Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Ali Sukhtehzadeh


Age: 31
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: March 13, 2005
Location of Killing: Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder

About this Case

The information about Mr. Ali Sukhtehzadeh was published in the websites of the following newspaper: Sharq (April 3, 2004), Jomhuri Eslami (May 22, 2004), and Iran (March 15, 2005).

Arrest and detention

Regarding Mr. Sukhtehzadeh’s arrest, the Sharq newspaper reported: The person who shot and killed four employees of the Saderat bank and a sandwich vendor in Ahvaz was arrested on March 24, 2004, by the Ahvaz intelligent police. at the time ofg the arrest, he intended to exchange stolen traveler’s checks worth 18 million Tomans for dollars.


The Jomhuri Eslami newspaper referred to the statements of the head of the judiciary of Khuseztan province saying that there were two separate proceedings against the defendant at the Islamic Revolutionary Court and the Public Court. He added: “the honorable judges speedily issued the necessary and lawful sentences.”


Mr. Sukhtehzadeh was charged with five counts of murder in Ahvaz.

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’s authorities have brought trumped-up charges against their political opponents and executed them for 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 the Sharq newspaper: “During the primary interrogations, the defendant confessed [to the crime] and told the detectives that he had murdered the five victims.” It should be noted that the same report reminded the readers that there had been many uncertainties regarding this case: “Despite the fact that the head of the intelligent force of Ahvaz emphasized that the same defendant had killed all the victims, many still believe that the crime was committed by several persons. [They point out that] although the police station 126 is only 400 meters away from the crime scene, no officers noticed the 12 shots and the perpetrators easily escaped.”

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. In the case of political detainees, these confessions are, at times, televised. The National Television broadcasts confessions during which prisoners plead guilty to vague and false charges, repent and renounce their political beliefs, and/or implicate others. Human rights organizations have also pointed to the pattern of retracted confessions by those prisoners who are freed.


No information is available on Mr. Sukhtehzadeh’s defense.


The Islamic Revolutionary Court called Mr. Ali Sukhtehzadeh a “corruptor on earth and at war with God” and condemned him to death. The Supreme Court approved this sentence (Jomhuri Eslami). Mr. Sukhtehzadeh was hanged in public and in front of the same bank branch on March 13, 2005.

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