Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Mansur Eskandari


Age: 30
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Married


Date of Killing: June 13, 2007
Location of Killing: Karaj, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Drug trafficking

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Mansur (Safdar) Eskandari, along with another person, was published on the websites of ISNA (Iranian Students News Agency) on June 13, theIran newspaper on June 14, and the E’temad and Jame Jam newspapers on June 13, 14, 2007.

Arrest and Detention

According to theIran newspaper report, on September 14, 2005, the police agents of the Fighting against Narcotics Office in Tehran were informed of a major shipment of opium from Sistan and Bluchestan province to Tehran by a smuggling network. On September 15, the smugglers’ vehicle was identified in Biyabanak near Karaj and five individuals including the defendant were arrested after an armed clash.


This trial took place in Branch One of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Karaj.


The charges against Mr. Mansur Eskandari, were announced as “transportation, possession, and distribution of opium.” According to the Chief Judge of the Islamic Revolutionary Court of Karaj, “the defendant had a record of previous conviction for transportation and distribution of narcotics.”

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 or methadone). The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of Guilt

According to the media reports, the defendant confessed to distribution of one ton of narcotics in Tehran. When the hiding place and the vehicle of the defendant were searched, 355 kilograms of impure opium, 346 kilograms of pure opium, 7 Kalashnikov weapons, and some bullets were recovered.

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 defense.


The court condemned Mr. Mansur Eskandari to death, as a “corruptor on earth” and the ruling was confirmed by the Supreme Court. His pardon request was rejected by the Pardon Commission. He was hanged in public in Hesarak, Karaj, on June 13, 2007. During an interview with the E’temad newspaper he said, “I have two small daughters. I demanded the judge not to execute me for the sake of my daughters... I was the victim of the drug lords.” With a picture of his daughter in hand, he went to the gallows and put the rope around his neck by his own hands.

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