Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Yusef Shahbakhsh


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim


Date of Killing: December 6, 2018
Location of Killing: Central Prison, Kerman, Kerman Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Drug trafficking; Drug related offense

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Yusef Shahbakhsh, son of Jalaleddin, along with 11 others including his uncle was published on the websites of Mizan News Agency (February 20, 2019) and HRANA (December 6, 2018). Additional information was collected from the websites of Gunaz TV (December 6, 2018), Baloch Activists’ Campaign (December 8, 2018), Campaign to Defend Civil and Political Prisoners in Iran (December 6, 2018), Iran Human Rights (December 4, 2018) and Human Rights Defense Association for Iran (February 3, 2019).

Mr. Shahbakhsh, 30 years old, was Baluch and from the Qanbarzehi tribe of the Shahbakhsh clan. He was from Khash in Sistan va Baluchestan.

The case of Mr. Shahbakhsh, his uncle and two others* was related to drug activities in Kerman in 2010.

Arrest and detention

In 2010, Police Officers raided Mr. Shahbakhsh’s home in Kahnuj and arrested him (Human Rights Defense Association for Iran). He was in prison for eight years and spent most of his time in Kahnuj Prison, and was then transferred to Kerman Prison. Mr. Shahbakhsh’s family visited him for the last time in Kerman Prison (HRANA, Baloch Activists Campaign, Gunaz TV). Mr. Shahbakhsh’s family mentioned that he was “calm” during the very last visit (Human Rights Defense Association for Iran).


No information is available on Mr. Shahbakhsh’s trial.


The charge brought against Mr. Shahbakhsh was announced as “drug trafficking” (Mizan News Agency). Baloch Activists Campaign announced his charge as “carrying drugs” and in the news published by Human Rights Defense Association for Iran, he was also charged with “possessing and carrying arms”.

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). Thousands of alleged drug traffickers have been sentenced to death following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. Scores of them were executed based on a 1989 law imposing mandatory death sentences on drug traffickers found in possession of specified amounts of prescribed narcotics (5 kg of hashish or opium, and more than 30 grams of heroin, codeine or methadone). The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution on the website of Human Rights Defense Association for Iran mentions the “possession of a weapon” as evidence brought against Mr. Shahbakhsh.


The request for an appeal in Mr. Shahbakhsh and his codefendants’ case based on the 2018 drug law reform was rejected (Iran Human Rights).

According to those close to Mr. Shahbakhsh, there was no weapon found in his home during the raid. Mr. Shahbakhsh had denied the possession of weapon in his early interrogations, he then confessed to the possession of weapon under torture (Human Rights Defense Association for Iran).

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.

There is no information available on his defense during trial.


Mr. Yusef Shahbakhsh, his uncle (Jalil Shahbakhsh), two other codefendants as well as at least 11 other people were hanged in Kerman Central Prison on December 6, 2018.

According to a source close to him, he did not expect his execution. (Human Rights Defense Association for Iran)

His body was given to his family (Gunaz TV).


*Mr. Yaqub Qalandarzehi and Mr. Abdolghani Qalandarzehi

Correct/ Complete This Entry