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

Zanyar Moradi

About

Age: 30
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Sunni)
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: September 8, 2018
Location of Killing: Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: War on God; Murder; Acting against state's security
Age at time of offense: 21

About this Case

Believed that he was not being punished for a crime he had committed himself. He considered his case a political one and had asked for a fair trial on numerous occasions.

News of the execution of Mr. Zanyar Moradi, his cousin, Loqman Moradi, and another individual, was published by Fars News Agency (September 8, 2018) and the official website of Tehran General and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office (September 8, 2018). Additional information was obtained through research and documentation by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, including official documents, as well as interviews with two persons with knowledge of the case, including a former ward mate (September 8, and 10, 2018) and other sources. (1) 

Mr. Zanyar Moradi, son of Eqbal, was born in 1988 in Marivan, a border town in Kurdistan Province. Mr. Moradi’s father was a well-known political activist and lived in Iraqi Kurdistan. Mr. Moradi’s family had entrusted him to his grandparents since he was a child. (Mostaghel newspaper, September 12, 2018). 

According to Mr. Moradi’s ward mates, he had a great artistic flair and provided ideas to his cousin who created artistic products in prison. (Boroumand Center interview with one of Mr. Moradi’s ward mates, September 10, 2018). He had a nice voice and liked music. He played musical instruments, specifically Setar (a traditional Iranian instrument), and sang, and encouraged others to sing along. Mr. Moradi spent most of his time in jail reading, and always wanted to continue his education. (Boroumand Center interview with a person who knew Mr. Moradi, September 8, 2018). He seriously pursued studying English and read philosophy and sociology books. He was very fond of technology as well. His fellow prisoners have described him as an intelligent and responsible person who was very sociable, and participated in prison group activities such as general cleaning of wards, in spite serious injury to his back and spine, suffered in the course of interrogations. (Boroumand Center interview with one of Mr. Moradi’s ward mates, September 10, 2018). 

According to one of his ward mates, Mr. Moradi was an empathetic and sensitive person who also held strong logical principles based on human rights. He was frank and direct, and did not compromise his principles in spite of being a peace-seeking and tolerant man. He always criticized [the government’s] centralization policies and lack of investment in Kurdistan. (Boroumand Center interview with one of Mr. Moradi’s ward mates, September 10, 2018).

United Nations officials had repeatedly asked Iran to stop Mr. Moradi’s execution. The last time they had transmitted a message to Iran was the day before his execution. (United Nations website, September 7, 2018). Other human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, had expressed concern about the execution of Mr. Moradi and his cousin, both before and after the death sentence was carried out. (Boroumand Center research). In a communique issued after its implementation, Amnesty International objected to Mr. Moradi’s execution, citing violations of fair trial standards. (Amnesty International website, September 8, 2018).

According to reports, Mr. Moradi’s case was related to the murder of three individuals in Marivan in 2009. 

Furthermore, since he came from a political family, the case’s connection to his family’s activities was brought up by the family, as well as by Mr. Moradi himself. Mr. Zanyar Moradi’s father, Mr. Eqbal Moradi, was a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

Mr. Eqbal Moradi had been the target of two assassination attempts in Iraqi Kurdistan in 2008 and 2018; the second one in July 2018 resulted in his death.

 

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) was founded in 1945 with the objective of gaining autonomy for Kurdistan in northwestern Iran. After the 1979 Revolution, disagreements between the new central Shiite government and the mainly Sunni Kurdistan resulted in armed clashes between the Revolutionary Guards and the Peshmerga (PDKI militia), centering around issues such as the role of minorities in the drafting of the constitution, designation of Shiism as the official state religion, and, particularly, the question of Kurdistan’s autonomy. Mass executions and fierce fighting continued for months in the region. In the four years that followed, PDKI lost much of its power in the region. A number of the Democratic Party of Kurdistan’s leaders have been assassinated. Following internal conflicts, a schism occurred in the Party in 2006, and it was divided into two organizations, “The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan” and “The Kurdistan Democratic Party”. The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan which had suspended its armed activities in the 2000’s until about 2014, started using its Peshmergas that year in order to conduct an armed struggle against the Isklamic Republic. (Kayhan London, October 23, 2016).

