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

Farahmand Sadeq Vaziri


Age: 43
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Non-Believer
Civil Status: Married


Date of Execution: July 6, 2003
Location: Salmas Central Prison, Salmas, Azarbaijan-e Gharbi Province, Iran
Mode of Execution: Death in custody
Charges: War on God; Unspecified economic offense

Human rights violations in this case

The Legal Context

The Courts


Islamic Revolutionary Courts, 11 February 1979-1994


In the immediate aftermath of the 11 February 1979 Revolution, an ad hoc tribunal, initially referred to as the Extraordinary Revolutionary Tribunal, was set up to try the officials of the previous regime, for which no specific procedures were devised. In a decree dated 24 February 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini, the revolutionary religious leader, appointed a cleric as Shari’a Judge and instructed him “to issue Shari’a-based rulings,” thereby establishing the foundation of a system of special courts.


Initially, the revolutionary courts’ jurisdiction was determined by the religious judge’s interpretation of the Shari’a (Islamic law based on the teachings of the Qur’an, the traditions of the Prophet, the 12 imams, and the teachings of Shi’a scholars. On 17 June 1979, the Revolutionary Courts and the Prosecutor’s Office Rules of Procedure, which was only selectively observed, established the latter’s jurisdiction and make-up.


The Courts’ jurisdiction encompassed a wide array of offenses including moharebeh (“waging war with God”), efsad e fel arz (“spreading corruption on Earth”), crimes against national and international security, economic crimes, murder, profiteering, prostitution, rape, and narcotic drugs-related crimes. The law required that two of the three principal members of the Revolutionary Courts be Shari’a judges.



Islamic Revolutionary Courts, 1994-2002


With the adoption of the Law for the Establishment of General and Revolutionary Courts of 14 June 1994, and the Code of Criminal Procedure for General and Revolutionary Courts of 19 September 1999, a uniform code of procedure was applied to both revolutionary and general courts. The jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Courts was limited to 6 categories of offenses:

1. Crimes against national and international security,“moharebeh” (enmity with god) and “efsad e fel arz” (corruption on earth;)

2. defaming Ayatollah Khomeini and the Supreme Leader;

3. plotting against the Islamic Republic of Iran, armed action, terrorism, and sabotage;

4. espionage;

5. smuggling and drug-related crimes; 6. claims under Principle 49 (economic crimes) of the Constitution.

 6. Furthermore, pursuant to the Law on the Manner of Punishing Individuals Engaged in Unauthorized Audio and Visual Activities, Article 11, the revolutionary courts have jurisdiction over crimes that fall within the purview of said Law, including production and distribution of obscene materials and misuse and abuse thereof.

These courts continued, however, to try cases falling outside their jurisdiction, such as theft and sexual offenses. Further, the vagueness of laws regarding national security allowed the revolutionary courts to try political and media crimes whenever they wished to do so.


The new law eliminated the Prosecutor’s Office and gave the judges inthe Revolutionary Courts the power to perform the duties of the prosecutor, as well as their own, in any case brought before them.


Islamic Revolutionary Courts, 2002-Present


The Amended Law for the Establishment of General and Revolutionary Courts of 2002 reinstated the Prosecutor’s Office in both revolutionary and general courts. In cases involving political and media crimes, revolutionary courts’ jurisdiction overlaps with that of Province Criminal Courts.


With the passage of the new Rules of Criminal Procedure in 2014, and its coming into force in June 2015, the jurisdiction of the revolutionary courts remains unchanged, with slight modifications in procedural aspects of adjudication. For instance, the new law provides that for crimes subject to the death penalty, life imprisonment, amputation, third degree, or higher, the revolutionary court shall convene with three judges, whereas, prior to the passage of this law, adjudication of all crimes within the jurisdiction of revolutionary courts took place with only a single judge.

