Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Khodabakhsh Shahbakhsh


Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim


Date of Killing: March 1, 1989
Location of Killing: Gonbad-e Kavus, Mazandaran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Drug trafficking

About this Case

The execution of Mr. Khodabakhsh Shahbakhsh, son of Hossein, along with 49 other individuals who were executed in 15 different cities on one day for drug trafficking, was announced in the communiqué of the Center for Combating Narcotics and published in the Jomhuri Eslami newspaper on March 2, 1989.

Arrest and Detention

The circumstances of this defendant’s arrest and detention are not known.


No information is available on the defendant’s trial other than it took place in the Revolutionary Court of Gonbad (Golestan province).


The charges against Mr. Khodabakhsh Shahbakhsh were announced as “widespread and continuous activities in distribution of narcotics, transporting and selling 12 kilograms of heroin from Zahedan to the region.”

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 Islamic Republic authorities have brought trumped-up charges against their political opponents and executed them for alleged drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences. Thousands of alleged drug traffickers have been sentenced to death following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. Scores of them were executed based on a 1989 law, imposing mandatory death sentences on drug traffickers found in possession of specified amounts of proscribed narcotics (5 kg of hashish or opium, and more than 30 grams of heroin, codeine, methadone, or morphine). The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of Guilt

The newspaper reported that Mr. Shahbakhsh had “5 previous criminal convictions since 1967 for carrying narcotics, smuggling goods, and robbery.”


No information is available on his defense.


The court condemned Mr. Khodabakhsh Shahbakhsh to death and he was hanged in Gonbad on March 1, 1989.

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