Tag Archives: Amnesty International

Amnesty's urgent call to save Behnam Zare

PUBLIC                AI Index: MDE 13/009/2008             06 March 2008

Further Information on UA 230/07 (MDE 13/109/2007, 31 August 2007) and follow-up (MDE 13/032/2008, 05 February 2008) – Imminent execution/child offender

IRAN        Behnam Zare` (m), child offender

On or around 11 February 2008 the Head of the Judiciary ordered a second attempt to negotiate payment of diyeh (“blood money”) with the family of the man that Behnam Zare` was convicted of killing, according to a report carried by the BBC Persian news service.

The order for the implementation of his sentence had been approved by the Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Shahroudi, on 5 February, and Behnam Zare` was awaiting execution. The order to reopen negotiations, therefore, may have been given, at least in part, in response to campaigning by Amnesty International’s UA network and others. Negotiations over the payment of diyeh are managed by the Council for the Resolution of Differences, a body under the authority of the judiciary which is intended to solve a variety of legal disputes without recourse to the court system. There is no time limit for its decision. Behnam Zare’ remains at risk of execution.

Behnam Zare’ was convicted of a murder which reportedly took place on 21 April 2005, when he was 15 years old. He was found to have swung a knife during an argument with a man named Mehrdad, wounding him in the neck. Mehrdad later died in hospital. Behnam Zare`was detained on 13 November 2005; Branch 5 of Fars Criminal Court sentenced him to qesas (retribution) for premeditated murder. 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.” The case went to appeal before Branch 33 of the Supreme Court where the sentence was upheld, and it was then passed to the Office for Implementation of Sentences.

Iran is one of only six countries in the world in which child offenders – those convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18 – have been executed in the past four years. This is despite Iran’s obligations under international treaties to which it is a state party which prohibit the execution of child offenders. In the last four years Iran has executed more child offenders than in all those other countries combined.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
– expressing concern that Behnam Zare` is still at risk of execution for a crime committed when he was under 18;
– calling on the authorities to abide by the moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty called for by the UN General Assembly in December 2007, and to commute the death sentence passed on Behnam Zare`;
– reminding 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.

APPEALS TO:

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

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building, Panzdah-Khordad Square,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email:                 info@dadgostary-tehran.ir (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation:         Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

President
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email:                 dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir
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 17 April 2008.

Working to protect human rights worldwide

Meet Aubrey Harris

Nazanin Afshin-Jam and SCE thank Aubrey Harris for his help and contributions to the Stop Child Executions Campaign. To read more about Aubrey and other SCE volunteers visit: http://www.stopchildexecutions.com/about_us.aspx
To join SCE family of volunteers please visit: http://www.stopchildexecutions.com/joinus.aspx  

About Aubrey Harris (Amnesty International Liaison)

Born in England, Aubrey moved to Canada with his family when he was 2 years old. Aubrey lives and works in Toronto, Ontario and is the Coordinator for the Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty for Amnesty International’s Canadian Section (English-Speaking Branch). He holds an honours degree in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario and is also active with the Australian Football in Canada. In 2005 Aubrey was a member of Northwind, AFL Canada’s national football team, traveling to Australia for the International Cup. He is also a former Royal Canadian Sea Cadet who trained and worked as a medical assistant in British Columbia and achieved the ranks of Chief Petty Officer Second-Class and Regulating Petty Officer at his corps.

As the liaison with Amnesty International Canada, Aubrey works with Stop Child Executions and Amnesty International to help coordinate and communicate the efforts of both organizations to end child executions everywhere. Amnesty International works to end all forms of executions as a violation of articles 3 and 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Amnesty International's urgent action to save Amir Amrollahi

Last week Stop Child Executions Campaign informed Amnesty International of the imminent execution of Amir Amrollahi which resulted in a world wide URGENT ACTION statement by Amnesty International to save Amir from execution:

URGENT ACTION / AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
18 January 2008
UA 15/08 Death Penalty/imminent execution/unfair trial
IRAN Amir Amrollahi (m), aged 17 or 18

Child offender Amir Amrollahi is in imminent danger of execution for a murder committed when he was 16 years old. His execution order has been approved by the Supreme Court and passed to the Office for the Implementation of Sentences, which organizes executions.

