Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohammad Naderipur


Age: 21
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: July, 2009
Location of Killing: Sirjan, Kerman Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Extrajudicial Execution
Charges: Unknown charge
Age at time of alleged offense: 21

About this Case

was a  civil engineering student, who was kidnapped and killed following the protests after the presidential election in 2009.

Information regarding Mr. Mohammad Naderipur’s death was announced by Moje Sabze Azadi (September 7, 2009), HRANA- Human Rights Activists News Agency (September 7, 2009 and May 26, 2010), and Association of Iranian Political Prisoners (in Exile) (September 6, 2009). Additional information in this regard was obtained from ISCA News- Iran Student Correspendent Association (April 24 and July 28, 2009), Negarestan Journal in Sirjan (April 24, 2010), Goftareno (April 26, 2010), Fars News Agency (May 25, 2009 and April 30, 2010), ISNA (April 30, 2010), and Kaviran (May 1, 2010 and June 5, 2010).

Mr. Naderipur was born in the village of Khabr, located near Baft, Kerman Province. According to his family members and friends, he was known as an honest young man and also a well-known and responsible student, who had no personal problems with anyone (Moje Sabze Azadi). According to available information, Mr. Naderipur was a student of civil engineering in the Sirjan Engineering College, a branch of Bahonar University in Kerman, and head of the Student Branch of Mirhossein Musavi’s Election Headquarters in Sirjan.

2009 Election Background

Election returns from Iran’s June 12th, 2009, presidential election declared Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-elected with 62.63 percent of the vote.  Following the announcement, citizens disputing these official results demonstrated in the streets.  Text messaging services were disrupted starting at 11:00 p.m. on the night before the election and remained unavailable for nearly three weeks, until July 1st. On Election Day, the deputy chief of Iranian police announced a ban on any gathering of presidential candidates’ supporters throughout the country.  The same evening, security forces made a “show of strength,” increasing their presence in Tehran’s public squares to “reinforce security at polling stations.”  Officials at election headquarters began reporting results soon after midnight, despite a statement from the Minister of the Interior that the first returns would not be announced until after the morning prayer (around 4:00 a.m.).

Many supporters of other presidential candidates came out into the streets on June 13th, once the results were made public, to protest what they believed to be a fraudulent election.  Candidates Mir Hossein Musavi, Mehdi Karubi, and Mohsen Reza’i, Ahmadinejad’s competitors in the race, contested the election, alleging many instances of fraud.  They filed complaints with the Council of Guardians, the constitutional body charged with vetting candidates before elections take place and approving the results afterwards, requesting an annulment and calling for a new election.  Before the Council of Guardians could review their claims, however, the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, congratulated Ahmadinejad on his re-election.  In the meantime, many people active in Karubi’s and Musavi’s campaigns were arrested.

On June 15th, unprecedented demonstrations filled the streets of central Tehran, in which an estimated three million protestors participated, according to statements attributed to the mayor of Tehran.  As the demonstrations were ending, paramilitary forces attacked the marchers, injuring and killing several people.  To prevent such news from being broadcast, the Iranian government expelled foreign journalists from the country and banned news agencies from reporting on the events.  Over the next three days, protesters took part in peaceful demonstrations in Tehran.  The repression entered a new phase on June 19th after Ayatollah Khamenei’s Friday sermon, in which he announced his support for Ahmadinejad and warned protestors that they were responsible for any disorder and its consequences. Amnesty International stated that the speech gave “legitimacy to police brutality.”  The next day and thereafter, police and plainclothes paramilitary groups attacked the protesters.  Public gatherings of any kind were declared illegal, and police, motorcycle-riding special units wearing black uniforms and helmets, and plainclothes agents brutally enforced this restriction.

Individuals in civilian clothing, commonly referred to as plainclothes forces, are used in the Islamic Republic to disrupt political and trade union activities, student events and gatherings, electoral initiatives, and protests.  Armed with sticks and clubs, and sometimes with chains, knives, batons, or firearms, they emerge when the state decides to suppress dissent.  These plainclothes forces move about freely, violently beating protesters and arresting them, while the police passively look on or actively cooperate with them.

