Human Rights Violator: Hossein Ashtari

Full Name:

Hossein Ashtari


Hossein Ashtari was born in Isfahan.


  • President of Imam Hadi University, affiliated with the IRGC’s Intelligence Protection Organization
  • Chief of the Intelligence and Public Security Police of the Law Enforcement Forces until June 2014
  • Deputy Chief of the Law Enforcement Forces from 28 May 2014 to 9 March 2015
  • Commander-in-Chief of the Law Enforcement Forces from 9 March 2015 until present

Human Rights Violations (in chronological order):

As the Commander-in-Chief of the Law Enforcement Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran (known by the acronym NAJA), Hossein Ashtari is responsible for the unlawful and violent acts committed by those under his command during the December 2017-January 2018 protests.

In a television interview on 6 January 2018, Hossein Ashtari promised[1] to arrest protesters who had been allegedly identified.

NAJA divisions suppressed protests using excessive force and violent means,[2] including firing live ammunition rounds, spraying tear gas, and making physical assaults.

Reports of police brutality have been published by official and semi-official media outlets. The following are two such examples:

  • Two killed in Dorud, Lorestan

On 31 December 2017, the IRIB News Agency confirmed[3] that two protesters had been killed in the city of Dorud, Lorestan.

In an interview with the news website Etemad Online published that same day, Hamidreza Kazemi, MP for the nearby town of Pol-Dokhtar, confirmed that NAJA divisions had fired on protesters,[4] resulting in the death of two people in Dorud. He also stated, “there was no way for the police other than confronting and firing on those who broke the norms and took to the streets”.

  • Six killed in Qahderijan, Isfahan

According to the IRIB News Agency, on 1 January 2018, six people were killed[5] as a result of NAJA divisions firing at protesters in Qahderijan, Isfahan.

In an interview with IRIB,[6] Asghar Hedayat, the district governor of Falavarjan, asserted that NAJA divisions had fired on protesters because they had launched an “armed assault” on the Basij Forces’ compound and police station in Qahderijan.