Sina Paymard is FREE

Aftermore 3.5 years in prison and payment of about $160,000 in blood money retribution Sina Paymard was freed on Christmas eve.

After Sina’s release, Nasrin Sotoudeh Sina’s attorney told Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA): ” I want to thank everyone who took part in helping Sina”. Sotoudeh added :”Of course we are happy that Sina is released , but we also hope that (Iran’s) laws change such that we will never witness execution of under 18 child offenders. We ask the lawmakers to speed up the process (of approving the parliamnetary bill), that the youth in prison no longer worry” about being executed.  

Sina Paymard, a musician, was convicted of murder at the age of 17 after a dispute with a man over cannabis in 2004. Sina Paymard reportedly told the Court that he was addicted to drugs and had gone to a park in Tehran on the day of the incident to try and obtain cannabis from a drug dealer. He allegedly stabbed the drug dealer to death during a fight. According to his lawyer, the sentencing court did not properly consider evidence that Sina Paymard suffered from a mental disorder.

Iran’s Supreme Court also upheld the death sentence, and he was scheduled to be hanged on September 20, 2006, two weeks after his 18th birthday. Many human right activists and organization including Nazanin Afshin-Jam at the time objected to the execution of Sina. When Sina was taken to the execution site, where the noose was placed around his neck, he was asked if he had a last request. Sina asked if he could play the flute. The family members of the victim who were present to witness the execution were very moved by his playing, and agreed not to have him executed. 

In July 2007 he was taken to be executed a second time and after urgent call by Sina’s attorney on the day before the execution, Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Stop Child Executions Campaign contacted Amnesty International, UN and Canadian Government which lead to immediate objections by UN, Canada and other countries. After mediation by UNESCO office in Tehran and human rights activists in Iran such as Mr. Emad Baghi, the alleged victim’s family agreed to delay the execution for 10 days which eventually lead to forgiveness in return for payment of diyeh (blood money). In Iran, family members are asked before the execution is carried out if they wish to forgo their right to retribution and forgive the condemned. 

The family of the victim received 150 million tumans ($ 160,000) in retributions and Sina was taken to prison pending the court order about the length of imprisonment. After the court determined the prison sentnce of Sina was three and half years and he already had served the same number of years in prison he was eventually released on December 24, 2007.

Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Stop Child Executions Campaign thank Mrs. Nasrin Sotoudeh for her hard work and for keeping SCE updated about Sina’s situation. We also wish to thank Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, honorable Peter McKay and the Canadian Government for their immediate response to Nazanin Afshin-Jam’s urgent request to intervene on the execution date of July 17, 2007. SCE thanks Amnesty International for their efforts and the urgent actions alerts , Mr. Emad Baghi head of Iran’s prisoners’ rights (Mr. Baghi is now imprisoned by Iran’s regime) for his mediaition attempts, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner, UNESCO, International Committee Against Executions, Other governments and other Human rights organizations and Advocates for helping stop Sina’s execution orders. 

We also wish to greatly thank the volunteers and supporters of Stop Child Executions Campaign for their hard work and getting the word out.

Sina awaiting execution on July 17, 2007

To read more about Sina Paymard visit: http://scenews.blog.com//Sina+Paymard/
and http://www.stopchildexecutions.com/sina.aspx
To help save others facing execution in Iran visit: http://www.stopchildexecutions.com/how-you-can-help.aspx