Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mehdi Ranjkesh


Age: 25
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: January 1, 2016
Location of Killing: Khoramabad, Lorestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Drug possession
Age at time of alleged offense: 20

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Mehdi Ranjkesh was published by HRANA (Human Rights Activists News Agency) on January 2, 2016. Additional information was taken from HRANA on January 1, 2016, and a short video clip from Mr. Ranjkesh sent out of prison the day before his execution.

Mr. Mehdi Ranjkesh, son of Mohammad Ali, was a resident of Khoramabad in Lorestan province. He had a physical and mental disability and was covered by welfare. (HRANA, the video clip by Mr. Ranjkesh)

Arrest and detention

According to Mr. Ranjkesh, he was arrested in 2010. He was 20 years old at the time.. Based on the available information, he was 20 years old at the time of arrest and he spent five years in Parsilun Prison. In a video message sent from prison, Mr. Ranjkesh referred to his physical and mental disability, and protested the lack of medication and medical services in prison.


No information is available on Mr. Ranjkesh’s trial and whether or not he had access to an attorney.


The charge brought against Mr. Ranjkesh was announced as “transportation of narcotics.”

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.). Thousands of alleged drug traffickers have been sentenced to death following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. Scores of them were executed based on a 1989 law imposing mandatory death sentences on drug traffickers found in possession of specified amounts of proscribed narcotics (5 kg of hashish or opium, and more than 30 grams of heroin, codeine or methadone). The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of guilt

According to the available information, Mr. Ranjkesh was riding in a car where a bag containing drugs was found. It is unclear whether the car or the bag were his or not.  


No information is available on Mr. Ranjkesh’s defense in court, but in his video recording, he stresses that he was physically and mentally disabled. In the film, the physical disability of the defendant, malformation of his limbs, is evident.


Mr. Mehdi Ranjkesh was sentenced to death. He was transferred to solitary confinement a day before his execution.  He was hanged at the Parsilun Prison in Khoramabad in the morning of January 2, 2006.

In his video message, Mr. Ranjkesh asked human rights organizations to help bring an end to drug-related executions.

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