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

Hamidreza Farokhnejad Afshar

About

Age: 23
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: May, 1998
Location of Killing: Central Prison (Adelabad), Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Death in custody
Charges: Unknown charge
Age at time of offense: 23

About this Case

was interested in sports since his childhood and took up Kyokushin when he was 12 years old and competed at the champion level at provincial tournaments.

News and information about the death in detention of Mr. Hamid Reza Farokhnejad Afshar, son of Turan and Atta’ollah, was obtained from Abdorrahman Boroumand Center’s interview with one of his relatives on July 2, 2018 (ABC interview).

Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar was born on October 23, 1975 in Bam County, Kerman Provence. Before the Islamic Revolution in 1979, his father was a Gendarmerie officer, and after the war between Iran and Iraq began, he joined the army and fought on the Kurdish and Ahvaz fronts for three years. In 1983-84 Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar’s father was arrested for drug trafficking and a year later he was executed by firing squad in Kerman.  

Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar stopped his education when he was in middle school and started working as a farmer. Since his childhood, he was interested in sports. He took up Kyokushin, a type of Japanese martial art, when he was 12 years old and competed at the champion level at provincial tournaments. According to the interviewee, Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar was a kind person who put others first and had a great passion for his family.

Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar was 23 years old when he died. He was planning to get married to his fiancé.

Arrest and detention

In early May 1998, agents of the Khalili Komiteh in Shiraz (Center for Combating Narcotics and Social Corruption) arrested Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar at the home of one of his relatives in Shiraz.

The night before the arrest, Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar and his brother went to Shiraz to buy a combine harvester and spent the night at the home of one of their relatives. According to the interviewee, the house was under surveillance by agents of the Shiraz Counter Narcotics Center (Khalili Komiteh), because there was probable cause that drugs had been stored in the house. The next morning, at 6 AM, armed plainclothes agents raided the house and woke up all the residents, including Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar and his brother, beat them, handcuffed and blindfolded them, and transferred all to the Khalili Komiteh.

According to available information, during the approximately 20-day period during which Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar was detained at the Khalili Komiteh, he was severely tortured. He was kept in very small, grave-like solitary confinement cells, punched and kicked, beaten with cable, pipe, and an electric shocker, and hung from the ceiling (Qapan*).

Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar was deprived of his right to contact his family as well as the right to access an attorney while he was detained in the Khalili Komiteh in Shiraz. About 20 days after the arrest, Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar was sent to court along with other detainees.  After the court session, they were all transferred to Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.

Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar’s Death

According to available information, Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar suffered severe stomach pains after being transferred to Adelabad Prison in Shiraz. Doctors in the prison’s clinic diagnosed inflammation of the appendix and transferred Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar to Shiraz Hospital for appendectomy surgery. At the hospital, his appendix was deemed healthy and the severe pain was attributed to an infection. The doctor prescribed a medicine and Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar was transferred to Adelabad Prison. The following night, Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar felt pain and was transferred to the prison’s clinic. Despite the lack of specialized staff and medical facilities in the prison’s clinic, Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar was refused transfer to the hospital. A few days later, following his brother’s insistence and begging, the prison authorities acquiesced and transferred Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar to the hospital. According to eyewitnesses, Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar got into the ambulance on his own feet and was transferred to the hospital while handcuffed.

The next morning, Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar died at Vali-e Asr Hospital in Shiraz. The doctors told his family that the torture caused an infection in Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar’s kidney which spread to his blood and caused his death. The doctors explained that the injuries caused by torture were so severe that they could have caused death within just days, but that Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar’s physical strength allowed him to endure for about 15 days.

Officials’ Reaction

According to available information, following Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar’s death, the judge threatened his mother that if she filed a complaint the life of her other child, also in prison, would be in danger. As a result, Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar’s family never filed a complaint with judicial authorities.

Trial

Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz tried Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar and other detainees in the case in one session. No information is available on Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar’s trial.

Charges

The charge brought against Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar is not known.

The validity of the criminal charges brought against these defendants 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

Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar’s presence at the house which was being monitored by agents of the Khalili Komiteh resulted in his arrest. According to the available information, the agents discovered 20 kilograms of opium in this house and the owner of the house, who was also a relative of Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar, confessed against Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar and his brother under torture.

Defense

No information is available on Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar’s defense.

Judgment

Due to Mr. Farokhnejad Afshar’s death in detention, no sentence was issued against him.

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* Qapan (Steelyard) was a common torture method during interrogations. One arm of the prisoner was stretched over the head and handcuffed with the steelyard to the other arm, which was folded behind the back.  The pressure usually resulted in fractures in the shoulder blade.  The prisoner was usually suspended in the air with the steelyard.

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