The murder took place in November 2006 during a fight with another boy, who was fatally stabbed. According to his lawyer, who took up his case very recently, Amir Amrollahi stabbed the other boy in the chest because he thought the other boy was about to attack him, and then panicked and ran off. Then, according to eyewitnesses, there was a delay of at least half an hour before any medical assistance reached the victim of the stabbing, by which time his wound had proved fatal.

His family is poor, so Amir Amrollahi could not afford competent legal representation at his trial. According to a lawyer who recently took over his case, the court did not hear that the killing had been unintentional, or that he was prescribed heavy doses of sedatives while in prison awaiting trial. His mental state at the time of the incident was not properly considered.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

International law strictly prohibits the use of the death penalty against child offenders, those convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18. Iran is a state party to both the International Covenant on Civil and Politica
Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and so has undertaken not to execute child offenders. However, since 1990, Iran has executed at least 30 child offenders, at least six of them in 2007. There are now at least 86 child offenders on death row in Iran. This number may be even higher as at least a further 15 Afghan child offenders have reportedly been sentenced to death.
For more information about Amnesty International’s concerns regarding executions of child offenders in Iran, please see: Iran: The last executioner of children (June 2007) http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130592007

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:
– calling on the authorities to halt the execution of Amir Amrollahi immediately;
– expressing concern that he was sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was under 18;
– calling on the authorities to commute his death sentence;
– reminding 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;
– stating that Amnesty International 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.

APPEALS TO:

Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi
Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Panzdah Khordad (Ark) Square,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir
(In the subject line: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Fax: 011 98 21 3390 4986
(please keep trying. If a voice answers, say, “Fax
please.”)
Salutation: Your Excellency

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:

President
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: 011 98 21 6 649 5880
Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir
(via website) http://www.president.ir/email/

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: 011 98 21 5 537 8827
(please keep trying)

Amnesty International: URGENT ACTION to stop execution of Saeed Jazee

Amnesty International issued a worldwide urgent action request regarding the imminent execution of Saeed Jazee in Iran. SCE campaign has also issued an urgent call to stop Saeed’s execution on December 31, 2007.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL       URGENT ACTION:
09 January 2008     UA 08/08 Death Penalty
IRAN Saeed Jazee (m), aged 21, sculptor, child offender

Sculptor Saeed Jazee was convicted of a murder committed when he was 17, and is now believed to be at risk of execution.

Saeed Jazee was convicted of the murder of a 22-year-old man, which took place in 2003, and sentenced to qesas (retribution). The Supreme Court upheld his death sentence and his case has been sent for final approval to the
Head of the Judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi.

According to reports, the killing 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. His lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, is appealing for a retrial.

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.”

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

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 child offenders, those convicted of crimes
committed when they were under 18. However, since 1990 Iran has executed at least 28 child offenders, six of them
in 2007. At least 79 child offenders are now on death row in Iran. This number may be even higher as at least a
further 15 Afghan child offenders have reportedly been sentenced to death.
For more information about executions of child offenders in Iran, please see: Iran: The last executioner of children (June
2007), http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130592007

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:

– expressing concern that Saeed Jazee is at risk of execution for a crime committed when he was under 18;
– calling on the authorities to commute his death sentence;
– 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 offense, and that the execution of Saeed Jazee would therefore be a violation of
international law;
– urging the authorities to pass legislation to abolish the death penalty for offences committed by persons under the
age of 18, so bringing Iran’s domestic law in line with its obligations under international law;
– stating that Amnesty International acknowledges the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice
those suspected of criminal offences, but unconditionally opposes the death penalty.

APPEALS TO:

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

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: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir
(In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah
Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

President
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan
Intersection,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir
via website: www.president.ir/email

Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
(Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St.,
Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri,
Tehran 1316814737 Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: 011 98 21 3390 4986
(Please keep trying)
Email: fsharafi@bia-judiciary.ir
(In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad
Larijani)
int_aff@judiciary.ir
(In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad
Larijani)

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the AIUSA Urgent Action office if sending appeals after 20 February 2008

Amnesty International issues urgent action to save Behnood

Following the urgent action call by SCE Campaign to stop execution of Behnood in December 23, 2007, Amnesty International last week issued an urgent action request :

