Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Sadeq M.


Age: 20
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: October 24, 2007
Location of Killing: Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Sadeq M. was published on the websites of ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) on October 24, IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) on May 19 and October 25, and Khabare Jonub on April 22, October 23, and October 25, 2007.

Arrest and Detention

On April 7, 2007, a sixteen year old girl was killed by blows of a knife in Sahlabad, Shiraz. After investigation and gathering information from the victim’s family, the police detectives of Shiraz identified and arrested the defendant.


This trial took place in Branch Two of the Provincial Penal Court in four sessions beginning on April 19, 2007.


The charge against Mr. Sadeq M. was announced as “murder.” According to the media reports, “the defendant murdered his beloved girl when faced with the opposition of her family to their marriage.”

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. 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 based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of Guilt

The evidence provided against the defendant was his confession and the testimony of the victim’s mother who was present at the time of committing the crime.

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. In the case of political detainees, these confessions are, at times, televised. The National Television broadcasts confessions during which prisoners plead guilty to vague and false charges, repent and renounce their political beliefs, and/or implicate others. Human rights organizations have also pointed to the pattern of retracted confessions by those prisoners who are freed.


No information is available on the defendant’s defense. According to the Khabare Jonub report, the defendant confessed during his interrogation saying, “I loved Raziyeh and wanted to marry her. But her family opposed this. I fell in love with her when she was my sister’s classmate four years ago. After four years of persistence, when they still refused me, I had to go to their house or call them to stop refusing me. After a while, Raziyeh’s family made a complaint against me. But, after I was released from the prison, I asked them again to let us get married. I couldn’t tolerate to see her marry another guy. Raziyeh’s love was so strong in me that I felt I cannot live without her but her family was against it and there was no way I could marry her. I thought since Raziyeh would not be my wife, it’d be better if she was not alive.”


The court condemned Mr. Sadeq M. to death and the ruling was confirmed by Branch 37 of the Supreme Court after 28 days. According to the Khabare Jonub report, there was a period of delay between the confirmation of the ruling by the Supreme Court and its being carried out due to the issue of paying the difference amount of blood money.* The defendant was hanged in public at the location of the incident in Shiraz on October 24, 2007.

* In the Iranian Penal Code, murder is punishable by execution (retribution), giving the family of the victim the right to consent to the execution sentence or forgive the perpetrator. At the same time, the blood money of a woman is half that of a man. Consequently, if the family of a female victim decides to uphold the death sentence of the male perpetrator, the victim’s family must pay half of the blood money of the male perpetrator to his family.

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