Mino Hemati : Hello, my name is Mino Hemati, and I am calling from Rahai Zan TV. Is it possible for me to speak with the father or mother of Reza Hejazi concerning their son’s case?
Hossein Hejazi : My name is Hossaine. I am Reza’s older brother and am willing to speak with you. My mother and father are not emotionally ready to talk about the matter at this time.
Mino Hemati : I understand, thank you. You are the brother of Reza Hejazi the boy who was convicted of an underage crime and is now
sentenced to death. If you could, please tell us when and how you found out that Reza is going to be executed?
Hossein Hejazi : Reza was 13 when the incident happened. Seven or eight other people were also involved, Reza was not alone. Even though the others had committed the stabbing, they were all able to afford expensive lawyers to free them, and my brother was the only one convicted. Now they call us a few hours before and inform us that tomorrow morning Reza will be executed. What can we possibly do in these next few hours? We have been calling all around, to his lawyer and people that we know that could possibly help us; we have nothing to offer but our own house that we can sell and give the money. My brother was just a child of 13 when he was convicted, and now that he is 18 they are going to execute him.
Mino Hemati : So you are saying that your brother was 13 when he was convicted, and he has been imprisoned for the last 5 years?
Hossein Hejazi : I, my mother and my father are all witnesses of what they have done to my brother in prison. They beat him so much that he could not walk because the bottom of his feet was so badly bruised. Under the force that was used against him, my brother confessed to the crime that he had not really committed, so that they would stop torturing him. Now, five years later, they want to execute him and there is nothing we can do because we do not have the money.
Mino Hemati : Mr. Hajazi, over the last 5 years has your brother Reza had any lawyers or anyone working on his case?
Hossein Hejazi :Yes we did have people working on his case, but a really good lawyer is very costly and our family could not afford it.
Mino Hemati : I want to know if there has been any trial for Reza at all with any kind of lawyer that court provides for his defense.
BROTHER: Yes, there has been a trial, but Reza’s lawyer did not even speak on his behalf or defend him.
Mino Hemati : In case you weren’t informed, the execution of those who have committed crimes under the age of 18 is a direct violation of the international human rights laws and laws protecting children. Iran has signed the bill, but is still violating the law by condemning minors to the death penalty. At this time human rights activists have been notified and so have amnesty international and they are doing the best they can to prevent this illegal act of execution from taking place.
Hossein Hejazi : Please help us, Mrs. Hemati. In a few hours they are going to execute my brother. Even if he was involved in a crime when he was a child, instead of sentencing him to jail for 10 years, they have imprisoned him until he is old enough to be executed. What kind of inhumane law is this? What kind of government and society is this?
Mino Hemati : You should feel certain that many human rights activists and organizations are working very hard on Reza’s case right now and are trying their best to save your brother’s life. Please give my regards to your mother and father; I know that they are very upset right now, because no parent wants to hear that their beloved son or daughter is sentenced to be executed, especially only a few hours before it is to happen. I know this very difficult and heavy and I hope that this issue will be solved.
Hossein Hejazi :My Last word is I asking Ayatollah Shahroodi to stay the execution, so we could seek the mercy of the victim’s family. Also there were many kids in that prison which their parents were crying for their lives. Thank you
Interview with Reza Hejazi’s attorney Mohammad Mostafaei (Before he was executed ):
Mino Hemati : Hello Mr. Mostafaee, I hope you are well. I want to interview you briefly regarding the case of Reza Hezaji. From various sources of news it has been made known that Reza Hezaji, the boy who at the age of 15 was convicted of a crime, is in danger of execution. Mr. Mostafaee, as Reza’s lawyer, do you feel that his sudden death sentence has been SOMETHING?
Mr. Mostafaee : Unfortunately, I was not informed of his sentence earlier, even though the court’s law mandates that the lawyer of the convicted must be notified at least 48 hours before the time of execution. Unfortunately his sentence was against the Iranian law, because none was informed in advance.
Mino Hemati : How did you learn about Reza’s planned execution? Was his family notified and thus came in contact with you or did you learn from some other source?
Mr. Mostafaee : Earlier I spoke with Reza’s father and he informed me that this morning someone called from the prison where Reza was being held and told his family that at 4pm they would have to go for his hearing. When his family went to the hearing at 4pm, Reza was condemned to be executed the following morning.
Mino Hemati : I know that there is not very much time left before he is to be executed, but have you been trying to protest it, and is there anything that can be done to prevent his execution?
Mr. Mostafaee : I am sorry to say that his sentence should have been informed to me much earlier and since I have taken up Reza’s case I have been in charge of all of the legal matters and all of the decisions of the court were expected to have been disclosed. Nobody would have guessed that the court would so quickly condemn someone under the age of 18 to death, and it has not left us enough time to perform the necessary and vital legal actions to prevent his execution.
Mino Hemati : Mr, Mostafaee, I know that there is very little time. However, in the past human rights activists have done all that they can in short amounts of time and successfully saved lives. What can be done now, with so little time, in an attempt to prevent this sentence from being carried out so soon? Despite the international laws against using the death penalty on anyone under the age of 18, most of the people on death row were sentenced when they were underage. Can anything be done to prevent their executions? Please give us your opinion on the issue.
To hear in Persian please click here: مصاحبه مینوهمتی با آقای مصطفائی وکیل مدافع رضاحجازی