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 Amin Hormozi

About

Age: 25
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Sunni)
Civil Status: Married

Case

Date of Killing: October 30, 2006
Location: Zahedan, Sistan Va Baluchestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: War on God

About this Case

The execution of Mr. Mohammad Amin Hormozi, son of Judak, was reported by Kayhan and Jumhuriye Islami Newspapers, on November 1, 2006. Additional information on this case was gathered from Boroumand Foundation research and an interview with Kayvan Rafi’i, a human rights activist who had been this person’s cellmate in Evin Prison (May 21, 2015), and also from Payk e Iran website (October 30, 2006) and Delavar e Baluch weblog (October 27, 2007). Mr. Mohammad Amin Hormozi, a.k.a. Omran, has also been named Abdol Hamid Hormoz Zehi, Mohammad Amin Omar Zehi, Abdol Hamid Saravani, and Abdol Hamid Espandaki Saravani in different sources.  He was 25 years old, married, and came from the village of Espandak, around Saravan, in the Province of Sistan o Baluchestan.  He was a devout adherent of the Shafe’i sect of Sunni Islam, he was a sportsman, and he was fit and trim. Mr. Hormozi did not have much formal education.  He had been working as a day laborer, since his early youth.  According to available information, when he was twenty years old, he became acquainted with Abdol Malek Rigi, and together with several friends, they all went to “Faroughieh” (Binoria) Salafi Seminary in Karachi, Pakistan, where he studied for two years.  After that, he joined the Jondallah group and became its first military commander. Jondallah (Iranian People’s Resistance Movement) is a paramilitary group that was established in southeastern Iran in July 2003.  This group identified itself as the defender of the rights of the Baluchi Peoples, and ethnic minority in southeastern Iran. Their goals included protecting the culture of the Baluchi people, improving the socio-economic situation in Sistan o Baluchestan Province, and defending the religious rights of the Sunni minority in the Shi’a dominated government of Iran.  Since they used arms to achieve their goals, they became known as a terrorist group.  This group later changed its name to “Iranian People’s Resistance Movement”. Mr. Hormozi’s case was related to armed resistance and kidnapping several tourists in southeastern Iran. Jondallah Group issued a statement in response to the execution of Mr. Hormozi and several other Baluchi citizens.  In this statement they condemned these executions, and made known their intention to mount an armed response to avenge the executions.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Hormozi was arrested by security and police forces, three days after his wedding ceremony, in February 2004, in the village of Espandak, around Saravan.  At the time of his arrest, there were more than a thousand members of the security and police forces involved in this operation. After his arrest, he was detained at the Zahedan Security Office for several months. During this time he was subjected to severe torture and interrogation.  He was then taken to Section 209 of Evin Prison, in Tehran, where he spent two years.  According to Kayvan Rafi’i, a cellmate of Mr. Hormozi, he and two of his codefendants told terrifying stories of torture, assault and battery with lashings, during their time in the Zahedan Security Office.  They said there was a sign over the door of the interrogation room: “There is no God here”.  However, the living conditions of Mr. Hormozi and his codefendants in Evin Prison Section 209 were better than the other prisoners.  They had access to clothes (other than standard Prison clothes), religious books, and Jondallah Group anthems, and they were allowed to observe religious rites.  They offered their obligatory prayers together, memorized the Qur’an, and fasted in periods other than Ramadan.  They could meet with their families as a group, and their families could bring them particular items such as “toothbrush sticks”* and “nas”** narcotics.  At the same time, the prison officials and the interrogators had ideological conversations with Mr. Hormozi and other fanatical Sunni prisoners.  They gave them some Shi’a books, such as “Shi’a Answers to Questions”.  The officials had turned Mr. Mr. Hormozi and his codefendants’ cell into a center for torture.  They would torture these prisoners and secular prisoners by putting them in the same cell for extended periods of time.  In order to bother them, they would accuse the secular prisoners of doing things contrary to their religious beliefs, and would gossip about them. Mr. Kayvan Rafi’i stated that Mr. Hormozi was hostile, because of his neurological and mental problems. Being in the same environment with secular prisoners provoked him and bothered him (Interview with Kayvan Rafi’i and Boroumand Foundation Research, May 21, 2015). According to this witness, the prison interrogators repeatedly took advantage of Mr. Hormozi and other prisoners connected to Jondallah in contacting Abdol Malek Rigi and negotiating with him.  Kayvan Rafi’i, who had been Mr. Hormozi’s cellmate for a brief period, was witness to one of these exchanges.  He said he personally saw an interrogator bring a cell phone, take the prisoners out of the cell, give them the phone, tell them Abdol Malek Rigi was calling, and ask them to talk to him (Interview with Kayvan Rafi’i and Boroumand Foundation Research, May 21, 2015). The officials transferred Mr. Hormozi from Evin Prison to Zahedan, about ten days before his sentence was carried out. 

Trial

According to official reports, one of the branches of the Revolutionary Court of Sistan o Baluchestan Province tried Mr. Hormozi (Kayhan newspaper, November 1, 2006).  However, according to Mr. Rafi’i, who was his cellmate, Mr. Hormozi and two other defendants were tried in the Revolutionary Court of Tehran.  The prison officials transported them to court in three cars, with their eyes blindfolded.  After being held outside the Judge’s office for a while, they were called in.  The trial took about a minute.  The judge asked their names and pronounced that their sentence was death by hanging.  According to Mr. Rafi’i, Mr. Hormozi and the other two prisoners had said the judge and the court officials had treated them with disrespect.

 Charges

The charge brought against Mr. Hormozi was “waging war on God and spreading corruption on earth”. The details of the charges brought against Mr. Hormozi included using arms and military ordinance for disrupting the security of the country, kidnapping German, Dutch, and Irish citizens, deploying bombs, armed assault on a police Elegance Mercedes Benz, setting it on fire, and causing the death of three police officers and a bystander, membership in the “Abdol Malek” terrorist group, setting off bombs in Zahedan, armed assault on Khash Police Station, participating in stealing a utility office vehicle, and illegal cross border exit and entry.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence providedagainst Mr. Hormozi.

Defense

During the court proceedings, which took one minute, Mr. Hormozi did not have a chance to defend himself, nor did he have an attorney to defend him. According to available information, during negotiations between security officials and Abdol Malek Rigi, which were carried out with the help of Mr. Hormozi and his codefendants, at least eight of them were freed with light bail bonds in the amount of 50 million tumans.  However, as a result of changes in the course of the negotiations, bail bonds for several other people, including Mr. Hormozi, were cancelled.

Judgment

The court convicted Mr. Mohammad Amin Hormozi of “enmity with God” and sentenced him to death by hanging.  This sentence was approved by the high ranking judiciary officials. On Monday, October 30, 2006, Mr. Mohammad Amin Hormozi, who was wearing traditional Baluchi clothes, was hung in public, along with two other Baluchi citizens, on Bozorgmehr Street in Zahedan. A large group had gathered to witness this hanging.  According to a witness, the fact that the person being hung was wearing Baluchi clothes was considered an insult by the Baluchi Human Rights Activists.  Mr. Hormozi’s body was delivered to his family for burial.

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*Toothbrush stick is made from the Arak tree, and is used to massage the teeth (Dehkhoda Dictionary website).  The wood from this tree contains certain materials, including fluoride, and helps disinfect the mouth and protect against cavities and bleeding gums.  Some moslems follow the example of the Prophet of Islam, and use it to clean their teeth.

**Nas is a kind of narcotic, made from tobacco leaves and lime.  It is absorbed by the lining of the mouth, when placed between the lips and teethAmi, or under the tongue (Amid Dictionary).

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