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

Khaled Kordi

About

Age: 24
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Islam
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: January 25, 2016
Location of Killing: Yazd, Yazd Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Drug related offense
Age at time of offense: 17

About this Case

When he was 17, Mr. Khaled Kordi accepted an offer to carry an unknown person’s bag in exchange for a free trip to Isfahan. He did not know that the bag contained methamphetamines.

News of the execution of Mr. Khaled Kordi and one other person was published on the website of the Baluch Activists Campaign (January 27, 2016.) Additional information was taken from an interview conducted by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation with a person close to Kordi (ABF interview.)

Mr. Kordi was a Baluch adolescent from Khash in Sistan Va Baluchestan province. He attended school until the seventh grade but could not continue his education due to being older than the permitted age. He worked as a laborer with his father, who transported construction materials using a Nissan truck. According to a person close to him, Mr. Kordi’s family were local nomads: in accordance with common practice of that community, they had used the birth certificate of his dead brother, five years his senior, for Kordi himself. According to people close to Kordi, he was a healthy and shy young man who had no criminal record (ABF interview.)

Mr. Kordi’s case was related to the recovery of narcotics from a bag that he carried traveling from Kerman to Esfahan. He was 17 years and 3 months of age when arrested.

International laws strictly prohibit the use of capital punishment against those under the age of 18 at the time of committing a crime. As a party to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran is bound to abstain from capital punishment in the cases of such juvenile offenders.

Arrest and detention

In 2008 Mr. Kordi and his friend were arrested by police at a checkpoint outside of Kerman while on their way to Isfahan in a hired car. Kordi was detained at Yazd Prison for seven years. The circumstances of his arrest and detention are not known. His family could only visit him every six weeks due to the long distance between their residence and Yazd Prison (ABF interview.)

Trial

The Mehriz Court in Yazd province tried Mr. Kordi and the other defendant. A public defender represented him during the trial (ABF interview.)

Charges

The charge brought against Mr. Kordi was announced as “carrying methamphetamines.”

Evidence of guilt

The evidence presented against Mr. Kordi demonstrated that he was carrying 4 kilograms and 300 grams of methamphetamine at the time of arrest.

Defense

According to a person close to him, Mr. Kordi rejected the charge against him. During the interrogation and trial, he clearly stated that the narcotics recovered from the bags that he and his friends were carrying did not belong to them. An unknown person approached them in a square in Kerman and offered to arrange for free car travel to Isfahan in exchange for transporting the bags. Kordi and his friend were not made aware of their contents (ABF interview.)

According to a person close to Kordi, the judge and Public Prosecutor of Mehriz were convinced that the recovered narcotics did not belong to Mr. Kordi and his friend and they had been deceived by the stranger. Given the considerable volume of narcotics in question, however, they found themselves legally constrained.  

Owing to financial limitations, Mr. Kordi’s family could not hire an attorney and had to refer his case to a public defender. They asked the court to investigate their claim regarding the birth certificate belonging to Mr. Kordi’s older brother which demonstrated that Kordi was in fact younger than 18 years old. According to the family, Mr. Kordi was sent to the forensics office in Yazd three times; due to the large size of his body, the forensics doctor could not confirm his age. When the family objected, the case was referred to the forensics office in Kerman for the fourth time. Due to various problems including long distance and bureaucracy Mr. Kordi was not able to present for the doctor’s visit (ABF interview.)

Judgment

The Mehriz Court condemned Mr. Khaled Kordi and his friend to death. The judicial authorities confirmed the ruling. According to a person close to Kordi, the judge and the Public Prosecutor had petitioned the judiciary to pardon or commute his sentence several times but their requests were rejected.

Mr. Kordi was hanged along with his friend in Yazd Central Prison on the morning of Monday, January 25, 2016. According to a person close to him, his family was told just two days earlier to come visit him for the last time: Kordi was unable to meet with them due to a large number of visitors, however. He was only able to see his father for a few minutes inside a vehicle (ABF interview.)

According to a person close to him, the Public Prosecutor of Mehriz had postponed the carrying out of the sentence in order to give the family time to obtain results. A new Public Prosecutor was assigned, however, and the ruling was ultimately executed (ABF interview.)

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