Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Habibollah Keivan


Age: 35
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: May 12, 1990
Location of Killing: Central Prison (Adelabad), Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Drug related offense
Age at time of alleged offense: 31

About this Case

had told his family during visitations: “I did not commit any crime deserving execution. I’ll be free.”

News and information about the execution of Mr. Habibollah Keivan, son of Khatun and Asadollah, along with 14 other people was obtained through Abdorrahman Boroumand Center interviews with one of Mr. Keivan’s acquaintances on June 25 and October 11, 2018.

Mr. Keivan was born in 1955 in Sirjan County in Kerman province. He finished elementary school and worked as a roadside food stand vendor. Mr. Keivan was married and his fourth child was born when he was in prison. According to an acquaintance, he was a very kind and good-tempered person.

Mr. Keivan’s case pertained to “drug trafficking” in 1986 in Sirjan County.

Mr. Keivan’s fourth child was born when he was in prison.

Arrest and detention

In late October 1986-early November 1986, agents of the Khalili Komiteh in Shiraz (Center for Combating Narcotics and Social Corruption) arrested Mr. Keivan at his home in Sirjan and transferred him to the Khalili Komiteh in Shiraz. On the morning of the arrest, while Mr. Keivan was having breakfast with his family, two agents of the Khalili Komiteh appeared at his home, handcuffed and arrested Mr. Keivan without a warrant, and put him in their car and took him away, without allowing him even to change his clothes.

After a while, Mr. Keivan was transferred to Adelabad Prison in Shiraz. He was allowed to work in Adelabad Prison to cover his expenses and during this time, he was granted several one-day leave periods.

During this time, Mr. Keivan was allowed to visit his family. However, his family was forced to travel 377 kilometers between Sirjan and Shiraz every week for visitation. Since Mr. Keivan’s wife was faced with severe financial hardship and had no money to pay for travel cost between Sirjan and Shiraz, she had to cover the travel cost by selling their home appliances.

During the four years Mr. Keivan was in prison, he continued his education.

Mr. Keivan was arrested while he was having breakfast with his family, without allowing even to change his clothes.


No information is available on details of Mr. Keivan’s trial sessions. The last trial session was held in 1989.


The charge brought against Mr. Keivan was “drug trafficking while carrying a weapon.”

The validity of the criminal charges brought against these defendants cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial. Each year Iranian authorities sentence to death hundreds of alleged common criminals, following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Confessions made by the prime suspect in the case against Mr. Keivan, were used as the sole evidence to prove his charge.

Evidence of guilt

According to the interviewee, “confessions made by the prime suspect in the case against Mr. Keivan” were used as the sole evidence to prove Mr. Keivan’s charge.


Mr. Keivan never accepted the charge of drug trafficking, and confessed only to his role in assisting the prime suspect in the case in burying the drugs on the land in front of his home. According to the interviewee, during his detention, Mr. Keivan never thought that he would be executed and had told his family during visitations: “I did not commit any crime deserving execution. I’ll be free, whether it takes 10 years or 15 years, [eventually] I’ll be free.”

According to available information, the evening prior to the arrest, a friend of Mr. Keivan asked him to help hide some drugs. Mr. Keivan agreed to help his friend. The next morning, Mr. Keivan’s friend was arrested and, based on his confession, the agents arrested Mr. Keivan. During the first years of his detention, Mr. Keivan’s charge was “assisting” and “participating in” drug possession. Conditions of Mr. Keivan’s imprisonment in those years - including the granting of leave permission and opportunities for work in Adelabad Prison - indicate that his charges were minor.

At the last trial session, which was held about three years after Mr. Keivan’s arrest, the prime suspect in the case brought a new charge against Mr. Keivan. He claimed that Mr. Keivan had accompanied him when he was buying drugs in Baluchestan and had carried a weapon during the deal. According to the interviewee, those confessions were the basis of issuing the final verdict against Mr. Keivan. No information is available on Mr. Keivan’s defense.

Mr. Keivan never accepted the charge of drug trafficking.


Mr. Habibollah Keivan was hanged in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz along with 14 others on May 12, 1990.

There is no information on the court that issued the execution verdict against Mr. Keivan.

The prison authorities did not provide Mr. Keivan or his family with an execution date. The family was informed about the execution only afterwards and was asked to be present at Adelabad Prison to receive Mr. Keivan’s body. Mr. Keivan’s family received his body along with four others, and transferred them to Sirjan with a pickup truck and buried them there.

Mr. Keivan was 35 years old at the time of execution.


*   Mr. Gholamreza (Mozafar) Shahsavaripur, Mr. Mohammad Ali Esma’ili Bolurdi, Mr. Alibaz Eskandari Nasab, and Mr. Rahmatollah Eskandarzadeh were among the people were executed along with Mr. Keivan. No information is available regarding to other individuals were executed at the same time along with Mr. Keivan.

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