The Appellate System of Revolutionary Courts, 1979-Present


From their inception until 1994, the rulings of the Revolutionary Courts were not subject to appeal. In the early 1980s a court entitled the Supreme Court of Qom was established in the city of Qom and which reviewed cases of execution and confiscation of properties, thereby forming a first tier form of appeal. The exact date of the creation of the court is not clear, but, based on available information, the court became operational in the early 1980s, even though Ayatollah Khomeini's official order for its creation is dated 1985. The court’s procedure was not systematic and did not meet the international standards for a court of appeals; there was no official record of its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court of Qom was dissolved in 1989.


The Law of 14 June 1994 subjected the Courts’ decisions to appeal. An appellate court was established at each provincial capital, called the Province Court of Appeals, composed of a three-judge panel, to review decisions made by the Revolutionary Courts. The Supreme Court was designated as the appellate authority for particular decisions, including those involving capital punishment.


Narcotic drugs-related crimes constitute a significant exception to the appeals process. Governed by the Anti-Narcotic Drugs Law of 1988, as Amended on 8 November 1997 and 31 July 3 2010, these crimes are within the jurisdiction of, and are adjudicated on a regular basis by, Revolutionary Courts whose decisions are final. After being handed down by the judge, death sentences are sent to the Prosecutor General or the Head of the Supreme Court as a matter of administrative approval.


With the passage of the new Rules of Criminal Procedure in 2014 (and its coming into force in June 2015), however, drug related crimes became subject to appeal as well.

General Courts, 1979-1982


In cases not falling under the jurisdiction of the Revolutionary Courts, the system devised under the previous regime continued to function in parallel with new systems devised by laws passed by the Judicial Council, one of which, entitled The Legal Bill for the Establishment of General Courts of 11 September 1979, radically changed the entire structure and categorization of the courts. It divided the courts in three branches: Criminal, Civil, and Peace (a sort of arbitration court dealing with minor financial and other disputes). Specialized courts such as family courts were eliminated.


General Courts, 1982-1994


The Law of the Amendments to the Rules of Criminal Procedure of 1982 established a new criminal courts system, Criminal Courts I and II. Criminal Court I, established only in provincial capitals, had jurisdiction over more serious offenses, including those punishable by death, and Criminal Court II heard less serious crimes.


General Courts, 1994-2002


The Law for the Establishment of General and Revolutionary Courts of 14 June 1994 established umbrella courts called General Courts, which replaced and dissolved pre-existing civil and criminal courts. The law dissolved the Prosecutor’s offices and tasked a single person with the roles of judge, prosecutor, and investigator.


General Courts, 2002-2015


In 2002, the 1994 Law was amended, reviving the role of the Prosecutor’s Office in General Courts. The prosecution offices were re-established in a gradual process over several years. The amended law also re-established specialized branches within general courts dealing separately with criminal and civil matters. In addition, this law allocated a number of branches of the Province Court of Appeals to have original jurisdiction over a number of cases including the most serious offenses, as well as political and media crimes. In these cases, the branches are called the Province Criminal Court.


General Courts, 2015 to Today


With the passage of the new Rules of Criminal Procedure in 2014 and its coming into force in June 2015, general courts underwent certain changes as well. Criminal courts were divided into Criminal Court One, Criminal Court Two, Military Court, Juvenile Court, and Revolutionary Court. Criminal Court One has jurisdiction over serious crimes such as those subject to the death penalty, life imprisonment, amputation, third degree, and higher, as well as political and media crimes. Criminal Court Two has jurisdiction over other crimes. Another change consists of the establishment of juvenile courts, which adjudicates crimes committed by individuals less than 18 years of age. In cases where the individuals less than 18 commit serious crimes such as those subject to the death penalty, however, Criminal Court One will have jurisdiction, observing rules of juvenile criminal procedure.


