Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Mohammad Reza Heidari

About

Age: 24
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: November 8, 2006
Location: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder
Age at time of offense: 21

About this Case

The trial was finished before the lawyer could present his statement of defense

News of the execution of Mr. Mohammad Reza Heidari and three other people was published by Entekhab Newspaper (November 09, 2006) and the Khabar-e Jonub Website (November 11, 2006).

Additional information has been taken from Shargh Newspaper (May 13 & 14, 2006, quoting from the head of the Public Relations Department of the Tehran Province Prosecutor’s Office on May 22, 2004 and May 01, 2005), Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA, July 21, 2004),  Jomhuri-ye Islami Newspaper (July 22, 2004), Iran Newspaper (July 31, 2004 and May 01, 2005), and Khabar-e Jonub Website (September 04, 2006).

At the time of the incident, Mr. Heidari was 21 years old. He had gone from Shiraz to Tehran in pursuit of work. His file has to do with a murder in a jewelry store and the holding hostage of four women in a literacy class at Salman Farsi Boys’ School on Tuesday May 11, 2004.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Heidari was arrested on Tuesday May 11, 2004 at the Salman Farsi Boys’ School on Shahid Madani (Nezam Abad) Street. The arresting officers were from Namjoo Precinct 106 and Misagh Precinct 11 of the Tehran Police. After the murder, Heidari came out of the jewelry store and was surrounded by a crowd who had heard the gunshots. Frightened, he ran into a school. The school only had one door, so he couldn’t get away. There were four women there waiting for their teacher. He took them hostage, but after four hours, he gave his gun to the police and surrendered (ISNA).

Trial

Branch 74 of the Criminal Court of Tehran Province tried Mr. Heidari on July 10, 2004. The trial was concluded in one session, with one chief judge and four assistant judges. He had a lawyer.

Charges

The charge brought against Mr. Heidari was “intentional homicide and inciting terror, fear, and intimidation”.

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

The evidence against Mr. Heidari included “confession of the accused, the forensic medical examiner’s report, possession of a gun, holding four hostages, and testimony of witnesses.”

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.

Defense

Mr. Heidari defended himself in court. He said, “I did not intend to kill the victim. I just wanted my money back. First I threatened him, but he would not agree. I shot him in the side and tried to leave the store. He stopped me, so I shot him in the head. I did not even threaten the people whom they say I took hostage.” He did not admit to theft or hostage taking (ISNA). He did not accept the opinions of the forensic medical examiner indicating intentional homicide . His lawyer stated that he would present a separate defense dealing with attempted robbery and hostage taking. However, the trial ended after one session. When he was arrested, Heidari had taken the hostages out of fear. One of the hostages testified that from the beginning, he had not intended to harm any of them. He even freed one of the women as soon as he realized she was pregnant (Shargh Newspaper May 12, 2004)

Judgment

Branch 74 of the Criminal Court of Tehran Province sentenced Mr. Heidari to execution for committing murder and 74 lashes for inciting terror, fear, and intimidation. This sentence was approved by the Supreme Court and the Head of the Judiciary.

The lashing was carried out on May 01, 2005 at the sentence implementation branch of the Tehran District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Heidari and three other people were executed by hanging in Evin Prison on November 09, 2006.

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