Yesterday another 17 year old Iranian boy was sentenced to death. Ahmad has been imprisoned since November of 2006 for murder of his cousin (saeed). Both Tehran district attorney and parents of Saeed had demanded the execution of Ahmad.
At the court hearing a street vendor witnessed: ”I was standing with few friends in front a real estate office when we saw Ahmad and Saeed in the alley. First I thought they were joking with each other but suddenly Ahmad (the accused) ran in to the street shouting “I am burning, I am burning”. My friends and I ran to his help and noticed that he was stabbed with a Knife. We put him in the car to take him to hospital but Saeed (the deceased) who by then has sat on his motor cycle (to leave) fell on the ground. When I went there I noticed that he too had been stabbed.”
While on the stand after confessing to the murder, the 17 year old Ahmad said: ” I was sitting in front of (my) home when Saeed and one of his friends showed up. My cousin was not acting normal and I have no doubt that he was drunk. He started swearing at me and without any introduction began stabbing me four times in my arm, head and shoulder. He wanted to kill me and that is why I took a knife that I had in my pocket and stabbed him back once.”
”7 months before the incident he (saeed) made a dirty (sexual) suggestion to me and also threatened me, but I don’t know why on that day he came after me. Saeed and I were family members and believe me I had no intention of killing him.” Ahmad added.
After hearing the testimonies, one of the judges of the district 71 of Tehran’s penal court determined that Saeed was not guilty and Ahmad ahmad acted in self defense, however he was sentenced to death by majority vote of the other 3 judges.
Ahmad is the second child offender who is sentenced to death only this week due to Iran’s recent child killing spree.
Although Iran is a signatory to the Article 37 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states: “Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age “ but Iran also holds the number one record of child executions worldwide. Stop Child Executions Campaign has recorded the names of at least 81 other children facing execution in Iran and many others have already been executed this year or facing imminent executions.