The Appellate System of General Courts, 1979-Present


The Legal Bill for the Establishment of General Courts of 11 September 1979, abolished appeal of most criminal courts’ decisions. The law of 1982 restricted the appeal possibility even further. According to the Islamic Republic authorities’ interpretation of Islamic Law, a qualified jurist’s decisions were not subject to appeal except under special circumstances, such as when the judge realized his own mistake, or another judge advised him so, or when he did not have jurisdiction over the case. Even in such situations, the case would not go to a higher court but would be subject to review by the same judge or another judge at his level. The judges were even urged to call their verdicts “opinions,” so that the possible change in the verdict would not be “haram” (“sinful,” the highest level of prohibition in Islam, disobedience of which would result in a sin).


In October 1988, the Majles (Iranian parliament) passed a law regarding review of court judgments. This law provided for an appeal if the conviction was claimed to be based on invalid documentation or false testimony. The defendant could also base an appeal on a point of law or a procedural violation.


The appellate system was expanded in other laws in the late 1980s and in 1993. The Law for the Establishment of Criminal Courts I and II of 11 July 1989 created the Branches of the Supreme Court. Crimes of less importance, tried in Criminal Court II, were subject to review by Criminal Court I.


For the most important crimes involving death punishment, which were under the jurisdiction of Criminal Court I, the law allowed limited appeal to the Branches of the Supreme Court. Defendants had the right to petition the Supreme Court for appeal in certain cases involving false testimony or procedural violations, and if granted, the case would be remanded to either another criminal court or the original one.


Finally, the Law for the Establishment of General and Revolutionary Courts of 1994, as amended in 2002, established an appellate court at each provincial capital, called Province Court of Appeals, composed of a three-judge panel, to review decisions made by both general and revolutionary courts. The Supreme Court was designated as the appellate authority for particular decisions, including those carrying the death penalty, as well as decisions made by the Province Criminal Court.


The amended law of 2002, continued the appellate procedure to the Branches of the Supreme Court established by the afore-mentioned law of 11 July 1989


The Supreme Court continues to be the competent authority to rule on new trials, which have been provided for in limited circumstances.

With the passage of the new Rules of Criminal Procedure in 2014 and its coming into force in June 2015, the Court of Appeals shall be the competent authority to hear appeals from Criminal Court Two decisions, and the Supreme Court shall hear appeals from Criminal Court One decisions.

Special Courts for the Clergy


These courts are rooted in a 1979 decree, issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, which established a committee of religious and noble figures in every region to purge the clergy of anti-revolutionary elements under the supervision of the Revolutionary Courts. Between late 1981 and 1984, a special court in the city of Qom handled, though not systematically, the trial of clerics.


On 29 July 1987, Ayatollah Khomeini officially appointed a prosecutor and a member of the clergy as Shari’a judge for Special Courts for the Clergy. On 6 August 1990, a directive was issued regulating the conduct of these courts, the jurisdictional ambiguity of which is such that it effectively extends to “anyone where one of the parties is a cleric” and to “all matters in which the Court is designated as competent by the Supreme Leader.”


The court, which was not mentioned in the Islamic Republic's constitution, was mandated to try “pseudo clerics, those related to/connected with the clergy, for public and/or anti-revolutionary crimes, and violations of the prestige of the clergy,” and where the principal suspect is a member of the clergy, “any co-conspirator or assistant, whether a cleric or not.”


These courts are generally not open to the public and can issue sentences for all acts and omissions punishable under codified Iranian laws or Shari’a or for any other acts or omissions which can bring dishonor to the clergy or to the Islamic Revolution. Further, in certain particular cases – which have not been defined – where no punishment has been devised by either the Penal Code or even the Shari’a, the Court “can rule as it deems fit.” 


The Appellate System of the Special Court for the Clergy, 1979-Present


There is no information on any appeal process for the Special Court for the Clergy prior to the 1990 directive. Article 49 of said directive set up, however, an appeals court called Special Appellate Court for the Clergy, the head of which is appointed by the Supreme Leader, to which the decisions of the lower court can be appealed.