URGENT ACTION

08 January 2008         UA 09/08 Death penalty

IRAN Behnoud (m), full name not known, aged about 19, child offender


A young man called Behnoud has been convicted of a murder committed before he was 18, and is now believed to
be in danger of execution. Behnoud was convicted of beating to death a 19-year-old man, known only as Ehsan, with a bottle during a street fight in 2005. At the time of the murder, Behnoud was aged about 17. To execute him would be a violation of international law. Behnoud was sentenced to
qesas (retribution) by a court in Tehran, and his sentence was upheld by the Supreme

Court. According to the Iranian news agency Fars, Ehsan’s family is demanding that Behnoud be executed. However, the case has been referred to conciliation in order to allow both families to negotiate the payment of diyeh (blood money) in exchange for pardoning Behnoud.


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

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 child offenders, those convicted of crimes

committed when they were under 18. However, since 1990, Iran has executed at least 28 child offenders, six of

them in 2007. At least 79 child offenders are now on death row in Iran. This number may be even higher as at least

a further 15 Afghan child offenders have reportedly been sentenced to death.

For more information about executions of child offenders in Iran, please see: Iran: The last executioner of children (June

2007), http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130592007


RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:

– expressing concern that Behnoud is at risk of execution for a crime committed when he was under 18;

– calling on the authorities to commute his death sentence;

– 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 offense, and that the execution of Behnoud would therefore be a violation of

international law;

– urging the authorities to pass legislation to abolish the death penalty for offenses committed by persons under the

age of 18, so bringing Iran’s domestic law in line with its obligations under international law;

– stating that Amnesty International acknowledges the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice

those suspected of criminal offenses, but unconditionally opposes the death penalty.


Amnesty International’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the
context of its work to promote all human rights.


APPEALS TO:

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
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: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir
(In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah
Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

President
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan
Intersection,
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir
via website: www.president.ir/email

Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
(Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Pasteur St.,
Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri,
Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax: 011 98 21 3390 4986
(Please keep trying)
Email: fsharafi@bia-judiciary.ir
(In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
int_aff@judiciary.ir
(In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the AIUSA Urgent Action office if sending
appeals after 20 February 2008.

Amnesty International issues urgent call to save Ali Mahin-Torabi

Following SCE’s communication with Amnesty International on the possible execution of Ali Mahin-Torabi, today they issued a worldwide urgent report:

PUBLIC                AI Index: MDE 13/146/2007        
                11 December 2007

Further Information on UA 263/07 (MDE 13/116/2007, 16 October 2007) Death penalty/ Fear of imminent execution / unfair trial concern

IRAN                Ali Mahin Torabi (m) aged 21

Ali Mahin Torabi may be executed in the next few days, although he is a child offender who was convicted of a murder committed when he was 16 years old. Reports suggest that the Office for the Implementation of Sentences is deciding when his execution will take place, although his lawyer has not yet received the 48-hour advance notice of execution required by law.

Ali Mahin Torabi was detained on 3 February 2003 in connection with a playground fight which resulted in the fatal stabbing of a schoolmate named Mazdak Khodadian. At the time, Ali Mahin Torabi repeatedly stated that he had not intended to stab Mazdak Khodadian, and only realized that the latter was injured when he heard shouting from children who had gathered around them.  

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.” Ali Mahin Torabi was sentenced to qesas (retribution) on 8 February 2003 by Branch 33 of the Public Court for the Investigation of Juvenile Crimes Offences in Karaj. Later, the Head of the Judiciary reportedly ordered that the case be resolved through arbitration. However, although the mother of the deceased is believed to have accepted in principal the payment of diyeh (blood money) in return for pardoning Ali Mahin Torabi, Mazdak Khodadian’s father reportedly rejected efforts by a judicial mediation body to resolve the case, and has called for the execution to proceed.  

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 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 child offenders. However, since 1990, Iran has executed at least 28 child offenders, including six so far this year. At least 76 child offenders are currently on death row in Iran. This number may be even higher as according to reports, at least a further 15 Afghan child offenders may be under sentence of death.

The legal proceedings in Ali Mahin Torabi’s case, like those of other child offenders facing the death penalty, may have been flawed. As well as noting that Iran is flouting international law by sentencing child offenders to death, Amnesty International is concerned about the use of evidence in these cases, including that of expert witnesses, where relevant, in trials, and relevant circumstantial evidence.

