Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mehdi Eslamian


Age: 30
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Unknown
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: May 9, 2010
Location of Killing: Evin Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging

About this Case

News of the prosecution and execution of Mr. Mehdi Eslamian, son of Mohammad, along with four others*, was published on the websites of ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) and Noorportal on May 9, Doniya Eqtesad (May 11, 2010) HRANA (Human Rights Activists News Agency) on May 8, RHANA on April 27 and February 3, and Human Rights Activists for Democracy in Iran on February 3, 2010, quoting the Public Relations Office of the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran.

Mr. Eslamian’s arrest was attributed to the activities of his brother and a royalist organization Anjoman Padeshahi. According to the media, fourteen people were killed during an explosion at Seyedolshohada Hosseinieh in Shiraz on April 13, 2008. The defendant’s brother, Mohsen Eslamian, was one of the three main defendants in this incident and was executed in April of 2009. In a communiqué published following the execution of Mr. Eslamian, the Anjoman Padeshahi denied any link between Mehdi and the bombing. It also stressed that those who had carried out the bombing were able to escape and were never arrested.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Eslamian was arrested by agents of the Intelligence Ministry and transferred to the detention center of the Intelligence Ministry of Shiraz at Army Square on May 4, 2008. The defendant reported having been tortured physcially and psychologically for 14 days and then transferred to Section 209 of the Evin prison and kept in solitary confinement for six months. He was transferred to the Gohardasht prison in Karaj and detained in Wards 4, 6, and finally in Ward 1, also known as the “end of the line Ward.”

In a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations on April 22, 2010, Mr. Mehdi Eslamian wrote: “It is two years since I’m imprisoned innocently. A year of this time, I’ve been tortured severely in solitary confinement in Section 209 of the Evin prison. I suffered all these hardships for my brother. ... I have been transferred to the Raja’ishahr prison for eight months because I defended the rights of prisoners. ... Now, I’m confronted with the gallows. Three of my cellmates including my younger brother, Mohsen Eslamian, 19, have been executed in Shiraz on May 11, 2009. The rest of my cellmates are suffering at the Evin prison without any evidence against them.” In this letter, Mr. Mehdi Eslamian described the harsh, inhumane, and unhealthy conditions in prison and described the ill treatment by prison gaurds with specific examples.


No information is available on the defendant’s trial. The investigation in this case was referred to the Public and Revolutionary Court Prosecutor’s Office in Tehran and the trial took place in Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court on November 25, 2009.


The charges against Mr. Mehdi Eslamian were announced as “acting against national security by participation in bombing, attempting to overthrow the regime, membership in the Monarchy Association, and supporting anti-revolutionary groups.”

In an interview with the Weekly Panjereh on 9 May 2010, the Tehran Prosecutor elaborated on the charges brought against Mr. Eslamian whom he accused of having helped his brother in his effort to escape: “Once the main agents escape, he played an important role in giving financial and other assistance to his brother.” The Prosecutor stressed that the the defendant was informed about the bombing but provided no information regarding the latter’s role in any stage of the operation. (Donya Eqtesad, May 11, 2010)

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution did not provide any specific information on the evidence presented against the defendant.


No information is available on the defendant's defence. In his letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Mehdi Eslamian stated: “The judge condemned me to death without any reason, evidence, or confession.” Excerpts of a report on the defendant’s interrogation, carried out on May 26, 2008 was published after Mr. Eslamian’s execution with reference the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s Office. In this interrogation, Mr. Eslamian admits to having helped his brother in his flight but deny having had any information about the bombing. According to the interrogation report, Mr. Eslamian had stated that “Four days before the bombing, Mohsen brought some lab material and explosive material to the house. He put two big boxes in the car and left with a shovel and and axe. The night of the bombing when he came to my house, I noticed that he was pale and anxious and became suspicious. After a couple of hours he admitted to me that he and his friends were responsible for the hosseinieh bombing… We decided that I will go to Kish [Island] to see if I could find a boat for Mohsen.” The interrogation report also notes that the defendant had been asked by his brother to help hide some of the incriminating material, but he had not done so. (Noorportal)

A Summary of the Legal Defects in Mr. Mehdi Eslamianan’s Case

Several individuals were arrested and charged with terrorist activities in the Shiraz Hosseinieh Seyyedoshohada [Mosque] bombing case. Mr. Mehdi Eslamian was one of the arrestees. Based on published reports from the defendants’ trial as well as the indictment published by media, Mr. Eslamian’s brother was involved in the bombing activity but Mr. Eslamian himself was not and had solely performed certain acts after the bombing to help his brother escape. The indictment, read in court by the Prosecutor’s representative, states: “Mehdi travelled to Kish Island in order to study the possibility of aiding the defendants to escape through the south of the country and the Persian Gulf, and to seek asylum in the American naval vessels stationed in the Persian Gulf.” Further, in a conversation with Panjereh Weekly in April-May 2010, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, Tehran’s General and Revolutionary Prosecutor, stated Mr. Eslamian’s charge was aiding his escaped brother and said: “After the main actors escaped, he played an important role in providing financial and non-financial assistance to his brother.” This high-ranking judicial authority made no mention of whether Mr. Mehdi Eslamian was involved in the bombing itself or not. Further, Mr. Eslamian had absolutely not accepted [the charge of] participating in the bombing and had solely talked about aiding his brother to flee Iran. In spite of this, however, Tehran Revolutionary Court Branch 15 sentenced Mr. Mehdi Eslamian to death for Moharebeh through bombing. In accordance with Iranian law as well as basic principles of criminal law, being a principal in the commission of a crime is established only if the defendant has participated in the criminal act. That an individual aids a defendant to flee or hide does not mean that said individual has played a role in the main criminal act. It seems that in this case, the Iranian judicial authorities considered Mr. Eslamian to be a participant and a principal in the bombing activities simply because he helped his brother or was aware of their plan. This interpretation is in complete contradiction with the law and with legal principles. At most, the revolutionary court could have tried Mr. Mehdi Eslamian on the charge of hiding the defendant.

The second matter that can be pointed out in this case is Mr. Eslamian’s torture. According to his statements in a letter to the U.N. Secretary General, he had been tortured. This is while torture of a defendant is strictly prohibited pursuant to Iranian laws, and any evidence so obtained is without credence and lacking in legal value.


The Court condemned Mr. Mehdi Eslamian to death and the ruling was confirmed by the Appeals Court of Tehran. He was hanged in the Evin prison on May 9, 2010. He was 30 years old.


* Shirin Alamhuli Atashgah, Farzad Kamangar, Ali Heidarian, and Farhad Vakili

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