Military Courts


The military court system, independent from the judiciary under the previous regime, became a part of it on 1 December 1981. The Judiciary Organization of the Armed Forces, established in 1986, replaced and merged other military courts and tribunals in existence at the time, namely the pre-revolution Judiciary Organization of the Army, the Revolutionary Tribunal of the Army (established on 8 December 1979), and the Revolutionary and General Court for the Revolutionary Guards (established on 15 July 1979.) The Judiciary Organization of the Armed Forces has its own Criminal Code and follows the country’s general rules of criminal procedure.


The Law of the Criminal Procedure of the Armed Forces of 15 May 1985 created Military Courts I and II. Military Court I has jurisdiction over more serious offenses, including those punishable by death, and Military Court II hears less serious crimes.


The Appellate System of Military Courts, 1979-Present


The law of 8 December 1979, establishing the Revolutionary Military Court, did not provide for any appeals. The Law of 15 May 1985 created a system of appeals through the creation of a two-tier system of courts. The decisions of Military Court II were subject to review by Military Court I. This law also provided that multiple Branches of the Supreme Court be designated as the appellate court to review decisions of Military Court I.


The judges


1979-1997: Prosecutors and judges are not necessarily law graduates and jurists. Shortly after the Islamic Revolution, a five-member Committee was established to purge the judicial system of undesirable elements, pursuant to the Legal Bill for the Modification of the Judiciary and the Law for Hiring Judges of 8 March 1979. The power of the committee was absolute and its decisions, resulting in a widespread purge of the judiciary, final.


The Law for the Conditions of Selection of Judges of 4 May 1981 established the conditions of eligibility for judges. The latter were to be hired among men who were legitimate children and had practical commitment to Islam and allegiance to the Islamic Republic. The law, which led to the hiring of clerics and Islamic legal scholars, also allowed hiring practically anyone as a judge who could “obtain the Judicial High Council’s permission.” Moreover, Note 2 of the Amendments of 4 October 1982 to this law allowed widespread employment of seminary students “who ha[d] general knowledge equivalent to a high school diploma” as judges at prosecutor’s offices in general as well as Revolutionary Courts.  


By 1989, the judiciary counted about 2,000 new judges trained in theological seminaries (graduates and students) and political appointees, many having replaced judges trained in law schools.


1997-Present: As of this writing (2013) the Law for Hiring Judges and its amendments of 4 October 1982, 7 February 1987, and 9 May 1988 are in full force and form the basis for hiring judges. The Executive Rules of Procedure of 22 December 1997 subjected such hiring to passing an entrance examination and successful completion of an apprenticeship program, the duration of which ranges between one and two years. The law does not limit hiring to men only but does not specify in what capacity women will be functioning, other than an advisory one.

Currently, judges are selected in accordance with the Guidelines on the Recruitment, Selection, and Internship for Judicial Candidates and the Hiring of Judges.


Dismissal of Judges: From 1979 to 1989, the judiciary was run by the Supreme Judicial Council which was composed of the head of the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General (both of whom were appointed by the Supreme Leader), and three judges elected by the entire body of judges in the country. The Council had the power to hire and dismiss judges in accordance with the law.


The constitutional reforms of 1989 substituted the Supreme Judicial Council with one person, the Head of the Judiciary. The Supreme Leader, whose mandate is not subject to popular vote, appoints the Head of the Judiciary for a 5-year term. The latter has significant power to influence the dismissal of judges. Dismissal cases are referred to three types of disciplinary courts, presided over by judges appointed by the Head of the Judiciary, who has veto power over any decisions made by the relevant courts.


Two of these courts, established in 1991 and 2011, are charged with examining the judges’ conduct from a religious and ideological standpoint. The process does not necessarily involve the defendant and the final decision, left to the Head of the Judiciary, is not subject to appeal.


