminal Court Two has jurisdiction over other crimes. Another change consists of the establishment of juvenile courts, which adjudicates crimes committed by individuals less than 18 years of age. In cases where the individuals less than 18 commit serious crimes such as those subject to the death penalty, however, Criminal Court One will have jurisdiction, observing rules of juvenile criminal procedure.

 

The Appellate System of General Courts, 1979-Present

 

The Legal Bill for the Establishment of General Courts of 11 September 1979, abolished appeal of most criminal courts’ decisions. The law of 1982 restricted the appeal possibility even further. According to the Islamic Republic authorities’ interpretation of Islamic Law, a qualified jurist’s decisions were not subject to appeal except under special circumstances, such as when the judge realized his own mistake, or another judge advised him so, or when he did not have jurisdiction over the case. Even in such situations, the case would not go to a higher court but would be subject to review by the same judge or another judge at his level. The judges were even urged to call their verdicts “opinions,” so that the possible change in the verdict would not be “haram” (“sinful,” the highest level of prohibition in Islam, disobedience of which would result in a sin).

 

In October 1988, the Majles (Iranian parliament) passed a law regarding review of court judgments. This law provided for an appeal if the conviction was claimed to be based on invalid documentation or false testimony. The defendant could also base an appeal on a point of law or a procedural violation.

 

The appellate system was expanded in other laws in the late 1980s and in 1993. The Law for the Establishment of Criminal Courts I and II of 11 July 1989 created the Branches of the Supreme Court. Crimes of less importance, tried in Criminal Court II, were subject to review by Criminal Court I.

 

For the most important crimes involving death punishment, which were under the jurisdiction of Criminal Court I, the law allowed limited appeal to the Branches of the Supreme Court. Defendants had the right to petition the Supreme Court for appeal in certain cases involving false testimony or procedural violations, and if granted, the case would be remanded to either another criminal court or the original one.

 

Finally, the Law for the Establishment of General and Revolutionary Courts of 1994, as amended in 2002, established an appellate court at each provincial capital, called Province Court of Appeals, composed of a three-judge panel, to review decisions made by both general and revolutionary courts. The Supreme Court was designated as the appellate authority for particular decisions, including those carrying the death penalty, as well as decisions made by the Province Criminal Court.

 

The amended law of 2002, continued the appellate procedure to the Branches of the Supreme Court established by the afore-mentioned law of 11 July 1989

 

The Supreme Court continues to be the competent authority to rule on new trials, which have been provided for in limited circumstances.

With the passage of the new Rules of Criminal Procedure in 2014 and its coming into force in June 2015, the Court of Appeals shall be the competent authority to hear appeals from Criminal Court Two decisions, and the Supreme Court shall hear appeals from Criminal Court One decisions.

Special Courts for the Clergy

 

These courts are rooted in a 1979 decree, issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, which established a committee of religious and noble figures in every region to purge the clergy of anti-revolutionary elements under the supervision of the Revolutionary Courts. Between late 1981 and 1984, a special court in the city of Qom handled, though not systematically, the trial of clerics.

 

On 29 July 1987, Ayatollah Khomeini officially appointed a prosecutor and a member of the clergy as Shari’a judge for Special Courts for the Clergy. On 6 August 1990, a directive was issued regulating the conduct of these courts, the jurisdictional ambiguity of which is such that it effectively extends to “anyone where one of the parties is a cleric” and to “all matters in which the Court is designated as competent by the Supreme Leader.”

 

The court, which was not mentioned in the Islamic Republic's constitution, was mandated to try “pseudo clerics, those related to/connected with the clergy, for public and/or anti-revolutionary crimes, and violations of the prestige of the clergy,” and where the principal suspect is a member of the clergy, “any co-conspirator or assistant, whether a cleric or not.”

 

These courts are generally not open to the public and can issue sentences for all acts and omissions punishable under codified Iranian laws or Shari’a or for any other acts or omissions which can bring dishonor to the clergy or to the Islamic Revolution. Further, in certain particular cases – which have not been defined – where no punishment has been devised by either the Penal Code or even the Shari’a, the Court “can rule as it deems fit.” 