 

This and other armed Kurdish parties active in the region, accepted responsibility for more than ten armed operations inside Iranian territory between 2016 and 2018. (Boroumand Center research).

Arrest and detention

On August 3, 2009, Mr. Moradi was arrested in the town of Marivan by police officers and Information Ministry agents. (Boroumand Center Newsletter, Letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteur, January 30, 2012). Mr. Moradi was banned from visitation for just under a year and a half (HRANA, January 17, 2011); his family had no knowledge of his condition and was worried that he might have been secretly executed. (Jaras, February 13, 2011). 24 hours after his arrest, Mr. Moradi was transferred from Marivan to the city of Snanadaj Information Administration Detention Center. He spent approximately 9 months in a solitary confinement cell at the city of Snanadaj Information Administration Detention Center and was interrogated and tortured by 6 to 7 individuals. (HRANA, January 17, 2011). According to Mr. Moradi, during the first days of interrogation, they would only ask him about his father – who was a Kurdish political activist – and his father’s entourage. Mr. Moradi had previously been summoned to Sanandaj Information Administration on numerous occasions in order to provide explanations [regarding his activities] and/or cooperate in arresting his father. (Iran Azadi, September 12, 2018).

According to Mr. Moradi, a few days after his arrest, the interrogators brought up the subject of the three murders in Marivan and asked him to accept responsibility for them but he refused. In a letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Mr. Moradi stated that his interrogators had resorted to all kinds of threats and torture in order to force him to accept responsibility for the murders, so much so that he was unable to tend to his personal care in the first two months of his detention because of the pain and injuries he had suffered from the torture. Mr. Moradi explained the manner in which he was tortured in the letter, stating that the interrogators would tie him up to a bed and flog and kick him. They would hurl insults at him while he was being tortured, and would make threats that they would persecute his family and would kill him. They would show him soda bottles tied to the chairs in the interrogation room and would repeatedly threaten him with sexual assault while insulting him. Mr. Moradi suffered from injuries to the testicles in the course of interrogations, in the form of hemorrhage and burning sensations. No action was taken during that time to treat him. (HRANA, January 17, 2011). He also suffered from injuries to the spine the result of which was that he was not able to move about much and do heavy activities. (Boroumand Center interview with one of Mr. Moradi’s ward mates, September 10, 2018).

Mr. Moradi’s interrogators would tie him to a bed and would flog and kick him. They would hurl insults at him while he was being tortured, and would make threats that they would persecute his family and would kill him.

 In response to his objections to being tortured, prison officials had told him on one occasion: “This is a political game. When your father engages in activities against us, he should expect something like this to happen.” (Iran Azadi, September 12, 2018).

In April 2010, Mr. Moradi was transferred to Sanandaj Prison where he spent approximately 6 months. (Kurdistan Human Rights Organization, April 23, 2014). He was taken back to the Sanandaj Information Administration detention center once again, and taken back to Snanadaj Prison after one month. In December 2010, Mr. Moradi was taken to Evin Prison Ward 209 to attend his trial. A week after the trial, Mr. Moradi was transferred to Rajaishahr Prison Ward 4 along with his cousin, where he spent approximately 8 years before he was executed. (HRANA, January 17, 2011).

Mr. Moradi only had two or three visitations with his grandparents the entire time he was incarcerated. (Boroumand Center interview with one of Mr. Moradi’s ward mates, September 10, 2018). 

Mr. Moradi was the ward representative at Rajaishahr Prison for a long time, and rigorously pursued the needs and problems of other prisoners. (Boroumand Center interview with a person who knew Mr. Moradi, September 8, 2018).

