Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohammad Reza Vakili


Age: 58
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: September 8, 2004
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder
Age at time of alleged offense: 54

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Mohammad Reza Vakili was reported in Iran Newspaper (September 9, 2004) and Shargh Newspaper (September 8, 2004). Additional information has been gathered from Kayhan Newspaper and Iran Newspaper (January 14, 2001), Ettela’at Newspaper (May 1, 2002 and September 2, 2004), and Iran Newspaper (September 4, 2004). Mr. Mohammad Reza Vakili was a caretaker and his case has to do with the murder of a 76-year-old attorney and his 80-year-old wife on Wednesday, January 10, 2001, at Boostan #4 Street, Pasdaran Avenue, Tehran.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Vakili was arrested by detectives from the northeastern division of the Tehran Police at his residence in Boom-e-Henn on Thursday, January 11, 2001. On the day of the incident, a young man called police and reported that his elderly parents had been murdered in their own home. Detectives were able to ascertain that the last person who had been to their house was Mr. Vakili, their caretaker. He spent four years in jail.


Branch 1602 of the Criminal Court of Tehran tried Mr. Vakili. One of the sessions took place on April 30, 2002 (Ettele’at Newspaper May 1, 2002). No further information is available on his trial.


The charge brought against Mr. Vakili was “murder”. According to available information, the suspect’s motive was to steal money, jewelry, and the victims’ car, and he killed the victims with blows from a large pestle and two-kilogram scale weights.

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 evidence against Mr. Vakili was “discovery of the murder victims’ bodies, discovery of the suspect in possession of the stolen goods and car, and also his confession” (Iran Newspaper September 4, 2004).

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. Vakili stated in court that two other people had committed these murders. He said he feared them and so had confessed to these crimes (Ettela’at Newspaper May 1, 2002). 

He also objected to the sentence, but no information is available on his defense.


Branch 1602 of the Criminal Court of Tehran handed down two sentences of execution by hanging to Mr. Vakili. The death sentence for murdering the attorney was approved by Branch 20 of the Supreme Court, but the sentence concerning his wife was sent to the Public Court for reconsideration. Mr. Vakili was executed at Evin Prison on September 8, 2004. 

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