URGENT CALL: Hossein Haghi facing imminent execution

Hossein Haghi is a 20 year old boy who is facing execution for an alleged murder in August of 2003 at the age of 16. Hossein’s was sentenced to death 9 month later. His execution verdict was subsequently approved in June of 2004 by the superior court of Islamic regime in Iran.
Yesterday Hossein’s Attorney Mohammad Mostafaei in a letter notified Stop Child Execution Campaign that Hossein’s file has now been sent to Ayatollah Shahrudi, the head of Iran’s judiciary for final signature before execution. Mr. Mostafaie who is representing 14 children on death row wrote: “my client at any moment can be hanged” .

Hossein Haghi and his friend Amrollah were arrested after a group fight when another boy named Mehdi Khalili got killed due to a a chest wound with a galvanized sheet metal. Hossein states that he did not stab the victim and the fight had started after the victim and his friends attacked Hossein and his friend. According to
Hossein’s testimony as he was walking in the street he saw another young boy was fighting a friend of his. As he approached to separate them, the other boy told his friend to call more friends. Hossein states that a tall guy approached him and hit him and his friend amroallah in the head with an iron bar. “I said don’t hit us we have no intention to fight and convinced him not to hit us anymore and suddenly the first boy punched me from the back. I pulled a metal from my pocket and he took a water hose and attacked me with it. I lifted my hand and the hose hit my hand and the metal sheet fell under a car.” Hossein said in his testimony. According to the a police investigator report , there were no witnesses to testify that they saw Hossein Haghi stabbing Mehdi.

SCE campaign strongly condemns the execution of Hossein Haghi as the International law strictly prohibits the use of the death penalty against people convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18. As a state party to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran has undertaken not to execute child offenders. However, since 1990, the ruling Islamic regime in Iran has executed at least 30 child offenders, including at least 6 so far this year. 80 child offenders are recorded by SCE to be on death row in Iran. This number may be even higher as according to reports, at least a further 15 Afghan child offenders may be under sentence of death. According to the recent statistics provided by an Iranian police official about 170 children can be facing execution in Iran. There has been a surge in processing the children’s file for execution and this is the FOURTH URGENT CALL IN ONE MONTH that Stop Child Executions Campaign had to issue, the other three being for Ali Mahin-Torabi, Mohammad Latif and Delara Darabi. Iran’s regime executed a 20 year old boy, Makwan Moloudzadeh, earlier this month for alleged homosexuality at the age of 13.

The legal proceedings in Hossein’s case, like those of other child offenders facing the death penalty, may have been flawed. As well as noting that Iran is violating international law by sentencing child offenders to death, SCE Campaign is concerned about the use of evidence in these cases, including that of expert witnesses, where relevant, in trials, and relevant circumstantial evidences.


RECOMMENDED ACTION:
Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:

– calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately halt the execution of Hossein Haghi.
– expressing concern that Hossein haghi was sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was under 18;
– urging the Head of the Judiciary to investigate the procedures followed in this case from the investigation through to its confirmation by the Supreme Court;
– calling for the death sentence against Hossein Haghi to be commuted;
– reminding the authorities that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which prohibit the use of the death penalty against people convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18, and that the execution of Hossein Haghi would therefore be a violation of international law;
– urging the authorities to pass legislation to abolish the death penalty for offences committed by anyone under the age of 18, so as to bring Iran’s domestic law into line with its obligations under international law;
– stating that you acknowledge the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those children suspected of criminal offences, but unconditionally opposes their death penalty.

APPEALS TO:
Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Panzdah Khordad (Ark) Square,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the subject line: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying, if the called is answered, say “fax please”)

Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@leader.ir
Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO:
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
C/o Office of the Deputy for International Affairs
Ministry of Justice,
Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad (Ark) Square,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: + 98 21 5 537 8827 (please keep trying)

and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY.

for more information about how to help visit: http://www.stopchildexecutions.com/how-you-can-help.aspx