Trial

Mr. Moradi was tried once on the charge of Moharebeh (“waging war with God”) and once on the charge of being an accomplice in murder, for the killing of three individuals in the town of Marivan on July 5, 2009. The first trial took place on December 22, 2010, at Tehran Islamic Revolutionary Court, Branch 15 in an open session and in the presence of the murder victims’ next of kin (one of the victims was the Marivan Friday Prayer Imam’s son), defense attorneys, and reporters who had been permitted to attend. (Iran newspaper, December 23, 2010). The court heard Mr. Moradi’s Moharebeh case. The officials brought Mr. Moradi into the courtroom in handcuffs and shackles. (HRANA, January 17, 2011). 

“The case of the murder of three individuals and a demand for Qesas by Marivan’s Friday Prayer Imam” was sent to Tehran Province Criminal Court, Branch 75, by Supreme Court Branch Seven.  (Mostaqel newspaper, September 12, 2018, Mehr News Agency, September 8, 2018). The case was to be heard in an extraordinary court session. (Iran newspaper, December 28, 2010). The first session at this Branch, convened on July 23, 2014. Due to defects in the case, it was still open and pending at the time of Mr. Moradi’s execution. (Mostaqel newspaper, September 12, 2018). 

Charges

Judicial authorities charged Mr. Moradi in two separate cases, one with “Moharebeh” and the other with “intentional murder”. In effect, the charge of Moharebeh was brought because of the assassination of three individuals for which Mr. Moradi had been charged with “intentional murder”. (Iran newspaper, December 28, 2010, Qanun newspaper, September 12, 2018 ). 

“Acting against national security, illegal crossing of the border, and complicity in transportation and possession of weapons of war” were among other charges brought against Mr. Moradi. (Official website of theTehran General and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, September 8, 2018). 

Evidence of guilt 

Mr. Moradi’s confession during interrogations, his televised confession broadcast on Press TV (Kurdistan Human Rights Organization, April 23, 2014), and his statements at his first trial were used as evidence against him. Furthermore, published reports allude to “evidence and documentation” for which there is no information available. (Mehr News Agency, September 8, 2018). 

According to official reports, on July 5, 2009, at 9 PM, three individuals, one of whom was Marivan Friday Prayer Imam’s son, were killed by bullets fired from what was said to have been a Kalashnikov weapon. (Mehr News Agency, September 8, 2018). Based on the published reports, the killers had escaped the scene on a motorbike and thrown the weapon to a lake. In the court, Mr, Moradi confessed that he had accepted the proposal from an Iraqi citizen to do the terror, convinced his co-defendant, got the weapon, and at the end killed three people in Marivan. (Official website of theTehran General and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office, September 8, 2018). In confessions obtained from Mr. Moradi in the course of interrogations, there is a reference made to his contact with a security official of the Kurdistan Autonomous Region [in Iraq] in charge of combatting Ansar al-Islam’s Salafis. The report stated that he had obtained money and weapons from said individual and was supposed to get the rest of the money after the assassination, and then obtain asylum in a foreign country with the help of his intermediary. (Mehr News Agency, September 8, 2018).  According to Mr. Moradi’s statement in the court, his co-defendatn who was the rear rider shot the deceaseds and then they left the scene together. (Kayhan newspaper December 23, 2010).He also stated that he left for Iraq after the terror. (Iran newspaper, December 28, 2010). 

Defense

Mr. Moradi attended the trial session on December 22, 2010, with his attorney. However, he was not able to defend himself due to threats by the Information Administration officials and because of food poisoning. According to Mr. Moradi’s co-defendant, the judge would mix up the details of their respective cases without paying attention to each defendant’s name. (HRANA, January 17, 2011).

According to Mr. Moradi, he and his co-defendant, were threatened before the trial by the security offices and their interrogators that if they would not confirm what they had previously mentioned in the interrogations, they would be returned to the Information Ministry detention centers. Mr Moradi added “I would have preferred to die but not go back there again.” (Boroumand Center Newsletter, Letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteur, January 30, 2012).