Most recently, child offender Makwan Moloudzadeh was executed on 4 December 2007. He had been sentenced to death in July 2007 for lavat-e iqabi (anal sex) in connection with the alleged rape of three boys in about 1999, when he was aged 13, please see: Execution of child offender Makwan Moloudazdeh is a mockery of justice, MDE 13/141/2007, 6 December 2007:http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE131412007?open&of=ENG-IRN).

For more information about Amnesty International’s concerns regarding executions of child offenders in Iran, please see: Iran: The last executioner of children (MDE 13/059/2007, June 2007)
http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130592007

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English, French or your own language:
– calling on the Iranian authorities to immediately halt the execution of Ali Mahin Torabi;
– expressing concern that Ali Mahin Torabi was sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was under 18;
– urging the Head of the Judiciary to investigate the procedures followed in this case from the investigation through to its confirmation by the Supreme Court;
– calling for the death sentence against Ali Mahin Torabi to be commuted;
– reminding 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 Ali Mahin Torabi 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 Amnesty International acknowledges the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but unconditionally opposes the 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:
President
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency
Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Fax:                 + 98 21 6 649 5880
Email:                 dr-ahmadinejad@president.ir
E-mail:                via website: http://www.president.ir/email/

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.

Iranian judicial authorities considering Makwan Moloudzadeh's appeal

From Anmesty International:

Iranian judicial authorities are considering Makwan Moloudzadeh’s appeal against his death sentence.

IRAN
Makwan Moloudzadeh (m), aged 21, child offender

On 14 November, a branch of the Supreme Court heard an appeal against the death sentence imposed on child offender Makwan Moloudzadeh. At some time during the next few months, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether the sentence passed on Makwan Moloudzadeh remains valid.

Makwan Moloudzadeh, an Iranian Kurd, was convicted of lavat-e iqabi (anal sex) for alleged rape about eight years ago, when Makwan Moloudzadeh was aged 13. Amnesty International has recently received new information that he allegedly raped three individuals. Under Iranian law, boys under 14 years and seven months (15 lunar years) and those who have not reached puberty are considered children. Article 113 of Iran’s Penal Code states, “If a minor has anal sex with another minor, each will receive up to 74 lashes unless one of them was forced to do so [in which case he will not be punished].”

Following his arrest on 1 October 2006 in Paveh, western Iran, Makwan Moloudzadeh was tried and on 7 July 2007 found guilty and sentenced to death by Branch 1 of the Kermanshah Criminal Court, in an unfair trial. The plaintiffs reportedly withdrew their complaints in the course of the trial and at least one was reportedly arrested in order to make him appear in court. During his trial, Makwan Moloudzadeh is said to have maintained his innocence. Previously, however, he claimed he was ill-treated during interrogation and “confessed” during interrogation that he had had a sexual relationship with a boy in 1999.

According to Article 49 of Iran’s Penal Code: “Children, if committing an offence, are exempted from criminal responsibility. Their correction is the responsibility of their guardians or, if the court decides, by a centre for correction of minors.”

Makwan Moloudzadeh lodged an appeal on 5 July, which the Supreme Court rejected on 1 August. In finding Makwan Moloudzadeh guilty, judges relied on ‘elm-e qazi – the “knowledge of the judge” – to determine that penetration had taken place and that Makwan Moloudzadeh had reached puberty at the time of his alleged offence and could thus be sentenced to death as an adult.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

International law strictly prohibits the use of the death penalty against people convicted of crimes committed when they were under the age of 18. The Committee on the Rights of the Child has raised concern about child offenders’ criminal responsibility being determined by judges, using subjective and arbitrary criteria such as the attainment of puberty, the age of discernment or the personality of the child. As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran has undertaken not to execute child offenders. However, since 1990, Iran has reportedly executed at least 27 child offenders, five of them in 2007. Most recently, Mohammad Reza Turk was executed on 15 November 2007 after conviction of murder. At least 75 child offenders are on death row in Iran; and there are fears that at least 15 Afghan child offenders convicted of drug smuggling may have been, or face being, sentenced to death. For more information about Amnesty International’s concerns regarding executions of child offenders in Iran, please see: Iran: The last executioner of children (MDE 13/059/2007, June 2007) http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130592007

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Using your own words, please choose a few of the suggestions below to create a personal appeal and send it as quickly as possible:

– welcoming reports that a committee of the Supreme Court is re-considering the case against Makwan Moloudzadeh;
– noting that his original trial was unfair, as the judge is said to have relied on subjective and arbitrary criteria in contravention to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and that the appeal appears to have ignored the retraction of testimony made by witnesses;
– reminding 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, so executing Makwan Moloudzadeh would be a violation of international law;
– urging the authorities 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.

