21 May 2008
Further Information on UA 08/08 (MDE 13/006/2008, 09 January 2008) – Death penalty
IRAN – Saeed Jazee (m), aged 21, juvenile offender
Saeed Jazee’s death sentence has been approved by the Head of the Judiciary. The family of the victim still have the power to pardon him, but if they choose not to then he will be in imminent danger of execution.
Saeed Jazee, a sculptor, is held in a young offenders centre in Karaj, Tehran Province. He was convicted of the murder of a 22-year-old man, which took place in 2003 when he was 17 years old, and sentenced to qesas (retribution). The Supreme Court rejected his appeal, and his case was sent for final approval to the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi.
The killing apparently took place after Saeed Jazee had gone to a friend’s sandwich shop, helped himself to a sandwich and started eating it. The 22-year-old man, who had just started working at the shop and did not know Saeed, started arguing with him about the sandwich and attacked him with a kitchen knife. During the scuffle, the knife fell to the floor and Saeed picked it up at the same time as the man charged at him and was wounded in the process. Saeed Jazee and the other employees in the shop tried to help him. During the trial, the shop’s other employees stated that the killing had been accidental. Saeed Jazee has repeatedly stated that the killing was not intentional.
Under Article 206 (b) of Iran’s Criminal Code, murder is classed as premeditated “in cases where the murderer intentionally makes an action which is inherently lethal, even if [the murderer] does not intend to kill the person.”
As a state party to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran has undertaken not to execute juvenile offenders, those convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18. However, since 1990 Iran has executed at least 28 juvenile offenders, six of them in 2007. At least 84 juvenile offenders are now on death row in Iran. This number may be even higher as at least a further 15 Afghan juvenile offenders have reportedly been sentenced to death. For more information about executions of juvenile offenders in Iran, please see: Iran: The last executioner of children (MDE 13/059/2007, June 2007), http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130592007.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases, and supports the global trend away from the use of the death penalty, powerfully expressed in the UN General Assembly’s resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions on 18 December 2007.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
– calling on the authorities to commute the death sentence passed on Saeed Jazee, who is at imminent risk of execution for a crime committed when he was under 18;
– reminding them that Iran is a state party to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which prohibits the use of the death penalty against those under the age of 18 at the time of offence, and that the execution of Saeed Jazee would therefore be a violation of international law.
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
Salutation: Your Excellency
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: email@example.com OR via website: www.president.ir/email
and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 2 July 2008.
Working to protect human rights worldwide