This week, 20 year old Makwan Moloudzadeh
was executed for alleged sexual activity with other boys at the age of
13. Makwan was initially arrested for smoking during Islamic fasting month of Ramadan. In a show of humiliation was placed on a donkey and taken around the town in city of Kermanshah. Several days later 3 boys told the authorities that Makwan had sexual relationship with them when he was 13 years of age. Despite the fact that the boys later withdrew their allegations, Makwan was sentenced to death for these alleged sexual acts.
Subsequently, Makwan’s case was appealed and was under review by direct order of Iran’s head of judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi. Although Makwan’s attorney was told that the case will remain in Iran’s superior court in Tehran for more than 2 months, without his knowledge the file was sent back to prison authorities in Kermanshah and Makwan was executed in prison two days ago.
Makwan’s parents and his attorney, who were not notified of the execution in advance, were told after his death to make arrangement to pick up his body. The circumstances under which Makwan’s sentence was ordered and carried has not been not disclosed by the authorities. It has been reported that the authorities said that they needed to make an example for the other youth in the community.
By executing Makwan for alleged sexual acts at the age of 13 Iran has violated its obligations not to execute children for crimes committed under the age of 18 pursuant to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). He was executed based upon recanted allegations of three individuals concerning something that allegedly occurred over seven years ago. The allegations were obtained under duress, and the proceedings violated both procedural and substantive due process.
Iran has violated its own laws in the following manner:
– Execution without any proof based on hearsay of 3 individuals who later testified that had lied.
– Execution for an alleged crime at the age of 13. (Boys are considered adult at the age of 15 under Iran’s Islamic Sharia law and therefore even under Iran’s law Makwan was considered a child and should not have been executed.)
– Execution without approval of Iran’s head of judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi. (Unless Ayatollah Shahrudi had personally signed the execution order of Makwan, those who are sentenced to death for alleged crimes before the age of 18 can not be executed.)
– Execution without due process as provided within Iran’s penal codes.
– Execution without notifying Makwan’s attorney of the status of his case.
– Execution without notifying Makwan’s family that he was going to be executed.
According to Iranian law passed in 1991, 48 hours before execution the following people must be notified:
1- The local police to maintain security during the execution
2- The head of prison in order to assure of proper execution procedures
3- A Reliable physician to ascertain the status of the health of the accused
4- The religious authority of the religion of the accused (if s/he is of an accepted religion within Iran’s constitution)
5- The Court Secretary to recite the verdict
6- The Attorney of the accused
7- The Parents and nearest relatives of the accused
Additionally, the judge ordering the execution must allow the victim to meet those with whom he wishes to meet as long as it does not cause delay in execution.
After the completion of the execution, a complete report must be prepared and signed by all the above listed people to be included in the file along with a photo of the execution. The information and the name of the accused must be reported to the newspapers.
It is obvious that in the case of Makwan and many others, Iran’s authorities continue to violate even their own laws.
According to a recent confession by an Iranian police official there are nearly 240 other minors who may be facing execution in Iran not to mention more than 80 minors who have been identified and reported by Stop Child Executions Campaign.
Stop Child Executions Campaign strongly condemns the barbaric execution of an innocent child by the Islamic Regime in Iran in violation of International law as well Iran’s own laws. We further demand an international condemnation of Iran’s regime for this murder and demand that those responsible be held accountable in the international community and in the Iranian courts.
We call on the United Nations to take a more proactive role in holding Iran’s regime accountable for the recent executions and murders and to institute formal proceedings against those guilty of these crimes against humanity.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Stop Child Executions Campaign