Human rights violations

Based on the available information, some or all of the following human rights may have been violated in this case:

 ·         The right to liberty and security of the person. The right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention. Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 9.1. ·         The right not to be punished for any crime on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time it was committed. UDHR, Article 11.2; ICCPR, Article 15, Article 6.2. ·         The right not to be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honor and reputation. UDHR, Article 12, ICCPR, Article 17.1. ·         The right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, including the right to change and manifest one’s religion or belief. UDHR, Article 18; ICCPR, Article 18.1, ICCPR, Article 18.2; Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, Article 1  and Article 6. In its general comment 22 (48) of 20 July 1993, the United Nation’s Human Rights Committee observed that the freedom to "have or to adopt" a religion or belief necessarily entailed the freedom to choose a religion or belief, including the right to replace one's current religion or belief with another or to adopt atheistic views, as well as the right to retain one's religion or belief. Article 18, paragraph 2, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights bars coercion that would impair the right to have or adopt a religion or belief, including the use of threat of physical force or penal sanctions to compel believers or non-believers to adhere to religious beliefs and congregations, to recant their religion or belief or to convert. ·         The right to freedom of opinion and expression, including the right to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas. UDHR, Article 19; ICCPR, Article 19.1 and ICCPR, Article 19.2. ·         The right to freedom of peaceful assembly. UDHR, Article 20; ICCPR, Article 21. ·         The right to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and join trade union for the protection of one’s interests. UDHR, Article 20; ICCPR, Article 22.1. ·         The right, as a member of a religious or ethnic minority, to enjoy one’s own culture or to profess and practice one’s own religion. UDHR, Article 18; ICCPR, Article 27. ·         The right to equality before the law and the right to equal protection of the law. UDHR, Article 7; ICCPR, Article 26

The right to due process

·         The right to be presumed innocent until found guilty by a competent and impartial tribunal in accordance with law. UDHR, Article 11.1; ICCPR, Article 14.1 and Article 14.2.

Pre-trial detention rights

·         The right to know promptly and in detail the nature and cause of the charges against one.

UDHR, Article 9(2); ICCPR, Article 9.2 and Article 14.3.a   ·         The right to counsel of one’s own choosing or legal aid and the right to meet with one’s attorney in confidence   ICCPR, Article 14.3.d;   Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, Article 1 , Article 2, Article 5, Article 6, and Article 8.   ·         The right to adequate time and facilities for the preparation of the defense case.   ICCPR, Article 14.3.b; Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, Article 8   ·         The right not to be compelled to testify against oneself or to confess to guilt.   ICCPR, Article 14.3.g.   ·         The right not to be subjected to torture and to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.   UDHR, Article 5; ICCPR, Article 7; Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment, Article 1, and Article 2.     ·         The inherent right to life, of which no one shall be arbitrarily deprived.   Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 6.1; Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, Article 1.1, Article 1.2.

About this Case

Was kind to his family, friends, acquaintances and neighbours. He decided to leave Iran when he realized that his children were subjected to social discriminations because of their parents' political background.

The information on Mr. Farahmand Sadeq Vaziri, son of Mozafar, is based on forms and documents sent to Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation by his wife, Mahin Shokrollahpour. These documents consist of an affidavit by Sonbol Sadeq Vaziri, Farahmand's sister, a burial licence, and a copy of verdict number 82/5/21 -710 and 82/8/21-711, issued by Ali Hasanzadeh, head of Bench 5 of the Public Court of Salmas, concerning charges related to Mr. Sadeq Vaziri and his family.

Mr. Sadeq Vaziri was born in 1959 in Sanandaj (in Iranian Kurdistan province). He had a diploma of higher education and worked as a businessman in Tehran and Sanandaj. His relatives have described him as a caring and self-giving person who was kind to his family, friends, acquaintances and neighbours. He took pleasure in making everyone happy... And he always fulfilled his promises. Ever since he was a young man he was unhappy with social class inequalities. And for that reason, during the [1979] Revolution, he joined the anti-monarchy opposition movement.

