URGENT: Iranian Boy facing imminent execution (15)

                                                                 Stop Child Executions Campaign
URGENT CALL - imminent child execution
FEB 15, 2008           
Shiraz- Iran       
Mohammdreza Haddadi

Mohammdreza Haddadi was sentenced to death by hanging for an alleged murder at the age of 15. Mohammadreza is now 18 years old and is kept at the Adelabad prison in the central city of Shiraz, Iran.
His appeal has been denied by the superior court and the file has been sent to the division of enforcement of verdicts and awaiting the final execution permit by Ayatollah Shahrudi, the head of Iran’s judiciary.

Mohammad Reza’s execution order was reported for the first time by Stop Child Executions Campaign in January 12, 2008 . At the time no details were available until the new attorney Mohammad Mostafaei met Mohammadreza in Shiraz prison last week. Subsequent to the initial report by SCE, the president of the European Union on behlaf of 42 countries listed Mohammadreza’s name in its letter to Iranian authorities condemning the execution order. (Januray 25, 2008). 

In a recent letter to Shahrudi, Mohammad Mostafaei detailed the incident and the flaws in the judicial processing of the case. Subsequently Iran’s news agencies yesterday reported Mohammadreza’s death penalty verdict for the first time.

According to the testimony of Karim Haddadi : Mohammadreza Haddadi accompanied by 3 adults: Mohammad Ghorbani,Karim Haaddai and his cousin Taghi Haddadi asked asked an old man to drive them to neighboring city and along the way when the driver stopped to fill the car radiator with water, Taghi Haddadi hit the driver in the head with a rock. According to Taghi they all beat the driver and dragged his body to the trunk of the car and drove away. According to the testimony, when they heard that the man was still alive, Taghi stoped the car and Mehdi hit the man with a wood in the head. Karim testified that Taghi and 15 year old Mohammadreza strangled the man.  Then they burned the body and buried it. After the arrest, Mohammadreza confess to murdering the man. Following one of the court sessions he asked his mother if she had received a substantial amount of money promised to him by other men in return for his confession. After finding out that no money was given to his mother, he stated that he was lead to confession by the adults and he had nothing to do with the crime and was only accompanying them on that day.
Regardless the court decided that 15 year old Mohammadreza was the one guilty of murder. He was sentenced to death while the three adults were sentenced to long imprisonments. Although later the other men testified that Mohammadreza was innocent of the crime, his appeal was still denied, the execution order was confirmed and the file was sent to division of enforcement of verdicts. The file is which is also awaiting Shahrudi’s permit to execute incorrectly shows Mohammad’s age at the time of murder as 19 instead of 15. In his letter Mostafaei has asked Shahrudi to order further review of the file based on the retracted testimony of others.
Considering Mohammad Reza’s age at the time, it is highly unlikely that the murder was planned and executed by the 15 year old instead of the adullt family and friends. It is also very possible that Mohammad was “influenced” and taken advantage of by the adults, due to his immaturity, in to confession in the hope of him not being sentenced to death due to his young age.

Stop Child Executions Campaign recognizes the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offenses, but is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances especially for those person guilty of crimes committed before the age of 18.

Background Information:


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 the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the CRC, Iran has undertaken not to execute child offenders. since 1990, the ruling Islamic regime in Iran has executed at least 30 juveniles, including more than 6 in 2007.  The number of known persons facing execution in Iran for alleged crimes before the age of 18 has reached 95 according to our latest records. According to the 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 substantial surge in processing the children’s file for execution and in the past 3 months SCE has reported 16 imminent executions. Earlier this month 42 European countries condemned Iran for the surge in child executions. Iran has broken the world records in 2007 with at least 297 known executions comparing to 177 in 2006.

As of February 2008 Stop Child Executions Campaign has recorded 100 children facing executions worldwide: 95 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. 3 are known to have been saved from execution: 2 in Iran and 1 in Yemen.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

– Call on the Iranian authorities to immediately halt the executions of Mohammdreza Haddadi kept in Adelabad prison in Shiraz, Iran.
– Express concern that Mohammdreza Haddadi was sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was under 18;
- Calling for the death sentences against Mohammdreza Haddadi 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 Mohammdreza Haddadi 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