Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Zanyar Ashian


Age: 22
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Unknown
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: August 6, 2005
Location of Killing: Sanandaj, Kordestan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Extrajudicial shooting
Charges: Unknown charge

About this Case

A number of websites and weblogs reported on Mr. Ashian’s death. These online sources include the website of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, the website of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, and the Didgahha website.

In addition, an interview with a person close to Mr. Ashian’s family provided some information regarding his personal life.

Mr. Ashian was born in a middle-class family in Sanandaj. He lost his father when he was very young. After finishing the 10th grade he started working as a technician. He supported the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI), and two of his brothers were PDKI peshmerga. As a result, Mr. Ashian and his family were always subject to scrutiny and harassment by intelligence officers based in Sanandaj.

On August 6, 2005 Mr. Ashian and a friend were distributing leaflets inviting Sanandaj residents to join a general strike in Kurdish regions on the next day. The strike was planned to protest the death of Kamal Asfarm (also known as Schwaneh Qaderi). Based on the information provided in a weblog , security forces fired at Mr. Ashian and his friend when they attempted to flee after being stopped. Mr. Ashian was shot, and he died hours later at Tohid hospital in Sanandaj.

Following Mr. Qaderi’s killing in early July 2005 by security forces in Mahabad, some pictures of his tortured body were distributed on the internet. These pictures triggered an uprising in Mahabad. The protests soon spread to other Kurdish cities of Iran such as Sardasht, Baneh, Piranshahr, Sanandaj and Saqqez. According to the existing information, the protests began at 9 a.m. on August 2, 2005 following the distribution of a night letter in Mahabad. But the peak of the clashes occurred between 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Afterwards, the city regained stability after intervention from security and police forces. Many people were killed and a large number were wounded. In addition, many civil activists were arrested. The protests went on for weeks despite the harsh repression by the government’s security forces, during at which protesters destroyed various State-owned properties (Amnesty International, February 16, 2006).

Correct/ Complete This Entry