Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Jalal Azarbaijani

About

Age: 37
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Married

Case

Date of Killing: September 21, 1997
Location: Qasr Prison, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder

About this Case

The execution of Mr. Jalal Azarbaijani, a government clerk, was published on the website of the Hamshahri newspaper on September 22, 1997 and in the Kayhan newspaper on September 21, 1997.

Arrest and detention

The Kayhan newspaper quotes the defendant as saying that he turned himself in after committing the crime.

Trial

According to the Kayhan newspaper, the first ruling against him, at Branch 35 of Public Court, was based on accepting the insanity plead; but it was rejected by Branch 2 of the Supreme Judicial Court. The second trial took place at Branch 30 of Tehran Public Court.

Charges

The charge against the defendant was announced as “murdering his wife, his daughter aged 13, and his son aged 8”.

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial. International human rights organizations have drawn attention to reports indicating that the Islamic Republic’s authorities have brought trumped-up charges against their political opponents and executed them for drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences. 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.

Evidence of guilt

According to the Kayhan newspaper report, evidence of guilt against the defendant was his “confessions”.

International human rights organizations have repeatedly condemned the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its systematic use of severe torture and solitary confinement to obtain confessions from detainees and have questioned the authenticity of confessions obtained under duress. In the case of political detainees, these confessions are, at times, televised. The National Television broadcasts confessions during which prisoners plead guilty to vague and false charges, repent and renounce their political beliefs, and/or implicate others. Human rights organizations have also pointed to the pattern of retracted confessions by those prisoners who are freed.

Defense

According to the Kayhan newspaper, his defense was based on the claim of insanity. He later told the court (presumably at his second trial): “Suspicion overwhelmed me. Therefore, I decided to murder my wife and two children. At night, I waited for them to fall asleep. Then, I killed my wife, Fatemeh Azarbaijani, first, and then my daughter, Simin, and my son, Ramin and I turned myself in to the police afterwards.”

Judgment

Mr. Jalal Azarbaijani, whose death penalty was commuted at his first trial due to his insanity plea, was condemned to death at his second trial. After the Supreme Court confirmed this ruling, he was hanged at Qasr prison (Tehran) in the presence of the victims’ family and officials on September 21, 1997.

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