Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Hadi Nuri Katehkordi


Age: 26
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: August 21, 2002
Location of Killing: Qasr Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Hadi Nuri Katehkordi, along with two others, was published in the Iran newspaper on August 22, 2002. Additional information regarding his prosecution was taken from the Ettela’at newspaper on February 27, 1999. 

Case of Mr. Nuri Katehkordi was in connection with the murder of his 19-year-old fiancé in her home in Bahar Street in Tehran.

Arrest and detention

The circumstances of Mr. Nuri Katehkordi’s arrest and detention are not known.


Branches 1601 and 1607 of the Criminal Court of Tehran tried Mr. Nuri Katehkordi. No information is available on his trial.


The charge brought against Mr. Nuri Katehkordi was announced as “murder”. Mr. Nuri went to meet his fiancé in her home while her parents were not present on February 2, 1998, he then struck her with a knife several times, and suffocated her.   

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial. 

Evidence of guilt

The evidence presented against Mr. Nuri Katehkordi was his “confession” and “report from the forensics” during the trial, the “testimony of a neighbor”, and “the recovery of a bloody jacket and hat in his house”.

The victim’s father mentioned in the trial that he and his wife never found Mr. Nuri as a suitable husband for their daughter and they disagreed their marriage since the beginning. They eventually accepted their engagement due to Mr. Nuri’s persistence and threats. Several months later, they broke the engagement based on their daughter’s will but Mr. Nuri could not accept the fact and finally committed the crime.

During a Qassameh* in the court, the victim’s father, uncle, brother, and grandfather swore to the Qoran 50 times that Mr. Nuri Katehkordi was guilty.


During the interrogation, Mr. Nuri Katehkordi denied committing the murder. He mentioned that when he went to his fiancé’s home, she gave him the knife and while they were arguing, she threw herself on the knife (Ettela’at).


Both branches 1601 and 1607 of the Criminal Court of Tehran’s judges condemned Mr. Hadi Nuri Katehkordi to death based on “Qassameh” and the Supreme Court confirmed the ruling. He was hanged in the Qasr Prison yard on August 21, 2002.


* “Qassameh” means an oath taken by a group of people. It is one of the ways that a defendant’s guilt or innocence can be proven for both intentional and non-intentional offenses. Per Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, “qassameh” is carried out in instances where a crime has occurred and no convincing evidence or witnesses exist which could prove the defendant’s guilt, and where a judge has doubt about the defendant’s guilt based solely on circumstantial evidence – a circumstance referred to in religious jurisprudence as “lowth.” Where “lowth” obtains, the judge is bound to ask the defendant to produce evidence disproving the charge. If the defendant demonstrates his innocence in this way, he is acquitted. Failing this, the plaintiff may perform “qassameh” in order to prove the defendant’s guilt, or request that the defendant perform “qassameh” to disprove the charges. This procedure, which requires a defendant to prove his innocence, is contrary to the principle of presumption of innocence and violates the defendant’s right to remain silent. The principle of the presumption of innocence - recognized in Iran’s constitution, Code of Criminal Procedure, and international agreements to which Iran is signatory – holds that all persons are to be considered innocent until proven guilty. A defendant should not be made to prove his own innocence. Proving the charges made against the defendant by presenting adequate evidence and witnesses is the duty of the prosecuting authority (in the Iranian context, the public prosecutor or a private plaintiff.) The right to remain silent is among the defendant’s rights of defense, affording him the right to refrain from answering questions regarding the charges entered against him. Such silence may not be treated as an indication or evidence of guilt or innocence.
In order to substantiate a charge of homicide through “qassameh,” an oath is required from 50 male relatives of the plaintiff. For the charge to be dismissed, fifty male relatives of the defendant must swear to his innocence. Should the number of male relatives taking the oath be less than 50, the defendant may repeat the oath himself in order to meet the required number of swears. In homicide cases, it is not possible for a plaintiff to repeat the oath in this way.
It is not necessary for those taking the oath to have witnessed the commission of the crime themselves.
In Hanafi jurisprudence, “qassameh” can only be carried out to disprove charges against a defendant, and a plaintiff may not use it to substantiate a defendant’s guilt. In Shi’a jurisprudence, however, “qassameh” is carried out in the first stage by the plaintiff to prove the charges against the defendant. Only where the plaintiff foregoes “qassameh” and requests that the defendant perform it himself, can the defendant use “qassameh” to see his charges dismissed.

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