According to one of Mr. Moradi’s lawyers, the court cited the confessions extracted from Mr. Moradi, existing in his case file, as a basis for its ruling. Mr. Moradi’s attorney considered his and his co-defendant’s confessions as not reliable as a basis for the issuance of a sentence because of the way they were written: “The interrogations and the investigations are not in a question and answer format. They are a narrative, as if telling a story, which these two have simply signed. When I saw the text of both of their confessions in the case file, I realized that they were exactly the same and the words used were exactly the same. Even if two people do something together, they don’t tell what happened using the same writing style and the same wording. Every person has their own tone and wording specific to themselves that they use. But these two people’s confessions were written in such a similar fashion that it was not [believable or] acceptable.” (BBC Persian, September 11, 2018).

According to the law, denial and retraction of admissions and confessions in cases that result in the issuance of a death sentence, nullifies the death sentence. Mr. Moradi repeatedly denied his statements in court and said that he had been “a victim of cruel and inhuman torture at the hands of the Sanandaj Information Ministry”.

The testimony of two people who had stated in the media that they had seen the perpetrators of the murders was never used and relied on at trial. They had claimed that the perpetrators bore no resemblance to Mr. Moradi and his co-defendant. (Kordpa, November 13, 2013).

In the official media, Mr. was introduced a s amember of armed groups. He later rejected that in the trials. He emphasized in the court that “I was not a member of any political group. Have I had any intention of joining a group, I would have definitely gone to my father.” Mr. Moradi’s father, Eqbal Moradi, was one of the Komala leaders who had been killed a while back in Iraq Kurdistan. (Mostaqel Newspaper, September 12, 2018)

Denying having any contacts with political groups, Mr. Moradi stated: “Wouldn’t there be signs of organizational affiliation and contact between me and that entity [if such contacts actually existed]?” According to Mr. Moradi, the security apparatus did not even conduct a search of his and his co-defendants’ homes because there was no evidence of such contacts. Mr. Moradi further emphasized that “there was no evidence of possession of firearms and the ability to use such weapons” in his case. (Boroumand Center Newsletter, Letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteur, January 30, 2012).

According to one of his ward mates, Mr. Moradi had said: “If we had done this, we most certainly would have gone to Iraqi Kurdistan after the assassination and would not have waited to be arrested a month later. Going to Iraqi Kurdistan was a piece of cake.” (Boroumand Center interview with one of Mr. Moradi’s ward mates, September 10, 2018).

After the first trial and transfer to Raja’ishahr prison, Mr. Moradi rejected his statements several times and said “I am a victim of the Sanandaj Information Office’s cruel and inhumane tortures”. He believed the treatment he received from the Infomration Office was political and because of his father’s activities. He asked the people, media, and human rights organizations to follow up on his complaints from the information offices. He explained the severity of the tortures and harrassments during the interrogations to the extent that he had several times thought about commiting suicide and freeing himself from that situation. Mr. Moradi also emphasized that he had had no access to an attorney until the day of the trial. (Boroumand Center Newsletter, Letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteur, January 30, 2012). Mr. Moradi’s request for an appeal of the decision regarding Moharebeh to the Court of Appeals was not granted. (HRANA, October 26, 2011).

After the first trial session, in December 2010, Mr. Moradi’s family’s contact with his lawyer was cut off and the attorney would not return the family’s calls. They were deprived of another lawyer for a long time because other attorneys would not accept to take on the case. (Jaras, February 13, 2011).

Mr. Moradi and his co-defendant had a case where they were charged with Moharebeh, and a separate case related to the murder of three individuals. He retained another attorney starting in March 2014 for the murder case, and presented a defense once again accompanied by the attorney at the trial session dated July 27, 2014. According to Mr. Moradi’s attorney, there was a direct correlation between the murder case and the Moharebeh case, and the trial court’s immediate implementation of the sentence was delayed due to defects in the murder case. (Mostaqel newspaper, September 12, 2018).

