Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Qasem Y.


Age: 28
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: December 19, 2007
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Homosexual rape

About this Case

The execution of Mr. Qasem Y., known as “Tarantula” and also “Day Bat of Tehran”, was announced on the websites of ISCA News (December 19) and the Jame Jam newspaper (December 20) 2007. Background information regarding the trial and the verdict is taken from the websites of Fars News Agency and ISNA (February 14), the Iran newspaper (November 5), ISNA (December 18) and the Farhang-e Ashti (February 15) 2007. His age was said to be 28 in some reports (ISCA News and Iran) and 35 in other reports (Fars and ISNA news agencies, and Farhang-e Ashti).

Arrest and Detention

According to ISCA News, following several complaints of molestation by parents of several male students about the kidnapping of their sons by a person who claimed to be an officer, a special tracking operation was ordered by the police to identify the “Day Bat”. The suspect was identified, surrounded, and arrested by officers of Section Five of the Central Intelligence Office. He was detained in solitary confinement and held incommunicado.


According to the media, the case against the defendant was examined in Branch 71 of the Criminal Court of Tehran Province on February 14, 2007. At the beginning of this session, 13 of the 15 present plaintiffs testified the act of rape performed by the defendant. They described how the defendant posed as an officer, chose his victims in various ways, beat them, sometimes threatening them with a knife, forced them to ride on his motorcycle, blindfolded them (with bandage), and took them to a construction site in order to sodomize them.


The charges against Mr. Qasem Y. were announced as "kidnapping 15 boys, between the ages of 12 and 17, pretending to be an officer, and committing acts incompatible with religion."

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 Islamic Republic authorities have brought trumped-up charges against their political opponents and executed them for alleged drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences. Each year Iranian authorities sentence to death hundreds of alleged common criminals, following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of Guilt

According to several reports, the evidence provided against the defendant was announced as his “confessions,” testimony of the plaintiffs who identified him, some forged documents, a stolen motorcycle, an [official] stamp, and two small daggers in the defendant’s house. One of the witnesses was the defendant’s neighbor. The Fars News Agency quoted his testimony: “One night in August of 2006 around 11 p.m., I noticed a man’s voice coming from Qasem’s construction site asking for help. I notified the Police 110. Since the door was locked the officers used flashlights but saw nothing and left. About 7 minutes later, a 16 year old boy came out of the building and ran away. Two minutes later, Qasem came out and claimed that the boy had been a burglar.”


In his defense, the defendant stated: “I am 35 years old. I worked at a soup factory and in a company as a revenue collector” (Far News Agency). He continued: “from the age of 12, I distributed newspaper in addition to school. [I lived honorably] and I am also an athlete” (Farhang-e Ashti). He claimed that he had been arrested by mistake due to similarity in physical appearance [to the real perpetrator] (ISNA, February 14, and Farhang-e Ashti).

In response to the judge’s question, “You confessed to rape during the interrogation. How do you explain that?”, he replied that he did not confess to anything (Fars News Agency). He added: “One of the officers tied [me] to a tree with little clothes and asked [me] to confess as he wanted.” (ISNA, February 14).

The judge asked about plaintiffs and their clear identification of the defendant. The latter said: “One of the officers told them to identify me as the perpetrator” and stated: “I have not committed the crime and have been arrested by mistake. ISCA news reported “he considered himself innocent [and] claimed not to know anyone among plaintiffs.” To the judge’s question whether he was in a fist fight with one of the plaintiffs, he gave a negative response and said: “The officers beat me in front of plaintiffs in order to convince them” (Fars News Agency). It is not clear what, he claimed, the officers wanted to convince the plaintiffs of.

The defendant explained the statement made by his neighbor by saying: “Because I was doing construction in their neighborhood, the neighbor had animosity against me and his claim was a lie. Every day at 5:30 pm, after the workers leave the building, I would lock the door and leave the building” (Fars News Agency).

About the discovery of an official stamp in his house, the defendant said: “I used the stamp was for checks and receipts, but I don’t accept the existence of daggers in my house. I don’t do those types of things. When officers took me to the stores where plaintiffs claimed I bought bandages, none of shopkeepers recognized me” (Fars News Agency).

The defendant’s attorney criticized the way the investigation of this case was handled and said: “The defendant was detained at the Intelligence Office for three months and his civil rights were denied. He had no visitation. Some newspapers negatively influenced the atmosphere by instigating emotions.” He added: “Allegation of crime is based on lawful evidence, not provoking public opinion and recommendation letters… In order to prove sodomy, four just witnesses and knowledge of the judge is required. Based on the views expressed repeatedly by the Supreme Court, in which punishment must go through scrutiny and with outmost caution, in my opinion, in this case we can only make a guess about committing the crime by the defendant without any proof [beyond a reasonable doubt]… In general, the reasons in this case are only based on the claims of plaintiffs and the Supreme Court, as the highest judicial authority never considered plaintiffs’ claims as proof. Experts of Islam and the judicial orders of the Supreme Court set very strict and restricted criteria for the judge’s knowledge. For the same reason, tens of rulings on sodomy and adultery were overruled when the judge presumed to reach to such customary knowledge. However, the judges of the supreme authority did not consider that knowledge as a customary knowledge.”

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.


The court condemned Mr. Qasem Y. to death and Branch One of the Supreme Court confirmed the ruling. According to Jame Jam, when the ruling was about to be carried out, the defendant unlocked his handcuffs and attempted to escape but was arrested immediately. He expressed regret for his behavior and asked to have an opportunity to get plaintiffs’ forgiveness. He was hanged at Evin prison on December 19, 2007.

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