 

The Appellate System of the Special Court for the Clergy, 1979-Present

 

There is no information on any appeal process for the Special Court for the Clergy prior to the 1990 directive. Article 49 of said directive set up, however, an appeals court called Special Appellate Court for the Clergy, the head of which is appointed by the Supreme Leader, to which the decisions of the lower court can be appealed.

 

Military Courts

 

The military court system, independent from the judiciary under the previous regime, became a part of it on 1 December 1981. The Judiciary Organization of the Armed Forces, established in 1986, replaced and merged other military courts and tribunals in existence at the time, namely the pre-revolution Judiciary Organization of the Army, the Revolutionary Tribunal of the Army (established on 8 December 1979), and the Revolutionary and General Court for the Revolutionary Guards (established on 15 July 1979.) The Judiciary Organization of the Armed Forces has its own Criminal Code and follows the country’s general rules of criminal procedure.

 

The Law of the Criminal Procedure of the Armed Forces of 15 May 1985 created Military Courts I and II. Military Court I has jurisdiction over more serious offenses, including those punishable by death, and Military Court II hears less serious crimes.

 

The Appellate System of Military Courts, 1979-Present

 

The law of 8 December 1979, establishing the Revolutionary Military Court, did not provide for any appeals. The Law of 15 May 1985 created a system of appeals through the creation of a two-tier system of courts. The decisions of Military Court II were subject to review by Military Court I. This law also provided that multiple Branches of the Supreme Court be designated as the appellate court to review decisions of Military Court I.

 

The judges

 

1979-1997: Prosecutors and judges are not necessarily law graduates and jurists. Shortly after the Islamic Revolution, a five-member Committee was established to purge the judicial system of undesirable elements, pursuant to the Legal Bill for the Modification of the Judiciary and the Law for Hiring Judges of 8 March 1979. The power of the committee was absolute and its decisions, resulting in a widespread purge of the judiciary, final.

 

The Law for the Conditions of Selection of Judges of 4 May 1981 established the conditions of eligibility for judges. The latter were to be hired among men who were legitimate children and had practical commitment to Islam and allegiance to the Islamic Republic. The law, which led to the hiring of clerics and Islamic legal scholars, also allowed hiring practically anyone as a judge who could “obtain the Judicial High Council’s permission.” Moreover, Note 2 of the Amendments of 4 October 1982 to this law allowed widespread employment of seminary students “who ha[d] general knowledge equivalent to a high school diploma” as judges at prosecutor’s offices in general as well as Revolutionary Courts.  

 

By 1989, the judiciary counted about 2,000 new judges trained in theological seminaries (graduates and students) and political appointees, many having replaced judges trained in law schools.

 

1997-Present: As of this writing (2013) the Law for Hiring Judges and its amendments of 4 October 1982, 7 February 1987, and 9 May 1988 are in full force and form the basis for hiring judges. The Executive Rules of Procedure of 22 December 1997 subjected such hiring to passing an entrance examination and successful completion of an apprenticeship program, the duration of which ranges between one and two years. The law does not limit hiring to men only but does not specify in what capacity women will be functioning, other than an advisory one.

Currently, judges are selected in accordance with the Guidelines on the Recruitment, Selection, and Internship for Judicial Candidates and the Hiring of Judges.

 

Dismissal of Judges: From 1979 to 1989, the judiciary was run by the Supreme Judicial Council which was composed of the head of the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General (both of whom were appointed by the Supreme Leader), and three judges elected by the entire body of judges in the country. The Council had the power to hire and dismiss judges in accordance with the law.

 

The constitutional reforms of 1989 substituted the Supreme Judicial Council with one person, the Head of the Judiciary. The Supreme Leader, whose mandate is not subject to popular vote, appoints the Head of the Judiciary for a 5-year term. The latter has significant power to influence the dismissal of judges. Dismissal cases are referred to three types of disciplinary courts, presided over by judges appointed by the Head of the Judiciary, who has veto power over any decisions made by the relevant courts.

 

Two of these courts, established in 1991 and 2011, are charged with examining the judges’ conduct from a religious and ideological standpoint. The process does not necessarily involve the defendant and the final decision, left to the Head of the Judiciary, is not subject to appeal.

 

Detentions, interrogations, and trials: 1979-1980

Pre-trial detentions

The charges upon which the accused were arraigned were often extremely broad. Defendants generally had no access to legal counsel nor to their file and the evidence against them prior to the trial.