APPEALS TO:

Head of the Judiciary:

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building
Panzdah-Khordad Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: info@dadgostary-tehran.ir <info@dadgostary-tehran.ir> (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency

COPIES TO:

Speaker of Parliament:

His Excellency Gholamali Haddad Adel
Majles-e Shoura-ye Eslami
Baharestan Square
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Email: hadadadel@majlis.ir <<a href=”http://mail2web.com/cgi-bin/compose.asp?mb=&mp=P&mps=0&lid=0&intListPerPage=20&messageto=hadadadel@majlis.ir&ed=zWaAlg7xFEDNcbiUL5d0H8RYiYu68Fxg0uK%2BxjtXY1dpnElu2qtKjMP5h88%2BBBRKb4Y5H5%2FE8xzE%0D%0AfNFQIryNkXfzMhq3PKvfMiVJzHAZ4zPpzrnAzW54gEhMAWgv6NGalud8hfKokXnqQtHm” target=”_blank”>hadadadel@majlis.ir>

Director, Kermanshah Central Prison:

Kermanshah Central Prison
Street Number 101, Deisel Abad
Kermanshah, Iran
Email: markazi@kermanshaprisons.ir <<a href=”http://mail2web.com/cgi-bin/compose.asp?mb=&mp=P&mps=0&lid=0&intListPerPage=20&messageto=markazi@kermanshaprisons.ir&ed=zWaAlg7xFEDNcbiUL5d0H8RYiYu68Fxg0uK%2BxjtXY1dpnElu2qtKjMP5h88%2BBBRKb4Y5H5%2FE8xzE%0D%0AfNFQIryNkXfzMhq3PKvfMiVJzHAZ4zPpzrnAzW54gEhMAWgv6NGalud8hfKokXnqQtHm” target=”_blank”>markazi@kermanshaprisons.ir> or ahead@kermanshaprisons.ir <<a href=”http://mail2web.com/cgi-bin/compose.asp?mb=&mp=P&mps=0&lid=0&intListPerPage=20&messageto=ahead@kermanshaprisons.ir&ed=zWaAlg7xFEDNcbiUL5d0H8RYiYu68Fxg0uK%2BxjtXY1dpnElu2qtKjMP5h88%2BBBRKb4Y5H5%2FE8xzE%0D%0AfNFQIryNkXfzMhq3PKvfMiVJzHAZ4zPpzrnAzW54gEhMAWgv6NGalud8hfKokXnqQtHm” target=”_blank”>ahead@kermanshaprisons.ir>
Fax: 011 988 318 262 049 (May be difficult to reach)

Mr Seyed Mahdi Mohebi
Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy for the Islamic Republic of Iran
245 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2K2
Fax: (613) 232-5712

THANKS FOR YOUR SPEEDY INTERVENTION ONCE AGAIN.
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Yemeni child sentenced to death was released

According to a November 1, 2007 report by Amnesty International, Hafez Ibrahim who had been sentenced to death for a crime allegedly committeed when he was 16 years old was released on 30 October after the family of the man he was convicted of murdering agreed to pardon him in exchange for diyeh (compensation) of 25 million Yemeni riyals (approximately USD$126,217).

Following the August 2007 report by Amnesty International and Stop Child Executions Campaign and a letter to the leaders of the Republic of Yemen by Nazanin Afshin-Jam and many other international pleas, the alleged victim’s family agreed to a stay of execution until after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which ended in mid-October.

This was followed by negotiations with the family of the victim, who reportedly agreed to pardon Hafez Ibrahim in exchange for diyeh. This agreement was finalized, and the diyeh is believed to have been paid.

Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Stop Child Execution Campaign thank everyone and all the volunteers and supporters of the International Campaign to Stop Child Execution for spreading the word, their efforts and plea letters which lead to delay of execution and saving Ibrahim’s life.

According to our records there is still at least one more child (Walid Haikal- male – 15)  facing execution in Yemen.