There is little information on the command structure and organization of such groups, whose members wear ordinary clothing rather than official uniforms and may be affiliated with the ministry of information, influential political groups, or the armed forces. Following the post-election demonstrations in June 2009, pictures of some plainclothes agents were posted on internet websites.  Internet users helped to identify some of them and provided evidence that these individuals were affiliated with the Basij paramilitary groups, the Revolutionary Guard Corps, and state intelligence forces. On September 16, 2009, a deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards Corps of the Province of Tehran confirmed the active and decisive role of Basij forces in the repression of the demonstrations, saying, “Basijis, through their presence in recent events, have blinded the eyes of the conspirators, and they should be appreciated… The enemies of Islam wanted to make the air dusty and to exploit the recent events, but thank God, through the enlightenment of the Honorable Leader we were victorious against this conspiracy.” He also emphasized, “The zealous youth of [the] Basij, believers in the Guardianship of the Jurisprudent, are the second and third generations of the Revolution.  They have been successful in this stage and victorious on this battlefield.”

When personal property was damaged during the protests, government authorities and state-run radio and television programs accused the demonstrators of vandalism and justified the repression.  At the same time, however, footage posted online showed security forces destroying and damaging property on side streets and in uncongested areas away from the protests.  Moreover, in a public gathering in Tehran on October 20th, the chief of Iranian police conceded that police had destroyed and damaged property and accepted responsibility for it.

The precise number of citizens injured, killed, or disappeared in the post-election violence is not known.  According to various reports, there were hundreds of victims in demonstrations throughout the country.  More than seventy names have been reported.  It is said that officials have threatened victims’ family members, demanding their silence and that they refrain from giving interviews.  Reports also allege that returning a victim’s body to a family has been made conditional upon their agreement to change the cause of death listed on the coroner’s certificate to that of a heart attack or some other natural cause — thus foregoing the right to file a complaint — as well as the family's agreement not to hold memorial services for the loved one.

According to government statements, more than 4,000 people were arrested throughout Iran in the weeks following June 12th. Many have been held at the Kahrizak Detention Center, where prisoners’ rights and minimum hygiene standards were typically ignored.  Numerous reports of violence, including the torture and rape of detainees, have been published.  State reports and testimonies confirm that a number of detainees at Kahrizak died in custody due to beatings, difficult and unbearable prison conditions, and torture.

Background of Extrajudicial Killings by the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Islamic Republic of Iran has a long history of politically motivated violence in Iran and around the world. Since the 1979 Revolution, Islamic Republic operatives inside and outside the country have engaged in kidnapping, disappearing, and killing a large number of individuals whose activities they deemed undesirable. The actual number of the victims of extrajudicial killings inside Iran is not clear; however, these murders began in February 1979 and have continued since then, both inside and outside Iran. The Abdorrahman Boroumand Center has so far identified over 540 killings outside Iran attributed to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Dissidents have been assassinated by the agents of the Islamic Republic outside Iran in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, India, and Pakistan in Asia; Dubai, Iraq, and Turkey in the Middle East; Cyprus, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Great Britain in Europe; and the United States across the Atlantic Ocean. In most cases, there has not been much published, and local authorities have not issued arrest warrants. But documentation, evidence, and traces obtained through investigations conducted by local police and judicial authorities confirm the theory of state committed crimes. In some instances, these investigations have resulted in the expulsion or arrest of Iranian diplomats. In a few cases outside Iran, the perpetrators of these murders have been arrested and put on trial. The evidence presented revealed the defendants’ connection to Iran’s government institutions, and an arrest warrant has been issued for Iran’s Minister of Information.