Regarding the defects in the murder case, Mr. Moradi’s attorney stated: “The report of the crime scene reconstruction was not in the file. Furthermore, the file contained the statement ‘the weapon was thrown in Zarivar Lake after the murder where there is a reed bed’. They should have investigated and found the weapon, and determined if the shell casings they claimed they had found at the murder scene, matched the weapon.” According to Mr. Moradi’s lawyer, without proof of the murder, the [veracity of] the story of Mr. Moradi’s contact with a foreigner and getting money and weapon from him was also in doubt. For those reasons, the legal defects were recognized as such and the case was referred to Tehran Criminal Prosecutor’s Office and Marivan Prosecutor’s Office several times to address those defects. However, those defects were never obviated and redressed. According to Mr. Moradi’s attorney, the murder case was based on Haqq al-Nass (the right of the people), and such rights take precedence over Moharebeh, which is God’s right, [and, according to Islamic principles, God can forsake, but people’s rights cannot be forsaken]. Therefore, the murder case had to be dealt with and come to a conclusion before all else. (Mostaqel newspaper, September 12, 2018).

In a video recording broadcast the day before his execution, he asked for a fair trial. (Kurdistan Human Rights Network, September 8, 2018). 

Summary of the defects of Mr Moradi's legal proceedings

Two separate cases were initiated against the defendants, one on the charge of Moharebeh, which was heard at the Revolutionary Court and resulted in a death sentence, and the other for intentional murder, adjudicated at the Criminal Court, which did not result in a final ruling. Such actions were contrary to the law: If an individual commits multiple criminal acts that are defined within a single crime, said individual must be tried in a single tribunal. In other words, charging a person with intentional murder and Moharebeh for a single act, that of “murdering several individuals”, is not correct; such an act must be tried either as Moharebeh (provided the other requirements for the crime are satisfied) or as intentional murder.

Pursuant to Iranian law, in the event that a person is charged with several crimes, it is necessary to hear all the charges before a final ruling is issued. Further, when it comes to implementation, Qesas, as a right of the people, takes precedence over Hodud. Islamic Penal Code Article 133 provides: “In the event that there are multiple offenses punishable by Hadd and Qesas, the punishments shall be aggregated. However, if a Hadd punishment obviates Qesas or causes delay in implementing Qesas, the latter shall take precedence over the former, and in the event Qesas is not immediately demanded, is forgiven [by the next of kin], or substituted with Diah, then Hadd punishment shall be implemented.” In the case of Zanyar and Loqman Moradi, the death sentence for Moharebeh was carried out while the murder case was still under consideration. What should have happened was for the murder case to have ended and a final judgment issued, and if a sentence of Qesas had been pronounced, it would take precedence [over the sentence for Moharebeh].

According to multiple reports, the defendants in this case were severely tortured and forced to make incriminating confessions. Pursuant to Iranian laws, subjecting a defendant to torture and duress is illegal and considered a crime. Any confession or admission obtained therefrom is also without legal merit. Principle 38 of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution (2), as well as other Iranian laws such as the Law for Respecting Legitimate Freedoms and Safeguarding Citizens Rights, Paragraph 9 of 2004 (3), and Islamic Penal Code Article 169 of 2013 (4), have expressly made provisions in this regard. Other laws such as Islamic Penal Code Article 578 consider obtaining confessions through torture a crime, and individuals resorting to such acts as criminals (5). It was therefore necessary for the court to have investigated the matter and only then cite the defendants’ confessions as evidence for its ruling. Furthermore, in accordance with Iranian law, including the Islamic Penal Code and the Law on General and Revolutionary Courts Rules of Criminal Procedure, admissions and confessions, particularly those made in crimes that carry Hadd punishments, are valid and have legal merit only when they have been made before the judge issuing the sentence. (Note to Article 59 of the Law on General and Revolutionary Courts Rules of Criminal Procedure, Islamic Penal Code Article 218, Note 2). In other words, although a confession made to individuals other than the judge is considered to be a type of evidence, for it to be the basis of the court’s ruling, it must be heard by the judge issuing the sentence. Therefore, confessions made by Messrs. Zanyar and Loqman Moradi before the investigating judge and/or law enforcement officers in the preliminary investigations stage cannot constitute the basis for the judge’s ruling.