At the time of the revolution, Farahmand was a 19-year-old military conscript. In the late summer of 1979, when the revolutionary government forces' attacked Sanandaj, he joined the armed opposition groups to defend the city and its population. But finally, after 25 days of resistance, he was forced to flee the city and head for the mountains alongside the armed opposition forces. And that was when he joined the Komala Peshmarga group, under the organizational name of Sa’id. He fought in the resistance for some eight years, away from his family.

Mr. Sadeq Vaziri was first arrested in 1987 during a mission in Sanandaj. According to the testimony of his sister, before arresting his brother, security forces put pressure on and interrogated Farahmand's family in order to discover his whereabouts. The security forces occupied their home for a week. They even beat up his father in the basement of their house. According to the testimony of his relatives, Farahmand was subjected to intense beatings and torture following his arrest. The Revolutionary Court of Sanandaj first sentenced him to death on charges of acting against national security, moharebeh [waging war against God] and armed struggle; but subsequently, thanks to the efforts of his family, which, among others, included payment of bribes to the authorities, his sentence was reduced to a 30-year prison term on the grounds that he was not armed at the time of his arrest. After a spell of three-and-a-half years in jail, Mr. Sadeq Vaziri was granted amnesty along with the survivors of the 1988 prison massacres, and released from prison.

After release from prison, Mr. Sadeq Vaziri and his wife decided to abandon political activities and lead a normal life devoted to their children Puya and Helya. However, they were not given the chance to lead a normal life because of the security and social pressures exerted on former political prisoners. Based on the testimony of Ms Shokrollahpour, who herself was a former Komala member, they were both barred from continuing their education upon release from prison. Nor were they allowed to work in government organizations. Although these social deprivations were not formally communicated to Mr. and Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri, they could not escape the realities of such deprivations in their day to day lives. The justification given for such deprivations was that they were on the list of political offenders. In that regard, Mrs Shokrollahpour has said: "We could not even purchase a house or car in our names. To do so, we needed a permit from the intelligence unit of the [Islamic Revolution] Guards Corps. So in order to buy a car at that time, we were forced to apply for a permit from the Intelligence [Ministry]. Nor could we obtain a passport to leave Iran."

Mr. and Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri decided to leave Iran when they realized that their children were subjected to social discriminations because of their parents' political background. In that regard, Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri has written the following: "My son Puya had come first in the billiard competition in the province. But because of our political background, he was barred from taking part in the national competition. Also, my daughter Helya had come first in the province's swimming and mathematics competitions, but, again, she too was barred from entering the national competitions. So we decided to leave [the country] because it was affecting the lives of our children who had had no part in our political activities."  Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri added that her children were barred from taking part in national competitions without being given any reasons. "In fact, the runners-up in the aforementioned competitions were entered into the national ones instead of our children." The Sadeq Vaziri family decided to leave Iran secretly in June 2003. 

About Komala

In the mid 1960’s, several remaining members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran established the Revolutionary Organization of this party in Iraq. Among its leaders were Esma’il Sharifzadeh, Abdollah Mo’ini, and Mola’avareh, who began an armed guerrilla struggle in Kurdistan inspired by the Cuban Revolution. The group was defeated in 1969 and several of its members arrested. With the release of a number of the leaders in 1978, the Revolutionary Organization of Working People in Kurdistan (Komala) was established. After the Revolution, in accordance with Marxist theory, Komala opposed capitalists and landlords, and encouraged workers and peasants in Kurdistan, in particular in the city of Sanandaj and vicinity where they had strong support, to initiate an armed uprising against capitalists, landlords, and the central government. In 1982, Komala joined another Marxist group, Union of Communist Militants (formerly Sahand), an organization concentrating mainly on theory and ideology, and established the Communist Party of Iran. Komala subsequently adopted the name “The Kurdistan Organization of the Communist Party of Iran, Komala.” By the mid-1980s the central government had succeeded in pushing Komala fighters out of Kurdistan and into northern Iraq. Years later, Komala split from the Communist Party of Iran and faced several schisms, each continuing to use the name Komala. 

