CODIR condemns the execution of Mohammad Ghobadlou in Iran

Mohammad Ghobadlou, a 23-year-old prisoner who was arrested during the violent suppression of mass protests that followed in the wake of the killing of Mahsa Amini, was executed on the early morning of Tuesday 23 January.

The Mizan news agency, which is affiliated to the judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in its report of the execution, claimed that the appeal of Ghobadlou and his advocates had been rejected twice and thus exhausted, while Amir Raisian, Ghobadlou’s lawyer, had announced that the Supreme Court had provisionally set aside the guilty verdict on his client and ordered that a retrial take place on 26 July 2023.

Just hours before the execution of Ghobadlou’s sentence, Raisian wrote on X: “This is the notification of the execution of the sentence that was sent to us a few hours ago. Any decision made pursuant to Article 477 does not negate the right of Mohammad Ghobadlou to have his case be re-examined in the course of a resumption of [legal] proceedings. As a result of the execution of the sentence [despite the aforementioned circumstances], Mohammad Ghobadlou’s execution had no legal basis and can undoubtedly be considered to constitute murder.”

Mohammad Ghobadlou worked in a barbershop and, according to his mother, had suffered from bipolar disorder for which he had stopped medical treatment a few months before the event that led to his arrest.

Ghobadlou was accused of deliberately running over motorcycle-mounted regime security officers in his car, resulting in the death of one of them, during the protests in Tehran on the evening of 21 September 2022, just a few days after the beginning of nationwide protests that immediately followed the killing of 22-year-old woman, Mahsa Amini, in so-called “morality police” custody. The official charge against Ghobadlou was “corruption in the land” upon which the notoriously cruel presiding judge, Abolqasem Salavati, issued a death sentence for him on 16 November 2023.

Mr. Raisian had already gone on record as stating that the defence case of his client had been beset by obstacles, disclosure issues, and technical problems – as well as issues pertaining to his client’s mental health and state of mind owing to his suffering from bipolar disorder, which should have been considered from the outset of proceedings. Mohammad Ghobadlou had previously undergone seven years of treatment for bipolar disorder. There were other major contradictions and question marks over the state prosecution’s case against Ghobadlou – not least in the official medical examiner’s report, which stated that the cause of death of the security officer in question was blunt force trauma to the head inconsistent with a road traffic collision.

In line with its principled stance on the issue, held since its very founding, CODIR unequivocally opposes the use of the death penalty – whether in the case of Mohammad Ghobadlou or anyone else – and views it as one of the main instruments of brutal oppression meted out to the long-suffering people of Iran. The death sentence is one of the vile hallmarks of the Islamic Republic regime which has long topped the world’s statistics for the rate of execution per population… A damning indictment of its cruel rule! CODIR demands at least a moratorium on execution of death sentences in Iran pursuant to their outright abolition, and that those officials involved in the perpetration of these most egregious of human rights abuses are brought to account for them in the future.


Central Executive Council


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