Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Nazirollah Ozbak


Age: 45
Nationality: Afghanistan
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: January 3, 2007
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder

About this Case

News of the conviction and the execution of Mr. Nazirollah Ozbak, a national of Afghanistan, along with two others, was published on the websites of the Kayhan and Sharq newspapers on May 28, 2005, the Hamshahri newspaper on June 22, 2005, Khabare Jonub on May 1, 2006, the Javan newspaper on December 20, 2006, the Iran newspaper on July 6, 2004 and January 3, 2007, and Iscanews on January 3, 2007.

Arrest and Detention

The circumstances of Mr. Ozbak’s arrest and detention vary according to the media reports. Based on one report, he was arrested in the Tajrish Circle in Tehran and according to the other report, he was arrested when he returned to the place of the crime and the neighbors informed the police. The date of his arrest was July 4 or 6, 2004.


This trial took place in Branch 74 of the Provincial Criminal Court in two open and closed sessions.


The charge against Mr. Ozbak was announced as “five counts murder.”

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 the media reports, the victims’ bodies, who were prostitutes, were recovered from the basement of a half constructed house where the defendant lived. A cell phone was also recovered when he was body-searched. During the primary interrogations, the defendant denied committing any murder but when he could not explain the stolen cell phone and testimonies of the witnesses, he confessed.” According to the Javan and Iran newspapers, the defendant confessed to three murders but, according to Sharq and Kayhan, he confessed to five murders.

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.


In his defense in the court, Mr. Ozbak stated: “I deny the charges. I only killed one person, the same woman for whose murder I was arrested in a house in Niavaran [a district in Tehran].” He explained his motivation by saying: “When I brought that woman to the house, I noticed that she wanted to rob the place. She was collecting my belongings when I attacked and strangled her. I left her body there and when a few days later I went to that place to hide her body, I was arrested. I only accept this one murder.”


The court condemned Mr. Nazirollah Ozbak to five death penalties but this ruling was rejected by the Supreme Court. The case was referred to Branch 74 of the court. The defendant was then condemned to three death penalties by hanging and the Supreme Court confirmed this verdict. He was hanged in Evin prison on January 3, 2007.

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