Another point that must be made here is that confessions made in crimes that carry Hadd punishments have their own particular requirements that have not been taken into consideration in this case. Pursuant to Shari’a rules as well as the Islamic Penal Code Article 173, if an individual confesses to a crime the punishment for which is death, and then takes his/her admission back for any reason, the death penalty is no longer be applicable (6) Therefore, since Messrs. Zanyar and Loqman Moradi were tried for the crime of Moharebeh the punishment for which is death and the court relied on their confession as the basis of its ruling even though they denied the charge, the judge was not authorized to sentence these two individuals to death.

Based on available reports, including the statements made by the defendants’ attorney, the case had serious defects. These legal defects were determined to be valid by the Supreme Courtm which had ordered that they be addressed and rectified. The case had therefore been referred to the Tehran Criminal Prosecutor’s Office and the Marivan Prosecutor’s Office several times. However, those defects were never obviated and redressed. Ultimately, the defendants were executed while the murder case was still pending and the adjudication process had not been completed. According to Mr. Moradi’s lawyer, without proof of the murder, the [veracity of] the story of Mr. Moradi’s contact with a foreigner and getting money and weapon from him was also in doubt. 

Judgment

On December 22, 2010, Tehran Genaral and Revolutionary Court Branch 15 sentenced Mr. Zanyar Moradi and his co-defendant to death by hanging in public. (Mehr News Agency, September 8, 2018). The court pronounced the death sentence citing “evidence existing in the case file, the defendants’ express confessions, and pursuant to Surah Ma’edah, Verse 33, and Islamic Penal Code Articles 183, 186, 189, 190, and 191”.(7) (Mehr News Agency, September 8, 2018). The sentence was not served on Mr. Moradi and he only found out through newspapers that he had been condemned to death a week later and while he was in Rajaishahr Prison. (HRANA, January 17, 2011).

Mr. Moradi’s death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on February 1, 2011, and sent to the Sentence Implementation Section at Rajaishahr Prison. (Kurdistan Human Rights Organization, April 23, 2014). The sentence was delayed due to defects in the murder case so that said defects could be redressed. [However,] Mr. Zanyar Moradi and two other individuals, including his co-defendant, were executed in the morning of September 8, 2018 in the Evin Prison. (Tehran General and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office website, September 8, 2018).

Three days before Mr. Moradi’s execution and prior to prisoner visitations with their families, telephone lines at all Rahjaishahr Prison’s wards were cut off; prisoners’ comings and goings inside the prison, including to the infirmary, were controlled. The open air area in the adjacent ward was closed off to prisoners as well. The day before the execution, first Mr. Zanyar Moradi, and then his cousin, Loqman Moradi, were called to the prison warden’s office. (Boroumand Center interview with a person who knew Mr. Moradi, September 8, 2018).

Mr. Moradi’s family was not informed of his burial place until the fortieth day of his death.

When Mr. Moradi’s family visited with him for the last time, prison officials had assured them that that “was just a regular visit”. On September 9, at 3 o’clock in the morning, the officials called Mr. Moradi’s family and his attorney to tell them to come to the prison. They had no news of Mr. Moradi’s situation until the afternoon of that day although they went to the prison and the prosecutor’s office repeatedly. The family and his lawyer learned of his execution through the publication of the news by Fars News Agency. (Boroumand Center interview with one of Mr. Moradi’s ward mates, September 10, 2018).

Upon Mr. Moradi’s family’s insistence and his attorney’s persistent follow-up, security and judiciary officials allowed his family to view his body at the Behest Zahra Cemetery mortuary, provided they did not take videos. The security agents present at the Cemetary also prohibited Mr. Moradi’s family from weeping loudly and screaming his loss. (HRANA, September 10, 2018). Mr. Moradi’s body was not delivered to his family after the execution and his family are not yet aware of where he has been buried until this time [fall 2018]. (HRKURD, October 19, 2018)

In a letter he published subsequent to Mr. Moradi’s execution, one of Mr. Moradi’s former ward mates described the prison atmosphere as “heavy” and “suffocating” after his passing. (HRANA, September 15, 2018).