Trials

Witnesses might be called, or the statement of persons with relevant information read into the court’s record. Accusation witnesses could come forward the day of the trial to give evidence against the accused, but in most cases, defense witnesses were not allowed in court. There was no automatic right of a defendant to cross-examine witnesses or to know the source of the evidence against him. The defendant had an opportunity to state his side of the matter and attempt to refute what was said against him, but the final decision was solely up to the discretion of the religious judge.

Appeal processes

The judgments of the Revolutionary Courts were not subject to appeal. The convicts were generally executed within a few hours of the judgment.

Human rights violations

Based on the available information, the following human rights may have been violated in this case:

  • The right to liberty and security of the person. The right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 9.1.

  • The right not to be punished for any crime on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time it was committed.

 UDHR, Article 11.2; ICCPR, Article 15, Article 6.2.

  • The right not to be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honor and reputation.

UDHR, Article 12, ICCPR, Article 17.1.

  • The right to freedom of opinion and expression, including the right to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas.

UDHR, Article 19; ICCPR, Article 19.1 and ICCPR, Article 19.2.

  • The right to equality before the law and the right to equal protection of the law.

UDHR, Article 7; ICCPR, Article 26.

The right to due process

  • The right to be presumed innocent until found guilty by a competent and impartial tribunal in accordance with law.

ICCPR, Article 14.1 and Article 14.2.

Pre-trial detention rights

  • The right to know promptly and in detail the nature and cause of the charges against one.

UDHR, Article 9(2); ICCPR, Article 9.2 and Article 14.3.a

  • The right to counsel of one’s own choosing or the right to legal aid. The right to communicate with one’s attorney in confidence

ICCPR, Article 14.3.b and Article 14.3.d; Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, Article 1, Article 2, Article 5, Article 6, and Article 8.

  • The right to adequate time and facilities for the preparation of the defense case.

ICCPR, Article 14.3.b.

  • The right not to be compelled to testify against oneself or to confess to guilt.

ICCPR, Article 14.3.g.

  • The right not to be subjected to torture and to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

ICCPR, Article 7; Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment, Article 1 and Article 2.

Trial rights

  • The right to a fair and public trial without undue delay.

ICCPR, Article 14.1, Article 14.3.c.

  • The right to examine, or have examined, the witnesses against one, and the right to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on one’s behalf under the same conditions as prosecution witnesses.

ICCPR, Article 14.3.d and Article 14.3.e.

  • The right to have the decision rendered in public.

ICCPR, Article 14.1.

Judgment rights

  • The right to appeal to a court of higher jurisdiction.

ICCPR, Article 14.5.

  • The right to seek pardon or commutation of sentence.

ICCPR, Article 6.4.

  • The right not to be tried or punished again for an offence for which one has already been

convicted or acquitted.

ICCPR, Article 14.7.

Capital punishment

  • The inherent right to life, of which no one shall be arbitrarily deprived.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 6.1; Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, Article 1.1, Article 1.2.

  • The right not to be subjected to cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

ICCPR, Article 7; Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment, Article 1 and Article 2.

About this Case

was a farmer and was very experienced in horticulture and especially in the cultivation of grapes, which were his favorite fruit.

Information about the execution of Mr. Ebrahim Dadkhah Tirani, son of Monavar and Abolqasem, along with another person was published in Keyhan Newspaper on October 11, 1979. Additional information in this regard was obtained through Abdorrahman Boroumand Center’s interviews with a person close to Mr. Dadkhah Tirani on December 3, 2017 and March 30, 2018 (ABC interview), an ABC interview with a resident of Najaf Abad, a report published in the Etela’at Newspaper, a report by a group of lawyers* (Lawyer’s Report), ABC’s research, and documents available at ABC.

Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was born on October 29, 1928 in the Tiran area of Tiran and Karvan (or Karvand) County in Esfahan province. He was married with seven children (three daughters and four boys) and had elementary level education. His primary job was agriculture, and, according to a person close to him, he was very experienced in horticulture and especially in the cultivation of grapes, which were his favorite fruit. Due to Mr. Dadkhah Tirani’s credibility and popularity in the Tiran area, he helped local authorities to resolve disputes among the residents of the city. Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was an active member of the Rastakhiz Party of Iran**. His acquaintances remember him as a very patriotic person. 

