URGENT: Another child offender facing imminent execution

A young man identified as Behnood could be facing execution soon, reported few of Iran’s news agencies today. He is convicted of murdering a 19 year old boy called Ehsan, with a soda bottle during a street fight two years ago. Behnood was 17 years of age at the time. A court in Tehran sentenced him to death and the sentence has been confirmed by Iran’s supreme court, and about to be carried out.

Fars news agency reported that the parents of Ehsan have asked for Ghisas (punishment by execution) and Iran’s mediation departments are trying to obtain the victims parents pardon to prevent execution. There was no mention if the execution has been approved by Iran’s head of judiciary or not.

SCE campaign strongly condemns the planned execution of Behnood 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 more than 6 so far this year. 81 child offenders are now 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 FIFTH URGENT CALL IN ONE MONTH that Stop Child Executions Campaign had to issue, the other four being for Ali Mahin-Torabi, Mohammad Latif, Delara Darabi and Hossein Haghi. Iran’s regime executed a 20 year old boy, Makwan Moloudzadeh, earlier this month for alleged homosexuality at the age of 13.

Four child offenders have been executed since October 2007: Babak Rahimi (17), Hossein Gharabaghloo (16), Mohammadreza Tork (15) Makwan Moloudzadeh (13).*
[* The numbers in the ( ) indicate the age when they allegedly committed the crime for what they were executed.]

The legal proceedings in Behnood’s case, like those of other child offenders facing the death penalty, may also 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 Behnood.
– expressing concern that Behnood 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 Behnood 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