According to Mr. Moradi himself, spending 8 years in jail knowing that he would ultimately be executed redoubled the torture and the agony he endured. (Boroumand Center weblog, letter to the United Nations Special Rapporteur, ***).

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1) United Nations news website (September 7, 2018), Fars News Agency (September 8, 2018, August 31, 2018), Iran newspaper (December 28, 2010), Kayhan newspaper (December 23, 2010), Mehr News Agency (November 8, 2011), Tasnim News Agency (September 10, 2018), Mostaghel newspaper (September 12, 2018), Amnesty International (September 8, 2018), HRANA News Agency (September 15, 2018, September 10, 2018, September 8, 2018, October 26, 2011, January 17, 2011), Rah-e Sabz Movement (Jaras) website (February 13, 2011), Kayhan London newspaper (October 23, 2016), Khabar Online (November 4, 2010), Kurdistan Human Rights Organization (April 23, 2013), Kordpa (November 13, 2013).
2) Principle 38 of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Constitution provide in this regard: “All forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confession or acquiring information are forbidden. Compulsion of individuals to testify, confess, or take an oath is not permissible; and any testimony, confession, or oath obtained under duress is devoid of value and credence. Violators of this article shall be punished in accordance with the law.”
3) Similar to the Constitution, the Law for Respecting Legitimate Freedoms and Safeguarding Citizens Rights, Paragraph 9 of 2004, provides: “All forms of torture of the defendant for the purpose of extracting confession or forcing him/her to do other acts are forbidden and confessions obtained in this way are devoid of legal and religious credence.”
4) Islamic Penal Code Article 169 of 2013 provides: “A confession obtained through coercion, duress, torture, or physical or psychological abuse, has no validity, and the court must investigate and question the accused once again.”
5) Article 578 of the Islamic Penal Code (Ta’zir Punishments section): “In the event that a judicial or non-judicial government employee or officer inflicts physical abuse upon an accused in order to force him/her to confess, in addition to Qesas or payment of Diah, as the case may require, such person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of six months to three years; and in the event that a person has issued an order of abuse, only that person shall be sentenced to the aforementioned prison term; and if the accused dies because of the abuse, the principal shall be punished as a murderer and shall be sentenced to the punishment set for one who orders a murder to be carried out.”
6) Article 173 of the Islamic Penal Code: “The denial after confession shall not result in removal of the punishment except for confession to an offense which is punishable by stoning or by the Hadd punishment of death, in which case, at any stage, even during the execution, the aforementioned sentence shall be removed and, instead, one hundred lashes in the cases of Zena (adultery) and Lavat (sodomy), and a fifth degree ta’zir prison sentence shall be issued for other offenses.”
7) Translation of Surah Ma’edah, Verse 33: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment;
Article 183: “Testimony must be made with certainty and without a doubt in such a way that it is based on the person’s own senses and what is customary.”
Article 186: “If the witness cannot be present and has a valid excuse, his/her testimony shall be admissible if it is in writing or presented live or recorded in an audio-video format, provided the requirements and the veracity and correctness can be ascertained and it can be established that the testimony is attributable to [the witness].”
Article 189: “Offenses punishable by Hadd and Ta’zir may not be proven through hearsay testimony; however, Qisas, Diah, and financial liability may be proven by such hearsay testimony.”
Article 190: “In the event that the principal witness retracts his/her testimony subsequent to secondary witness(es) having presented their testimonies but before sentence is pronounced, the testimonies secondary witnesses shall be inadmissible; however, the denial shall have no effect once the sentence has been pronounced.”
Article 191: “A Shari’a witness’ credibility (a witness who meets the requirements under Shari’a law) can be attacked (Jarh) and/or supported (Ta’dil). Jarh of a witness consists of an individual testifying that the witness lacks the legal requirements for the admissibility of a witness under Shari’a law; Ta’dil of a witness consists of an individual testifying that the witness meets the aforementioned requirements for the admissibility of a witness under Shari’a law.

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