Iran Human Rights (IHR); January 13, 2019: According to IHR sources inside Iran, 17 prisoners have been hanged for murder charges between January 2. and 9. at the Rajai Shahr prison of Karaj (West of Tehran).
According to the IHR sources, on the morning of Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at least 12 prisoners were executed at Karaj city’s Rajai Shahr prison for murder charges. Three of the prisoners were identified as “Mohsen Rezaei" from ward 1, "Reza Farmanjou" from ward 6, and "Baratali Rahimi" from ward 10 of the prison.”
Mohsen Rezaei was sentenced to death for killing his wife. According to a close friend of Mohsen Rezaei, he had always emphasized that he was innocent and his confessions were extracted after one year of torture.
Of note, on January 2, five other prisoners were secretly executed for murder charges at the same prison. None of the prisoners have been identified by name yet and the Iranian authorities have not announced these executions so far.
IHR has previously received many reports regarding the use of torture to extract confessions in Iran. In many cases, prisoners are sentenced to death only based on their own confessions. In 2013, Iranian media wrote about a death row prisoner who was proved to be innocent 48 hours before the execution. When he was asked why he had confessed to a murder he didn't commit, he said: "I was beaten so much that I thought if I don't confess to the murder I will die as a result of the beating".
According to the Iran Human Rights statistic department, the majority of executions in 2018 were for murder charges.
According to the Iranian Islamic Penal Code (IPC) murder is punishable by qisas which means “retribution in kind” or retaliation. In this way, the State effectively puts the responsibility of the death sentence for murder on the shoulders of the victim’s family. In qisas cases, the plaintiff has the possibility to forgive or demand diya (blood money). In many cases, the victim's family are encouraged to put the rope is around the prisoner's neck and even carry out the actual execution by pulling off the chair the prisoner is standing on.
Photo: From right to left, Mohsen Rezaei and Reza Farmanjou