Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mohammad Bakhshian


Age: 26
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: June 21, 2006
Location of Killing: Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Corruption on earth; Murder
Age at time of offense: 25

About this Case

News of Mr. Mohammad Bakhshian’s execution was published by Fars News Agency (June 21, 2006) and in Hamshahri newspaper (June 22, 2006). Additional information in this regard was obtained from Hamshahri newspaper (February 2, and 20, 2006, and June 20, 2006).

He was from Lorestan [Province] and did plaster-work in buildings.

His case and that of another individual is related to armed robbery of the Bank Melli Ebne Sina Branch and the murder of the branch manager in late December 2005, in the city of Esfahan.

Arrest and detention

Mr. Bakhshian and the other defendant in the case were arrested by Esfahan police officers at the scene of the crime. Mr. Bakhshian spent five months in prison. There is no information regarding the details of his arrest and detention.


Esfahan Criminal Court Branch One tried Mr.  Bakhshian. The Esfahan Prosecutor, upon a special order of the Judiciary, asked the court to try the case in an extraordinary session. The Court was composed of a chief judge and four member judges. There is no information, however, about the trial session(s).


Mr. Bakhshian’s charges were declared to be “armed robbery and intentional murder”.

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 authorities have brought trumped-up charges, including drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences, against their opponents (including political, civil society activists, as well as unionists and ethnic and religious minorities). 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 and executed based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of guilt

The “defendants’ confessions” were stated to be the evidence against Mr. Bakhshian. He said that on the day in question, they had entered the bank around 1:30 in the afternoon and intended to rob the it by threatening [the employees] with a weapon, when they were faced with the bank manager’s resistance.

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.


Mr. Bakhshian had no prior criminal record and stated in his confession that he had engaged in criminal activity because of financial difficulties. He said that he only intended to threaten with the weapon but that he had faced the bank manager’s resistance which had shocked him, and that he had fired out of fear. He said that he realized the mistake he had made [and was remorseful] and asked for forgiveness. He presented a defense in court but there is no information about the details of his defense.


Esfahan Criminal Court Branch One found Mr. Bakhshian “Mofsed fel-Arz” (“one who spreads corruption on Earth”), and sentenced him to death on the charge of armed robbery, and further sentenced him to death for murder. The ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court on February 19, 2006.

On June 21, 2006, Mr. Bakhshian was hanged in public in Esfahan from a crane. The other defendant’s trial was postponed until February 5, 2007.

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