Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Esma’il Purqoli


Age: 30
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: May 5, 1979
Location of Killing: Khoy, Azarbaijan-e Gharbi Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Shooting
Charges: Corruption on earth; Murder of persons and/or killing Muslims or/and freedom fighters; Unspecified anti-revolutionary offense; Sedition and/ or threat to public security; Unspecified offense

About this Case

The information regarding Mr. Esma’il Purqoli’s case was drawn from a report by Kayhan daily on 5 May 1979 and an electronic form (E-form) which was sent to the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation (ABF) by a person close to him.

Mr. Purqoli was 30 years old and a bus driver. He was born into a religious family (ABF E-form).

Arrest and detention

The circumstances of Mr. Purqoli’s arrest and detention are not known but according to the E-form he was arrested in the early spring of 1979 in Orumieh–a city in Azarbaijan-e Gharbi in the northwest of Iran.


The Revolutionary Tribunal of Khoi in Azarbaijan-e Gharbi Province tried Mr. Purqoli along with 4 others (Kayhan).


According to Kayhan’s report, Mr. Purqoli’s was charged with: “ordering the murder of the martyr-warrior, Majid Mohamadzadeh; shooting, arson, robbery, and sedition”. The report specifies that Mr. Purqoli was a bus driver and “an element of the former regime” but provides no information about how and in what position Mr. Purqoli participated in the alleged crimes.

Evidence of guilt

No information is available concerning the evidence presented against Mr. Purqoli.


According to the E-form, Mr. Purqoli was pardoned by the Supreme Leader but there is no further detail about his defense. It is not clear if he had the opportunity to defend himself. Furthermore, the validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of basic guarantees of a fair trial.


The Islamic Tribunal of Khoi declared Mr. Purqoli and 3 others guilty of “corruption on earth” and sentenced them to death. This verdict was carried out at dawn on 5 May 1979 by the firing squads in Khoi (Kayhan).

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