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

Abdollah (Ahmad) Dahmardeh (Sheikh Hassani)

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: Corruption on earth; War on God

About this Case

The execution of Mr. Ahmad Dahmardeh was reported by Kayhan and Jomhuriy-e- Eslami Newspapers, under the name of “Abdullah Shaykh Hasani”, on November 1, 2006.  Additional information on this case has been gathered from research and an interview done by the Boroumand Foundation with Kayvan Rafi’i, a human rights activist who had been held in Evin Prison with this person (May 21, 2015), and also from Payk- e-Iran website (October 30, 2006) and Delavar-e-Baluch weblog (October 27, 2007). Mr. Ahmad Dahmardeh, a.k.a. “Mohajer,” was between 25-33 years old. He was married, and was from Zahedan. He was a quiet person, religious, and an avid reader.  Mr, Dahmardeh was a follower of the Shafe’i sect of Sunni Islam, and he was fluent in Baluchi, Farsi, and Urdu languages. Mr. Dahmardeh went to school up to ninth grade.  After that he went to seminary.  Along with Abdul Malek Rigi and a few of his other friends, he went to Faroughieh (Binoria) Salafi Seminary School in Karachi, Pakistan.  He studied in this seminary for two years.  He established and joined Jondallah militant group.  He was one of the theoreticians of this group. 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, an ethnic minority in southeastern Iran. Their goals included protecting the culture of the Baluchi people, improving the socioeconomic situation in Sistan o Baluchistan 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. Dahmardeh’s case was related to armed resistance against the security forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran and kidnapping several tourists in southeastern Iran. Jondallah Group issued a statement in response to the execution of Mr. Dahmardeh and several other Baluchi citizens.  In this statement they condemned these executions, made known their intention to mount an armed response to avenge the executions, and they established a military group in the name of “Martyr Ahmad Dahmardeh”.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Dahmardeh, along with two other people, was arrested in Tehran in February 2004.  He was taken to Section 209 of Evin Prison in Tehran. According to Mr. Kayvan Rafi’i, Mr. Dahmardeh’s cellmate, he had been tortured during his interrogation (Interview with Kayvan Rafi’i and Boroumand Foundation Research, May 21, 2015). The living conditions of Mr. Dahmardeh and his codefendants in Evin Prison Section 209 were better than for other political prisoners.  Mr. Dahmardeh and his co-defendants 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. Dahmardeh 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 provoke them, they would accuse the secular prisoners of doing things contrary to their religious beliefs, and would gossip about them (Interview with Kayvan Rafi’i and Boroumand Foundation Research, May 21, 2015). The prison interrogators took advantage of Mr. Dahmardeh and other prisoners connected to Jondallah in contacting Abdol Malek Rigi and negotiating with him.  Kayvan Rafi’i, who had been Mr. Dahmardeh’s cellmate in 2005 and 2006, 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 asked them to talk to him (Interview with Kayvan Rafi’i and Boroumand Foundation Research, May 21, 2015).

Trial

According to official reports, one of the branches of the Revolutionary Court of Sistan o Baluchestan Province tried Mr. Dahmardeh.  In these reports, his name is given as “Abdullah Shaykh Hosseini” (Kayhan Newspaper, November 1, 2006).  However, according to Mr. Rafi’i, who was his cellmate, Mr. Dahmardeh 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 awhile, 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. Dahmardeh and the other two prisoners said the judge and the court officials had treated them with disrespect.

Charges

The charge brought against Mr. Dahmardeh was “waging war on God and spreading corruption on earth”.  The details of the charges brought against Mr. Dahmardeh 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. Dahmardeh.

Defense

During the court proceedings, which took one minute, Mr. Dahmardeh 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 Abdolmalek Rigi, which were carried out with the help of Mr. Dahmardeh 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. Dahmardeh, were cancelled.

 Judgment

The court convicted Mr. Dahmardeh 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. Ahmad Dahmardeh, 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. Dahmardeh’s body was delivered to his family for burial.

*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 teeth, or under the tongue (Amid Dictionary).

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