Breaking the Language Barrier on Human Rights

Framed for Murder: A letter from two innocent civilians on Iran’s death row

February 03, 2014

zanyar and loghman

Persian2English – Zanyar and Loghman Moradi have written a new letter from Rajai Shahr prison and managed to get it out, landing in our hands for translation and publication. Original Persian text published by HRANA. Zanyar and Loghman released the letter from death row in January 2014. Further reading Zanyar and Loghman Moradi wrote a letter to Ahmed Shaheed, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Iran. Further reading Zanyar and Loghman Moradi’s letter from prison about Farzad Kamangar and the other political prisoners who were executed by Iranian authorities in Evin Prison on May 9, 2010.

The Letter
Siavosh Jalili

A while ago we learned that several benevolent individuals had visited Mr. Mullah Mostafa Shirzad, the Marivan Friday Prayer Imam. [The purpose of the visit] was to resolve our “judicial case”, a fabricated scenario, a form of hostage-taking in which we (Zanyar and Loghman) are the victims. Unfortunately, these individuals were not treated well. Mr. Shirzad behaved contrary to the sermons that he delivers [while wearing the title of] the people’s Imam.

Five years have passed since our arrest. During this time, the IRGC commander, Hiva Tab had confessed to his direct role in the [assassination of Mr. Shirzad’s son]. Mullah Shirzad is well aware of Hiva Tab’s involvement [in his son’s murder]. Additionally, several individuals have stepped forward and shared details on the murder of [Mr. Shirzad’s] son to authorities- [proving that we are not responsible]. Considering the developments, we thought that Mullah Shirzad would act according to his religious teachings and rules and shine a glimmer of hope in the tired eyes of our mothers.

However, Mr. Shirzad says that [since] we have not asked him for forgiveness, he “will not [give his] consent to [our] clemency and will [instead] insist on [our] execution.”

Mr. Shrizad, we have both declared many times that we [are not responsible] for the scenarios that have been fabricated against us- [fabricated scenarios the Iranian authorities later used to implicate us].  If we [are guilty] then we would have [sought your] forgiveness. We are not prepared to seek forgiveness and a pardon for a mistake we have not committed. It should be clear to you by now that, as the Ministry of Intelligence has even admitted, we have fallen victim to a political game. During all these years, despite the suffering we have endured because of your support of this [fabricated] scenario against us, have you or your family members ever been subjected to the slightest form of disrespect from us?

Given all the evidence pointing to our innocence, why don’t you take the necessary steps to have the charges against us dismissed? This way you may achieve your right of place, which is being a moral *role model for the people of Marivan.

Zanyar Moradi, Loghman Moradi
Rajai Shahr Prison
January 2014

* According to the Islamic Sharia law legally practiced in Iran, the family of the victim of a murder has the choice of asking for Qesas (retribution), an-eye-for-an-eye punishment (i.e. execution) of the accused, or forgive and spare the life of the defendant in return for Dieh (blood money).


  • Please tweet to Sweden’s Foreign Minister @carlbildt about the #deathpenalty in #Iran. He will meet with @HassanRouhani next week. #svpol
  • Pls tweet to Sweden’s main newspaper @aftonbladet. Say Zanyar & Loghman Moradi & the #Ahwazi activists are in danger of execution in #Iran.

ahmed shaheedFurther Reading “UN Special Rapporteur on Iran: Kurdish death row prisoners Zanyar and Loghman Moradi were tortured and threatened with rape” Zanyar and Loghman Moradi are the only political prisoners from Iran whom the United Nations has publicly declared on record suffered from sexual assault in the hands of Iranian authorities.


Date of Arrest August 2, 2009
Prison Rajai Shahr (I.e. Gohardasht), Karaj

Charges (each) “Moharebeh (Enmity with God). Charged as a result of an accusation by the Iranian regime that Zanyar and Loghman Moradi were involved in the 2009 assassination of Saadi, the son of a senior clergy member in Kurdistan, the Friday Prayer Imam in Marivan; “Causing sedition and depravity on Earth”.

Sentences Death penalty. To be hanged in public. Issued on 22 December 2010, branch 15 of the Tehran Revolutionary Court- presided by Judge Salavati. They were sentenced to death for “Membership in the Komele Party” and “Involvement in the murder of the Marivan Friday Prayer Imam’s son on the night of 5 July 2009.”

Attorney Hossein Paidar, however Islamic Republic authorities have deprived Zanyar and Loghman Moradi of their right to a lawyer throughout all judicial stages of their case. Zanyar and Loghman are not permitted access to their lawyer and Mr. Paidar is not allowed to represent them in court.

Amnesty International in 2012 reported that Zanyar and Loghman Moradi are in IMMINENT DANGER OFEXECUTION since their “death sentences have been sent to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences, a body within the Judiciary, which is the final step before being called for execution.”

iran executions

Editor’s note: Because of Hassan Rouhani’s recent PR stunt the Iranian authorities were able to execute two of the five political prisoners in this photo –> on the left: Hadi Rashedi (top left) and Hashem Shabani (bottom row, middle). The three #Ahwazi Arab activists who remain on death row are in immediate danger of execution. The photo on the right is of Zanyar and Loghman Moradi. These two political prisoners are in danger of execution for a crime they certainly did not commit as we know an-IRGC linked gang did. The Iranian authorities are out for their Kurdish blood. Iranian authorities have inflicted the most brutal psychological and physical torture on the political prisoners pictured here and countless others like them. They have never been granted access to a lawyer or received a fair trial. – Maryam Nayeb Yazdi 

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    1. Two Innocent Friends Caught in the Middle of the IRGC’s Charade | Kurdish issue

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