Arrest and detention

Mr. Farahmand Sadeq Vaziri was arrested by the Guards Corps in the village of Khorkhoreh, near Salmas, at 11 am on 27 June 2003 as he and his family were about to leave the country. He was interrogated and subjected to torture, first in Salmas city's security forces' intelligence building and subsequently in Salmas Prison. During his detention, he was barred access to an attorney and prevented from receiving family visits.

In the words of Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri's wife, their persecution by the authorities started after they were detained and an identity check revealed their political record. First they isolated Farahmand from his family, taking him to an undisclosed location. His wife and two children were kept in the hallway until the next morning, during which time Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri was handcuffed to her 16-year-old son.

The next day, Mr. and Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri were subjected to interrogation. Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri caught a glimpse of her husband as they were taking him for interrogation.  She said, "Farahmand looked to be in a very bad physical state, with signs of beatings visible on his face. His face was totally bruised." The agents did not allow the couple to talk to one another. In the following days, the signs of torture could be visibly seen as he returned to the cell he shared with his son after interrogation. On the fifth day of their detention, Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri who was being taken by the agents for interrogation, saw her husband as he was being returned to his cell by the agents following interrogation.

"I saw the weakened and fragile body of my husband in the prison courtyard. He was so weak that he was unable to walk and was taking steps with the aid of two people who were holding him up by his arms. His hands, which were bruised, looked odd and were hanging down by the sides of his body. I run towards him asking him what on earth they had done to him. But he did not even recognize me and just kept looking vaguely around." Forty-eight hours after that encounter, Mr. Sadeq Vaziri passed away. 


Mr. Sadeq Vaziri’s spouse has no information regarding her and her family’s trial. All the members of the Saedq-Vaziri family attended a single, few seconds long court session immediately after their arrest, prior to being interrogated. The court decision rendered by [the city of] Salmas General Court, Fifth Branch, is indicative of a trial session having taken place in absentia and at an unknown date, in order to hear the charges brought against the Sadeq Vaziri family. The Court decision serial number shows the date as August 12, 2003. However, there is no court date mentioned in the transcript, nor is there an official date of issuance of the court’s decision. 


The charges brought against Mr. Farahmand Sadeq Vaziri in the indictment are “unauthorized exit from the country’s prohibited borders,” “foreign currency trafficking (possession of 3,520 U.S. Dollars, 250 Euros, and 10 million Turkish Lira,)” and “constant membership in the Komala Party.” Based on Ms. Sadeq Vaziri’s testimony, in the course of interrogations, the interrogator had stated that all members of Komala should be executed. He had accused her and her husband of being “Mohareb, [one who wages war with God] and against the [Islamic] regime.” It should be noted that the same charges were brought against the 16-year-old Puya and 8-year-old Helia. 


The court decision refers to the following as evidence presented against Mr. Farahmand Sadeq Vaziri: Being arrested at an unknown person’s residence in a village near the border which has been a location used for “unauthorized exit” and “human trafficking;” the statements of the accused confirming their intent to leave the country; “and other objects and instruments discovered, which collectively point to preparation for unauthorized exit from the country.” 


Not only have Mr. Farahmand Sadeq Vaziri, his spouse, and his children been deprived of an attorney, they have also been denied the right to be present at their own trial and to defend themselves against the charges brought against them. These charges are the same for both Mr. and Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri. The latter notes, therefore, in her testimony, that the government’s illegal discriminatory practices, deprivation of the accused of their undeniable social freedoms, and the pressure put on them because of their past political activities, for which they had been incarcerated, were the causes of their decision to leave the country. Seeking out the services of a human trafficker had no other reason than the accused being illegally deprived of having a passport and of the natural and inalienable right to freedom of movement. 


