Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Darvish Monazami (Gulgani)


Age: 60
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam (Sunni)
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: November 2, 2016
Location of Killing: Central Prison (Darya), Orumieh, Azarbaijan-e Gharbi Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Drug trafficking
Age at time of alleged offense: 56

About this Case

Mr. Monazami was a man of faith, sociable, hospitable, and kind. He provided for his large family by farming, driving, and selling livestock.

News and information regarding the execution of Mr. Darvish Monazami Gulgani, son of Mohammad Amin, was submitted by one of his acquaintances to the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center via electronic form on April 24, 2018. News of Mr. Monazami’s execution and two other individuals was also published by HRANA News Agency and the Kurdistan Human Rights Network on November 2, 2016.  Additional information about this case was obtained through an interview conducted by the Boroumand Center with an individual who knew Mr. Monazami (October 21, and November 18, 2018), documents existing at the Boroumand Center, including the Court Decision and Maf News website (November 1, 2016).

Mr. Monazami was born in 1957-58, in the [town of] Baradust’s village of Gulgan in Orumieh County, located in Western Azarbaijan Province. Mr. Monazami was an adherent of the Shafe’i branch of Sunni Islam, and was a religious man. He was a sociable, hospitable, and kind individual. (Electronic form, April 24, 2018; Boroumand Center interview, October 21, 2018).

Mr. Monazami had been suffering from mental illness since approximately the age of 45. According to people close to him, he would become an introvert when the illness manifested itself, would not be capable of thinking, and could not control his behavior. (Boroumand Center interview, October 21, 2018).

Mr. Monazami made a living through farming and driving a minibus from his village of residence to the city of Orumieh. He also owned some land and livestock which he would sell and provide for his and his family’s expenses. Mr. Monazami was married and had three daughters with one wife, and four sons and three daughters with another wife. He was considered to be the father of a Janbaz (“an injured veteran”). (Electronic form, April 24, 2018; Boroumand Center interview, October 21, and November 18, 2018).

Mr. Monazami’s case is related to narcotic drug crimes. 

Arrest and detention

Mr. Monazami was arrested at his home in Orumieh on March 15, 2012. Upon two of Mr. Monazami’s co-defendants entering his home, agents of the [Headquarters for] Combatting Narcotic Drugs, who had had Mr. Monazami’s house under surveillance, entered the home and arrested all three. (Electronic form, April 24, 2018; Boroumand Center interview, October 21, 2018).

There is another account of Mr. Monazami’s arrest, according to which, one of his co-defendants was arrested by agents of the [Headquarters for] Combatting Narcotic Drugs upon leaving Mr. Monazami’s home with a bag containing narcotics. He claimed, however, that he had taken the bag from Mr. Monazami’s home by mistake. The agents then entered the home and arrested Mr. Monazami and the third individual. According to the person who knew Mr. Monazami, he was tortured by the agents of the [Headquarters for] Combatting Narcotic Drugs agents during detention. (Boroumand Center interview, October 21, 2018).

Mr. Monazami spent less than 5 years at Orumieh Central Prison (Darya) and had visitations with his family during his incarceration. (Maf News, November 2, 2016). He had an in-person visitation with his family on November 1, 2016, for the last time. (Electronic form, April 24, 2018)


On May 10, 2013, Orumieh Islamic Revolutionary Court, Branch Three, tried Mr. Monazami’s case. Mr. Monazami was represented by counsel. (Boroumand Center interview, October 21, 2018).

The details of Mr. Monazami’s trials session(s) are not available.


The charge brought against Mr. Monazami was stated to have been “complicity in transportation and possession of narcotics”.

Mr. Monazami was accused of complicity in transportation and possession of 5 kilograms of morphine.

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

Recovery of 5 kilograms of morphine, Mr. Monazami’s confessions during interrogation at the Investigating Judge’s office and in prison, and the report of the Specialized Commission of the Medical Examiner’s Office to the effect that his mental health was intact, were used as evidence against him (Maf News, November 1, 2016; (Boroumand Center interview, October 21, 2018).

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.


Mr. Monazami’s attorney also represented his two co-defendants. According to a person who knew Mr. Monazami, his lawyer did not try very hard to mount an [adequate] defense. Furthermore, Mr. Monazami did not have the capability of presenting an adequate defense of himself because he lacked sufficient literacy and was also suffering from illness. His lawyer stated at trial that Mr. Monazami was suffering from a lack of mental health at the time of the crime. (Boroumand Center interview, October 21, 2018).

It was said that one of Mr. Monazami’s co-defendants who was his friend and had a previous criminal arrest, had put the recovered narcotic drugs at Mr. Monazami’s disposal in order to save his son from jail, and had then snitched on him. That individual was supposed to give 200 thousand Tumans to Mr. Monazami in exchange for him keeping the drugs. (Electronic form, April 24, 2018).

The details of Mr. Monazami’s defense are not available.

A Summary of the Legal Defects in the Adjudication of Mr. Darvish Monazami’s Case

According to available information, Mr. Monazamai was beaten at the time of his arrest, whereas pursuant to Iranian law, torturing and putting a defendant under duress is illegal and considered to be a crime. Furthermore, confessions obtained in this manner are without legal credence. Principle 38 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well as other Iranian laws expressly state that a confession made under duress has no validity whatsoever, and go so far as to even consider the extraction of an admission through torture to be a crime, and those who commit such an act, criminals. (Islamic Penal Code, Article 578).

The other issue that must be noted is Mr. Monazami not being of sound mind. In Iranian law, insanity is a bar to criminal responsibility. There is no specific definition of insanity in Iranian laws, and insanity has been categorized into chronic insanity and absolute insanity. In other words, an individual is either insane at the time of the commission of the crime, in which case said individual is completely absolved of criminal responsibility, or if the individual is not insane, he/she is criminally responsible, without exception. This poses grave problems in crimes the punishment for which is death. It is possible, for instance, for a person to be aware of the nature of the act he/she has committed at the time of the commission of the crime, but not to be of sound mind. In that case, meting out the same punishment for such individuals as those who are of completely sound mind would be unjust. In the current case, even though the defendant was not found to be insane, the evidence indicates, however, that he was not of completely sound mind. It was therefore, more appropriate to present Mr. Monazami to the Pardon and Forgiveness Commission for the issuance of a reduced sentence, and to prescribe a lesser punishment for him than the death penalty.


On May 10, 2013, Orumieh Islamic Revolutionary Court, Branch Three, sentenced Mr. Monazami to death and to expropriation of property. The sentence was upheld in Tehran by the Supreme Court.

In the morning of November 2, 2016, Mr. Monazami and two other individuals were executed at Orumieh Central Prison (Darya). (HRANA, November 2, 2016).

Mr. Monazami’s family had gone to the prison for visitation the day before the execution, and was told that he would probably be eligible for a sentence reduction. According to the person who knew Mr. Monazami, his body was turned over to his family and was buried in the village of Gulgan. ( (Electronic form, April 24, 2018; Boroumand Center interview, November 18, 2018).

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