Human Rights Violator: Gholam Hossein Esmaeili


Full Name:

Gholam Hossein Esmaeili


No information is available on his background and education.


  • Prosecutor-General of Mashhad until 31 August 2009
  • Head of the Iran Prison’s Organisation from 31 August 2009 to 23 April 2014
  • Head of Branch 1 of the Court of Appeals from 23 April 2014until present
  • Chief Justice of Tehran Province from 23 April 2014 until 8 April 2019
  • Official Spokesman for the Judiciary from 8 April 2019 until present

Human rights violations:

During his tenures in various government positions, Gholam Hossein Esmaeili has played important roles in numerous human rights violations.

  • Mass Executions and Stoning

As the Prosecutor-General of Mashhad, Gholam Hossein Esmaeili played a key role in the execution of three stoning sentences[1]. Esmaeili was also responsible for at least 35 secret mass executions in Mashhad, with some estimates as high as 55[2].

  • Mass Arrests, Torture and Ill-treatment of Prisoners

As head of the Iran Prison’s Organisation, Esmaeili was complicit to the mass detention of political protesters and covering up abuses performed in the jailing system. He was involved in mass arrests of political activists and journalists, and the mistreatment, neglect, illegal transfer, torture and beating of prisoners. During Esmaeili’s tenure, security forces raided Ward 350 of Evin Prison, tortured prisoners, and destroyed their personal properties. Esmaeili claimed, that the incident was not a conflict, and only an inspection[3]. He has also claimed that there are no political prisoners in Iran[4].

As Chief Justice of Tehran Province, Esmaili violated detainees’ rights, issued and enforced death sentences, death sentences for children[5], reprisals, and sentences for forced limb amputations.

  • Religious Persecution of Gonabadi Dervishes

As the Judiciary’s Official Spokesman, Esmaeili played an important role in the persecution of Mohammad Salas, by announcing the Judiciary’s reprisal against him[6].

  • Prosecution of Environmentalists

As the Judiciary’s Official Spokesman, Esmaeili also played a major role in the arrest and detainment of environmental activists. Esmaeili announced that Kavous Seyed Emami committed suicide in prison. The announcement was followed by a wave of arrests of environmental activists[7].

  • December 2017 – January 2018 Protest Suppression

As the Judiciary’s Official Spokesman, Esmaeili played a role in suppressing nationwide protests and arresting and imprisoning protesters[8].

  • EU Sanctions

On 13 April 2011, the European Union published the names of 32 officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran, including Gholam Hossein Esmaeili, whom the E.U. asserts are responsible for serious human rights violations and is thus subjecting to travel bans and asset freezes[9].


[2] ;






[8] ; ;

[9] EU Council statement  on 13 April 2011


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