Noting Mr. Sadeq Vaziri’s death in detention, the Salmas General Court, Fifth Branch, has issued a writ of nolle prosequi  with regard to the charge of illegal exit from the country: “Whereas, based on the observations and statements of those accompanying him, [Mr. Sadeq Vaziri] had previously suffered from an internal illness, and whereas the honorable judge on duty at the Salmas Judiciary and the honorable coroner of Salmas, jointly examined various parts of the deceased’s body and did not observe any noteworthy … signs of intentional beating, and have also made mention of the previous illness as well as the next of kin’s unwillingness to conduct an autopsy, now therefore, aside from the next of kin not pressing any charges [of wrongdoing] (since the deceased was with his child [at the time of his passing] and his eyes rolled back for a moment in front of the child, which indicates that he died because of the internal illness and in a sudden manner (one of its five ways) and it was a normal and natural death,)… and since no other external factors were observed in the file by way of a crime … no crime has been committed and no one is accused of any crimes. In accordance with Article 177(a) of the Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Court issues a writ of nolle prosequi. The decision can be appealed … in person within 20 days from the date of notification [of the Court’s ruling.] Sixth, regarding the charge of constant membership and activity with the Komala Party against 1) Farahmand Sadeq Vaziri, 2) Mahin Shokrollahpur, his spouse, 3) Puya Sadeq Vaziri, and 4) Helia Sadeq Vaziri, regardless of the truth or falsehood of the charge and aside from defendant [Farahmand Sadeq Vaziri’s] death, whereas the Revolutionary Courts have jurisdiction [in these matters]… now therefore, the Court, in accordance with the Law of the Establishment of General and Revolutionary Courts, Article 5, declares itself without jurisdiction over the matter, determining the Revolutionary courts of [the city of] Sanandaj, competent to hear the case.”

According to the statements made by Mr. Farahmand Sadeq Vaziri’s spouse, he died in detention on July 6, 2003, about a week after his arrest. The cause of death has been stated as “unknown” in the burial permit issued by the Salmas Medical Examiner. It has also been stated therein, however, that “the honorable judicial authority has ordered the issuance of a burial permit (in the absence of criminal charges and given the lack of consent to perform an autopsy.)”

Mr. Sadeq Vaziri's wife has strenuously rejected claims by judicial authorities that those who were with Mr. Sadeq Vaziri had testified that he was suffering from an "internal illness." She has reiterated that her husband was only 43 years old and was not suffering from any ailments. She has also strongly rejected claims by interrogators that her husband did not have any signs of beatings, and has reaffirmed that she had herself witnessed the signs of beatings on the face and body of her husband when she saw him during their time in detention. Having seen her husband's body in the mortuary as they were about to wash it, she said, "My husband's entire body was covered in bruises. The bruises looked unnatural and suspicious. As I mentioned earlier, his body had lost its natural appearance. His face had also darkened." Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri also rejected claims by the judge that there had been no requests for an autopsy, noting that the judicial authorities had turned down her repeated requests for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Regarding statement in the verdict stating that no complaints had been filed by his family, Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri noted that her family had done their utmost to secure her release and protect her children from the risk of any aggressive retaliatory acts by the authorities.  And since her family members did not believe that the responsible authorities would pay any attention to complaints by the victims, they had decided against filing any such complaints for the sake of protecting her and her two children and preventing the tension from escalation. Mrs. Sadeq Vaziri further noted that, at the time of her and her children’s release from prison, the body of her husband was returned to them and traveled with them in a car to Sanandaj, their hometown, 500km away from Salmas. “The authorities’ pressure on us was such,” she said, “that at midnight, when we arrived in Sanandaj, they ordered us to bury Farahmand at once. They had even picked a burial spot for him in the old part of Behesht Mohammadi Cemetery so that we would be out of sight and people could not gather around us. Yet, in spite of all these security precautions, many people joined us on our way to the cemetery, and a big crowd was waiting for us in the cemetery.”

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