Background

Before the 1979 revolution, Tiran County and the city of Najaf Abad had a disagreement over political issues and the rights to water resources. Mr. Dadkhah Tirani, as one of the most influential people in Tiran, tried to make Tiran the governor’s center and remove Tiran from the authority of Najaf Abad’s municipal governorate. The efforts of the representative of Tiran and Najaf Abad in the pre-revolutionary National Consultative Assembly to redirect the rivers which passed through Tiran to Najaf Abad, intensified the disputes. Since Mr. Dadkhah Tirani had worked to secure Tiran residents’ water resources rights for 25 years on behalf of the Esfahan provincial governorate, he was at the center of these disputes (ABC interview).

A majority of the citizens of Najaf Abad were opposed to the Pahlavi government. Some of the influential leaders of the revolution were from this city. In December 1978 (Muharram 1399), in the chaos preceding the revolution, events detailed below occurred in the city of Najaf Abad, which, after several months and with the victory of the Islamic Revolution, lead to the arrest of Mr. Dadkhah Tirani along with the head of the Gendarmerie in Tiran. These individuals were then charged with involvement in these incidents (ABC interview).

According to the news published on the events of the 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th of Muharram, 1399 (December 11, 12, 13 and 14, 1978), a report by a group of lawyers on this matter and ABC interviews, it is inferred that the events in Najaf Abad can be separated into three episodes:

1) Muharram 10th, 1399 (December 11, 1978): According to available information, a group of young people in Najaf Abad pulled down the statue of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in the main square of the city on this day (ABC interview).

2) Muharram 11th and 12th, 1399 (December 12 and 13, 1978): After the statue of the Shah was pulled down, a group of officers including municipal police and SAVAK (Organization of National Intelligence and Security) agents from the city of Najaf Abad along with a number of residents of the city of Yazdanshahr (a city near Najaf Abad with a mostly Lur population) in a punitive operation, identified the revolutionaries in the city, attacked their houses and stores, burned some of their houses and stores as well as the city’s bazaar, broke many stores’ windows and plundered them, and assaulted many people in Najaf Abad and killed some of them (ABC interview and Lawyers’ Report).

In the chaos preceding the revolution, some events occurred in the city of Najaf Abad, which, with the victory of the Islamic Revolution, lead to the arrest of Mr. Dadkhah Tirani.

3) Muharram 13th, 1399 (December 14, 1978): A large number of people from villages and towns near Najaf Abad (including Tiran County) were persuaded and organized by government officers to stage a stret protest in favor of the government in Esfahan. One of the residents of Tiran, who was a witness to the event, estimates that several thousand people in a long line of cars drove towards Esfahan. They carried pictures of the Shah and the flag of Iran and shouted “Long Live the Shah”. Military vehicles, at the beginning and end of the line, escorted and directed the cars. The caravan entered the city of Najaf Abad, passing toward Esfahan without any conflict. On the way out of the city of Najaf Abad, a number of tanks and military vehicles blocked the road, preventing the cars from going forward and forcing them to return. The eyewitness added that as the caravan was heading back, some Najaf Abad residents attacked the cars by throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, which the military responded to by shooting (ABC interview).

The information obtained from the informants and residents of Tiran and Najaf Abad about these incidents in Najaf Abad during the above-mentioned dates and the extent of the involvement of the residents of Tiran in these events is conflicting. According to a resident of Najaf Abad, on Muharram 13th (December 14( an intense clash occurred between Tiran and Najaf Abad residents and many residents of Tiran were injured by Najaf Abad residents and, according to this eyewitness, a number of injured people from Tiran escaped and took refuge in the eyewitness’ father’s home. However, an interviewee from Tiran, who was an eyewitness during the incident, denied those claims and stated that no one from Tiran was injured or killed on Muharram 13th (December 14( (ABC interview).

Arrest and detention

In March 1979, Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was asked by agents of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Komiteh in Najaf Abad to identify one of the former members of the royal army. He went to the Najaf Abad Komiteh with his two sons and was held there until night on the pretext of polite conversation, and his sons were instructed to return home. The agents held Mr. Dadkhah Tirani at the Najaf Abad Komiteh for several weeks, with no detention sentence given to him or his family. After several weeks of detention, Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was transferred to a prison in Dorcheh, Esfahan and was detained there for five months. During this period, Mr. Dadkhah Tirani did not have access to a lawyer, but he was allowed to visit his family (ABC interview).

