URGENT CALL: AMIR facing imminent execution

AMIR AMROLLAHI (18) was sentenced to death for the murder of another boy during a fight at the age of 16. Amir’s execution order was approved by Iran’s superior court and his file was sent to the division of enforcement of the judgments. 

In an appeal letter to the head of the judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi whose final approval is needed, Amir’s attorney Mohammad Mostafaei explained: “  On November 7, 2006, around 11:30 am, the defendant was at the bakery located on Azadegan Street in the city of Shiraz with his two friends Mr. Hassan Mohammadi and Ali Soleymani when accidentally, they ran into the victim: Mr. Mohssen Kazemi, and his friend, Mr. javad Vaziri. They engaged in a verbal argument that was completely childish and unintentional and the argument lead to a physical dispute.  At this point, Amir interfered and tried to scare off the other group with the use of a knife borrowed from his friend: Ali Soleymani, and held the knife in case it was needed for self defense. It seems the victim started to badger the defendant, who was younger than him, for no apparent reasons and provoked him.  In order to scare off the victim to leave, Amir showed off the knife.  Unfortunately the victim did not leave the premises and hit the defendant on the face. In response, Amir hit the victim with the knife’s handle, hoping that he would leave.  However, the victim stayed and due to the chaos and while the victim was walking towards the defendant with the intention of hitting him again, the defendant moved the knife towards the victim and the knife hit the victim on the right side of his chest. The defendant panicked and fled the scene and discussed the matter with his father the same day and then turned himself in to the authorities. ”

Mostafaei added : ”
Amir should be examined by the State’s medical examiners to evaluate his mental state during the conflict and at the time he committed the crime. “. He wrote : “Due to the financial situation of his family, the defendant couldn’t afford a better representation of experts in such cases and the state assigned defense attorney didn’t properly consider all the aspects of the case …….. In addition, the defendant was prescribed heavy doses of sedatives while he was held in Nezam prison (the special prison for offenders under the age of 18) and his medical file is also available, but no attention was made to this fact during the court proceedings which renders the ruling unjust. Although the defendant is remorseful, the reality is that the murder was accidental and unintentional and he was not mentally in control of his actions.”  

 

“According to eyewitnesses, when the victim was sprawled on the ground, there were many people around and near by, but none helped taking the victim to a hospital or nearest medical facilities until an ambulance arrives 30 minutes later to take Mohsen (the victim) to the hospital where he passed away. The district attorney and the honorable judges should have investigated the cause of death closely, since if the victim died due to the loss of blood which was caused by the delayed medical attention and his injuries were not fatal by nature, therefore the defendant should not have been on trial for murder, and the ruling should be considered unreasonable and therefore illegal.” Mostafaei added.

In conclusion Mostafaei wrote: ” The amendment B of the article 206 of the Islamic Penal Code states that first degree murder is an intentional act that is premeditated which result in death. However, the fact and details of the case clearly demonstrate that my client did not this act intentionally and knowingly. …..not a premeditated criminal act and only due to the victim’s persistent behavior”

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 those guilty of alleged crimes committed under the age of 18. However, since 1990, the ruling Islamic regime in Iran has executed at least 30 juveniles, including more than 6 in 2007. 86 youth are now recorded by SCE to be on death row in Iran for alleged crimes before the age of 18. This number may be even higher as according to the reports, at least a further 15 Afghan juvenile offenders may be under sentence of death. According to the recent statistics provided by an Iranian police official about 170 children (under 18 at time of alleged crime) can be facing execution in Iran. There has been a surge in processing the children’s file for execution. SCE has issued 7 URGENT CALLS in the past 2 months for Ali Mahin-Torabi, Mohammad Latif, Delara DarabiHossein HaghiBehnoodAli and Saeed Jazee . Iran has broken the world records in 2007 with at least 297 recorded executions comparing to 177 in 2006.

As of January 16, 2008 Stop Child Executions Campaign has recorded 91 children facing executions worldwide: 86 in Iran, 2 in Saudi Arabia, 2 in Sudan and 1 in Yemen. In 2007 at least 7 were reported to have been executed : 6 in Iran and 1 in Saudi Arabia. Three are known to have been saved from execution: 2 in Iran and 1 in Yemen.

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


– Call on the Iranian authorities to immediately halt the execution of Amir Amrollahi.
– Express concern that Amir Amorollahi was sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was under 18;
- Calling for the death sentence against Amir to be commuted;
– Remind 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 Amir Amrollahi 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