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

Haik Hovsepian-Mehr

About

Age: 48
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Christianity
Civil Status: Married

Case

Date of Killing: January 20, 1994
Location of Killing: Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Extrajudicial killing
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

The information about the extra-judicial killing of Mr. Hovsepian-Mehr is drawn from a 1994 United Nations' report on human rights in Iran and a 1995 report by Amnesty International.

On February 17, 1994, the United Nations Special Representative addressed the following letter to the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office in Geneva: "... I should like to bring to your attention that I have received reports that Bishop Haik Hovsepian Mehr, Chairman of the Council of Protestant Ministers and Secretary-General of the Assembly of God Churches in the Islamic Republic of Iran, was recently assassinated in Tehran. On January 11, 1994, Bishop Haik Hovsepian-Mehr had asked me to travel to the Islamic Republic of Iran to meet with Protestant and Evangelical ministers and government officials to discuss human rights matters and the situation of religious minorities. He reportedly met with the Ministry of Islamic Guidance and presented a request that the rights of the Christian minority be protected. In response, the Ministry reportedly required all Christian denominations to sign a declaration stating that they enjoyed full constitutional rights as Christians in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Bishop Haik Hovsepian-Mehr refused to sign on behalf of his denomination."

According to Amnesty International, "Over the past 18 months (preceding May 1995) four prominent leaders of religious minority groups--three Christians and a Sunni Muslim--were found dead in suspicious circumstances. They were all known to be critics of government policies."

Arrest and detention

Bishop Hovsepian-Mehr went missing on January 19, 1994, while on his way to Mehrabad Airport in Tehran to meet a friend.

Trial

No information is available on the defendant’s trial.

Charges

The charges brought against the victim are not known.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against the defendant.

Defense

No information is available on Mr. Hovsepian-Mehr's defense.

Judgment

Eleven days after his disappearance, Tehran police officials notified Bishop Hovsepian's family of his death. His son was reportedly summoned to the coroner's office to identify the body. Once there, the son was shown only a photograph, from which he identified the body of his father. The date of death was given as January 20, 1994, one day after he had gone missing. In the case of extra-judicial executions, the judgment is not made public. In a letter written a day before his disappearance, Bishop Hovsepian wrote: "I am ready to die for the cause of the Church so that others will be able to worship their Lord peacefully and without so much fear."

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