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

Mehdi Yazdani

About

Age: 22
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: July 18, 2004
Location of Killing: Vilashahr Square, Najaf Abad, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Rape
Age at time of offense: 19

About this Case

News and information regarding the execution of Mr. Mehdi Yazdani, son of Ali, was sent to Abdorrahman Boroumand Center via an electronic form on November 30, 2020 by a person familiar with his case. The news of his execution along with the execution of Mr. Navab Davudi, was also published on the websites of Esfahan Information on July 18, 2004 and ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) on July 19, 2004, and in the Iran newspaper on July 20, 2004, quoting the Information Center of Police Headquarters in Esfahan. 

According to the websites and newspaper, his case and the cases of four others were related to a robbery gang named Eblis, in Najafabad, Esfahan, in 2003.  

Mr. Yazdani was born on March 30, 1982. He was single, had a highschool diploma and served in the military, artillery barracks No. 55 in Esfahan (e-form 11/30/2020). 

Arrest and detention

Mr. Yazdani was identified and arrested by police in Najafabad in September of 2003 after several women filed complaints (Iran newspaper). According to a person familiar with this case, the whole case against Mr. Yazdani was caused by the fact that at the time of his arrest, Mr. Yazadni and Mr. Navab Davudi got into a confrontation with the head of Najafabad’s intelligence police (e-form 11/30/2020). Following his arrest, Mr. Yazadani was tortured for 120 days. (e-form - 01/30/2020).

Trial

Mr. Yazdani was tried by a court in Esfahan. According to a person familiar with his case, Mr. Yazdani never actually stood trial, but was continuously tortured until he confessed to crimes he had not committed (e-form 11/30/2020). 

Charges

The charges brought against Mr. Yazdani were announced as “five counts kidnapping, using narcotics, and rape.” Pretending to drive a taxi, he and four others committed kidnapping and robbery. (Esfahan Information website). 

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial. 

Evidence of guilt

According to the websites and the newspaper, the evidence presented against Mr. Yazdani was “having a record for two criminal convictions, complaints by four women residents of Najafabad, being identified by the face recognition system, reports by witnesses, and his own confession.” 

“There was no evidence against him besides his coerced confession under torture” (e-form 11/30/2020).   

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.

Defense

Based on the information provided in an e-form, he did not commit the alleged crimes and the charges against him were fabricated; he was in fact at his military base at the time the alleged crimes were committed (e-form 11/30/2020). Mr. Yazdani did not have access to a lawyer and was not present at his own trial (e-form 11/30/2020).

Judgment

Mr. Mehdi Yazdani was condemned to death, 15 years imprisonment, restoring stolen property, paying Dieh [fine] for plaintiffs, and 10 lashes. Branch Two of the Supreme Court confirmed the ruling. Mr. Yazdani was hanged, along with another person, in public at Vilashahr Square in Najafabad on July 18, 2004. 

Mr. Yazdani’s family was informed of his upcoming execution a day in advance (E-formThe other defendants of this case were condemned to 15 years imprisonment, seven and five years exile to places with harsh environments, and 80 lashes. 

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