The manner in which these killings were organized and implemented in Iran and abroad is indicative of a single pattern which, according to Roland Chatelin, the Swiss prosecutor, contains common parameters and detailed planning. It can be ascertained from the similarities between these murders in different countries that the Iranian government is the principal entity that ordered the implementation of these crimes. Iranian authorities have not officially accepted responsibility for these murders and have even attributed their commission to internal strife in opposition groups. Nevertheless, since the very inception of the Islamic Republic regime, the Islamic Republic officials have justified these crimes from an ideological and legal standpoint. In the spring of 1979, Sadeq Khalkhali, the first Chief Shari’a Judge of the Islamic Revolutionary Courts, officially announced the regime’s decision to implement extrajudicial executions and justified the decision: “ … These people have been sentenced to death; from the Iranian people’s perspective, if someone wants to assassinate these individuals abroad, in any country, no government has any right to bring the perpetrator to trial as a terrorist, because such a person is the implementing agent of the sentence issued by the Islamic Revolutionary Court. Therefore, they are Mahduroddam and their sentence is death regardless of where they are.” More than 10 years after these proclamations, in a speech about the security forces’ success, Ali Fallahian, the regime’s Minister of Information, stated the following regarding the elimination of members of the opposition: “ … We have had success in inflicting damage to many of these little groups outside the country and on our borders.”

At the same time, various political, judicial, and security officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran have, at different times and occasions, confirmed the existence of a long term government policy for these extrajudicial killings and in some cases their implementation. 

Read more about the background of extrajudicial killings in the Islamic Republic of Iran by clicking on the left hand highlight with the same title.

Mr. Mohammad Naderipur's Death

On July 1, 2009 around 7:00PM, Mr. Naderipur was kidnapped by plain-clothes individuals in his car when he left the University after finishing an exam session. That evening and the following day, attempts by his sister (a student in Zahedan) to reach him by phone fail. Mr. Naderipur’s body was found in his car, parked somewhere in Sirjan, 48 hours after his kidnapping. No item had been stolen from his car and cash and various cards from his pockets were untouched. Further, the plastic cover of the wheel and the stick shift had also been removed. (Moje Sabze Azadi and Association of Iranian Political Prisoners).

Mr. Naderipur’s body was transferred to the forensic medicine office and after autopsy, the cause of death was determined to be a “severe blow to the back of head” (HRANA). An eye-witness who had seen the body before autopsy and burial stated that even Mr. Naderipur’s shirt was not torn and this indicated that he did not get into a fight or resist his murderer(s) (Moje Sabze Azadi and Association of Iranian Political Prisoners). In addition, it was discovered after investigations that the murderer(s) removed plastic covers on the steering and gear shift to avoid leaving any fingerprints (Moje Sabze Azadi).

Officials' reactions

During the first month after the murder, officials did not react to Mr. Naderipur’s death (HRANA). The Intelligence Police in the city asked the family to bury the body immediately (Moje Sabze Azadi and Association of Iranian Political Prisoners).

According to a reliable source, the security forces burned Mr. Naderpour’s clothes and the blanket that covered his body before delivering the body to his family. This source, who participated in Mr. Naderipur’s burial ceremony in Khabr village, stated that some unknown and plain-clothes individuals, who seemed to be security agents, were present and watching the ceremony (Moje Sabze Azadi). 

Months after this murder, the Public Prosecutor of Sirjan, Farajollah Kargar, announced in an interview that the murder of this student had a personal motive, not a political one. Kargar explained: “After a series of investigations by police, judicial, and intelligence officials, three suspects were arrested and one of them confessed to murdering the victim (Mohammad Naderi) for revenge: Mohammad had a relationship with a female student who the confessed killer had an interest in. Two other suspects, a man and a woman, have been imprisoned for hiding and carrying the body” (HRANA). No additional information was released on the identity of the detainees and the evidence linking them to the murder of Mr. Naderipur.

Family's reactions

According to a reliable source who cited a close relative, Mr. Naderipur's family had remained silent initially, fearing that other members of their family, especially their daughter who is a student in Zahedan, might be kidnapped. According to the same source, Mr. Naderipur was an honest and committed individual and neither he nor his family had any feud with others justifying a murder. (Moje Sabze Azadi)

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