Trial

The Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan tried Mr. Dadkhah Tirani in one session on June 26, 1979. At the trail session, which started at 6:00 PM and lasted until 8:00 PM, Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was tried simultaneously with the Head of the Gendarmerie of Tiran. Six days later, the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan issued a verdict against Mr. Dadkhah Tirani (ABC interview).

Despite the issuance of the verdict by the Revolutionary Court in Esfahan, Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was transferred to Najaf Abad, and the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad sentenced him again on the same evidence without a new trial.

About five months later, despite the issuance of the verdict by the Revolutionary Court in Esfahan, Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was transferred from the prison in Esfahan to Najaf Abad, and the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad sentenced him again on the same evidence without a new trial (ABC interview).

Mr. Dadkhah Tirani did not have access to a lawyer during his trial and the witnesses who had come to testify to his innocence were not allowed to attend court hearings.

Charges

The charges brought against Mr. Dadkhah Tirani included the mobilization of people wielding clubs who attacked Najaf Abad on Muharram 12th, 1399 (December 13, 1978), breaking the store’s windows, plundering the stores, and assaulting people (Verdict issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan on July 2, 1979).

On October 11, 1979, Keyhan Newspaper cited a list of charges for both Mr. Dadkhah Tirani and the head of the Gendarmerie in Tiran, who were tried simultaneously. The charges included “harassment of oppressed people, beating people, forcible seizure of people’s property with the cover of dictatorial power, rape, mobilization of people wielding clubs, torture of [revolutionary] devotees, and participating in numerous murders” (Keyhan Newspaper). It is noteworthy that in this news, the charges against Mr. Dadkhah Tirani were not mentioned specifically and distinctly.

The validity of the criminal charges brought against these defendants cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.

Evidence of guilt

The testimony of witnesses and the affidavits of neighbors were used as evidence against Mr. Dadkhah Tirani.

Defense

Mr. Dadkhah Tirani never accepted any of the charges which were brought against him and always emphasized his innocence.

There is no information available on the details of his defense. However, it is incontrovertible that neither Mr. Dadkhah Tirani nor the head of the Gendarmerie in Tiran are mentioned in reports on the Najaf Abad clash. According to a source close to Mr. Dadkhah Tirani, on Muharram 13th, 1399 (December 14, 1978) Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was in the village of Hajiabad with some friends. He was confronted with the caravan while returning home, and since he was a well-known person, drivers requested that Mr. Dadkhah Tirani accompany them.

On October 11, 1979, Keyhan Newspaper referred on the trial of Mr. Dadkhah Tirani and the head of the Gendarmerie in Tiran by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan, and the sentence which was issued by that court. However, the news further cited a retrial by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad, and reported: “Yesterday (a day before the execution), the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad ended its review of the cases of two agents of the former regime” and sentenced them again. However, a person close to Mr. Dadkhah Tirani rejected the claim that Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was tried a second time by the Najaf Abad Revolutionary Court and stated that Mr. Dadkhah Tirani’s family did not have any information regarding the re-trial and the death sentence. The source stated that Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was not informed about the court’s order until the evening before his execution.

His name was never mentioned in reports on the Najaf Abad clash.

While Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was in detention (about 5 to 6 months), some people drove around nearby cities and villages addressing people with a loudspeaker and encouraged them to file complaints against Mr. Dadkhah Tirani, actions which led to the filing of at least two complaints. One of the plaintiffs was a resident of Tiran who claimed that his father was killed by Mr. Dadkhah Tirani. He claimed that Mr. Dadkhah Tirani had told his father -who had a skin disorder- not to go to the public bath until recovery, whereupon his father had a nervous attack and died.  Another person claimed that Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was responsible for damages to his store owing to widespread allegations that Mr. Dadkhah Tirani led the people who had demonstrated in Najaf Abad in favor of the Shah (ABC interview).

In all sources which explained Mr. Dadkhah Tirani’s charges, there is no evidence of his guilt, nothing to prove a connection with the killing of even one person in Najaf Abad, and no mention of a legal complaint against him in this regard.

