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

Alireza Salahshur

About

Age: 23
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: March 5, 2006
Location: Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Disrupting public order; Murder
Age at time of offense: 22

About this Case

News of Mr. Alireza Salahshur’s execution was published in Hamshahri newspaper, quoting Esfahan Police Chief’s Reporting Center in Khorassan and Iran newspapers (March 6, 2006). Additional information about this case was obtained from Hamshahri newspaper (July 14, 2005) and Iran newspaper (March 5, 2006).  His case and that of four other individuals is related to the sexual assault of an individual, and disrupting public order on July 2, 2004, at Ziar, a village located to the east of the city of Esfahan.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Salahshur and four others were arrested in July 2004 by Esfahan’s Dashti Region Police. He was in prison for a year and a half. There is no information about details of his arrest and detention, however.

Trial

Esfahan General Court Branch 11 tried Mr. Salahshur and the other defendants in the case over several sessions. There is no information regarding the trial session(s).

Charges

Mr. Salahshur was charged with “two counts of murder, and disruption of public order”. According to the murder victims’ nephew, Mr. Salahshur had come back to the village on leave from his mandatory military service, and gone out of the village with his friends on an excursion. As [the victim of sexual assault] was making his way back to the village to do some shopping, he was kidnapped by Mr. Salahshur and five of his friends, taken to a utility room where he was sexually assaulted and videotaped. He was then left on the side of the road. He told what had transpired to his two uncles, who subsequently went to Mr. Salahshur’s brother’s store to protest what had happened, when Mr. Salahshur and his friends attacked the two brothers and stabbed both of them to death. (Iran newspaper).

Evidence of guilt

The evidence used against Mr. Salahshur was “the murder victims’ family’s complaint, the defendants’ confessions, testimony of eyewitnesses, and the Medical Examiner’s report”.

Defense

Pursuant to Iranian laws and regulations, including the Note to Article 59 of the Law on the General and Revolutionary Courts Rules of Criminal Procedure, admissions and confessions to crimes are legally valid only if made before the judge who issues a ruling in the case. Therefore, confessions made before the investigating judge or law enforcement officials cannot be cited as evidence in the judge’s ruling. The Law on General and Revolutionary Courts Rules of Criminal Procedure, Note to Article 59 provides: “In cases where the court issues a ruling based on the defendant’s confession, or a witness’ testimony, or a testimony about a witness’ testimony, it is mandatory that such confession and/or testimony be made before the court.” According to the ruling issued in this case, the Defendant had made no admission to sodomy at trial; however, since he had made a confession to having committed said crime in the preliminary investigations stage, he was sentenced to 74 lashes. It is not clear on what charge the court sentenced the Defendant to flogging. In any event, however, the court’s reliance on a confession made in the preliminary investigations phase to issue a ruling, without any other evidence, was illegal. There is no information about any other defense he may have presented.

Judgment

Esfahan General Court Branch 11 sentenced Mr. Alireza Salahshur to two death sentences for the two counts of murder, to 8 years in prison and 50 lashes on the charge of disruption of public order, and to 74 lashes for having confessed to the commission of sodomy before law enforcement authorities and the court. The ruling was upheld by Supreme Court Branch 32. On March 5, 2006, Mr. Slahshur was hanged in public in the village of Ziar’s main square. The other defendants in the case were also sentenced to flogging in public, exile, and prison.

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