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Moein Salahvarzi Executed After 32 Years on Death Row

11 Mar
Moein Salahvarzi Executed After 32 Years on Death Row

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); March 11, 2024: Moein Salahvarzi, a man who spent 32 years on death row for murder, was executed in Ilam Central Prison.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a man was executed in Ilam Central Prison on 11 March. His identity has been established as 63-year-old Moein Salahvarzi who had spent 32 years on death row for murder.

His son previously told Iran Human Rights: “I was two years old when it happened. My dad was working on the farm that day, he’d worked hard on that land for a year. My paternal uncle had told my dad that he had to give that year’s harvest of wheat and straw to him. My dad refused to be extorted and didn’t give in. My uncle came and used vulgar language against my mother in front of the village and my father shot him with a hunting rifle. He didn’t mean to kill his brother, he wanted to shoot at his leg but my uncle came forward. My uncle passed away on the way to the city hospital.”

After following up on his case, Moein Salahvarzi’s family were told by judiciary officials that his case had been lost. “We’ve followed up on his case so many times. In Tehran, they told us that his case had been lost at the Supreme Court. Nobody will respond to us,” his son told IHRNGO in November 2019 when Moein had been on death row for 28 years.

At the time of writing, his execution has not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.

Those charged with the umbrella term of “intentional murder” are sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) regardless of intent or circumstances due to a lack of grading in law. Once a defendant has been convicted, as the plaintiffs, the victim’s family are required to choose between death as retribution, diya (blood money) or forgiveness.

In 2023, at least 282 people including two juvenile offenders and 15 women, were executed for murder charges, the second highest number of qisas executions since 2010. Only 20% of the recorded qisas executions were announced by official sources. In 2023, Iran Human Rights also recorded 857 cases of families choosing diya or forgiveness instead of qisas executions.