Judgment

The Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad sentenced Mr. Dadkhah Tirani to death. However, Mr. Dadkhah Tirani had been previously tried at the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan and sentenced to two years of imprisonment.

According to a person close to Mr. Dadkhah Tirani, all his property (including a flock of sheep, household belongings, and even the cash in his wife’s wallet) was seized without a court order.

The transfer of Mr. Dadkhah Tirani from Esfahan to Najaf Abad and the issuance of his death sentence by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad were done despite the fact that the spokesman of the Revolutionary Court in Esfahan stated,“The Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan will try Mr. Dadkhah Tirani and the head of the Gendarmerie in Tiran again, only if new complaints against these two defendants are filed. If there is a new complaint against them, it is necessary for it to be filed at the court. The new trial will be held based on new complaints and new charges. Regarding their past committed crimes, the court’s order is valid and will not be renewed” (Available documents in ABC).

After Mr. Dadkhah Tirani was transferred to Najaf Abad, his family brought the case to Ayatollah Khomeini’s office. On September 24, 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini’s office sent a letter to the Revolutionary Chief Public Prosecutor asking for the return of Mr. Dadkhah Tirani to Esfahan and the implementation of his two-year imprisonment sentence. According to the letter: “... People in Najaf Abad demonstrated against the verdict of the Esfahan court based on emotions... and it is certain that if [Mr. Dadkhah Tirani] is tried in Najaf Abad, the ruling may not be free of emotion...”

In the report made by Revolutionary Chief Public Prosecutor, dated on September 30, 1979, in response to a letter sent by the Islamic Revolutionary Prosecution Office in Esfahan on September 29, 1979, it is mentioned: “... it was established that the accused party, Ebrahim Dadkhah Tirani, stay in Esfahan and not be sent to Najaf Abad, and that the ruling of the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Esfahan is currently binding.” However, the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Najaf Abad disregarded the verdict issued by the Revolutionary Court in Esfahan and issued the death sentence for Mr. Dadkhah Tirani without any new charge.

The history of local political hostilities between Tiran and Najaf Abad before the revolution lead to the death sentence for Mr. Dadkhah Tirani.

The charges brought against Mr. Dadkhah Tirani resulted in a two-year imprisonment sentence, and no information is available on the charges that resulted in the death sentence issued against him. It seems that the history of local political hostilities between Tiran and Najaf Abad before the revolution lead to the death sentence for Mr. Dadkhah Tirani.

On October 11, 1979, Mr. Ebrahim Dadkhah Tirani was executed by firing squad in Najaf Abad Prison.

In his will, which Mr. Dadkhah Tirani dictated to one of his cellmates, Mr. Dadkhah Tirani clearly emphasized his innocence: “I committed no crime, and I did not deserve to be executed. You yourselves [the officials], the people, my family and all my friends know that I was illegally imprisoned for 216 days. I shall die, but my name will not be tarnished with shame. Shame would be staying with you [officials of the Islamic Republic]” (Mr. Ebrahim Dadkhah Tirani’s will - October 10, 1979).

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*   A report by a group of lawyers on the events of Najaf Abad – Iran history website:On December 16, 1978, a group of lawyers from Tehran, including (1) Dr. Mohammad Taqi Damqani- attorney at law and a member of the Board of Directors of the Bar Association, (2) Ahmad Sadr Haj Seyed Javadi- Attorney at law, (3) Mir Shams Shahshahani- Deputy Head of a Central Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, and (4) Kazem Kashef- Deputy of General Inspection Organization, the special agent of the Ministry of Justice, and a representative of the Bar Association, reported their observations and discussions with the authorities and the residents of Najaf Abad during a trip lasting a few hours: http://tarikhirani.ir/fa/news/30/bodyView/3203 
**  The Rastakhiz Party of the People of Iran, known as the Rastakhiz Party, was formed on March 2, 1975 by the order of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and all the other licensed and legal parties and syndicates in Iran, such as the Iran Novin Party, the Party of Iranian People, the Pan-Iranist Party, and the Iranians’ Party were merged into it. The structure and organization of this party were based on three principles: “the imperial system, the constitution, and the Shah and People’s Revolution (White Revolution)”.

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