I am at a loss for words. My heart is empty and my tears are flowing.
I have just finished reading the details by attorney Mohammad Mostafaei of the minutes leading up to Delara’s execution. It is just too painful http://scenews.blog.com/4885252/
Delara, I have known you for almost three years. We tried our best to keep you alive. We informed and had the High Commission on Human Rights at the UN, the European Union and Parliaments worldwide act on your behalf. We spread awareness through the media, to human rights groups worldwide. We kept in touch with your family and your lawyers. We conducted speeches and rallies worldwide. We sent you art supplies in prison and letters from supporters to keep your spirits high. We tried our best to get in touch with the family of the deceased and convince them to understand the severity of taking a young life away. We tried Delara. We tried but we failed.
You are no longer with us in body, but your presence will live on forever, in the hearts of all the volunteers at Stop Child Executions, all the lawyers and human rights defenders fighting for justice, and millions of supporters around the world fighting for your life.
If there is one thing I can promise you and your family, is that your death will not be in vain. Your departure from this temporary world we call Earth has emboldened and strengthened our fight to seek justice for the 140 children who remain on death row in Iran.
The Islamic Republic of Iran must be held accountable for their violations against humanity. Clerical Judge Javid Nia, who approved your execution will be held into account one day.
In Delara’s case, Iran has breached many laws.
Injustice # 1
Iran is state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Charter of the Rights of the Child which forbids the execution of those who have committed an offence before the age of 18. Delara was 17 years old when she was allegedly charged of murder. To the bitter end she maintained her innocence.
The initial verdict that was issued, was based on a confession from a child that did not know her rights, and was not made aware of the consequences for taking the blame for a crime she says she did not commit.
Medical examination of Mahin’s body in an autopsy suggested that the crime was committed by a right-handed person. Delara was left handed. If a new trial was accorded to present this new evidence, the death penalty verdict could have been reversed. Delara’s lawyer Abdolsamad Khoramshahi has tried for years to obtain a new trial and carry out a re-enactment of the crime in court, with no success. He is also convinced that due to Delara’s small frame and gentle nature, it was an impossibility for her to have committed the offence. A partnering lawyer who followed the case, Mohammad Mostafaei, said “I swear she is innocent”.
Whereas the head of Judiciary Ayatollah Shahroudi accorded a 2 month stay of execution in order for the families to try and negotiate a pardon, Delara was executed in less than 10 days from this order.
Under Iran’s Penal Code it states that the family and lawyer of the accused are to be given 48 hours prior notice before execution. No such warning had been given. Instead Delara was executed in secret, like Reza Hejazi and Behnam Zare, with no mother, father or sister to be with her in her last frightening moments or to hear her final words.
In cases of “ghesas” crimes, the decision whether or not to execute the accused rests with the relatives of the victim. What kind of Justice system allows the biased opinion of the family who has lost a family member to decide ones fate?
Around this time two years ago, Delara wrote this beautiful letter to me: http://scenews.blog.com/1772243/
It was touching to read her words to all those who have helped her:
“Say hello to my true loving friends. Every night during my prayers I pray for all the people of this large and vast house. I pray that one day everyone becomes a lover and we all be the guests of Lord’s vast feast.
I don’t know if I will meet you my dear ones or we must leave the meeting to the unseen world.
Anyway, Delara is not alone, Delaras are trapped in prisons and in need of God’s help and in need of defenders of human right and humanity!!!””
One day we will meet Delara in heaven and she will have thanked us for continuing with the good fight.
Delara, it is so sad and unfortunate that you had to depart like this without your family being able to say goodbye
My most heartfelt condolences go out to your family Delara. The loss of a child is painful enough. The loss of a child under unjust circumstances is a tragedy….a tragedy that could have been avoided.
Stop Child Executions will be launching a full report on executions of juvenile offenders in Iran on June 17th in the UK Parliament via the Foreign Policy Center and I will also be addressing the issue in front of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva at that time.
To see Delara and her family in the documentary we made about her a year and a half ago, please visit:
Delara lives on
This morning Delara Darabi, who was in custody since she was 17 years old shockingly was executed in Rasht Central prison. The execution of this artist occurred without any prior notice to her. The news is very short but it’s frightening. How easily we take someone’s life? How easily we put the ropes on a child’s neck? How easy we feel the trembling of her small body?
My God this is a crime. My God it is not justice to take the life of this child. My God this is not justice to kill someone who does not deserve to die. Who will answer to this crime in the afterlife? Is this fair justice?
On March 24th 2006 (Fourth of Farvardin 1385) I met her in Rasht prison. I remember she had a very innocent face. She was not a murderer; I swear that she was not a killer. She painted a picture for me of an old man who was playing the violin. I did not know that he was playing her death song. I cannot believe she has been executed. She was really innocent, calm, collected and pure. It was not her time to die, but they took her life. My God please help us. My God where should we go with all this injustice? My God, My God, My God, why have you created us so cruel? Why? WhY?
In Mr. Mostafaei’s later post:
“Today is May 1st 2009 (11 of Ordibehesht 1388), it is a very frightening day. At 9 A.M. I checked my S.M.S. and it was written “Delara executed”. My whole body shook. I had no energy to move. Asieh Amini was on the line and was crying and said “they executed Delara today”. I got in my car and told my wife that I am going to Rasht. She said she was coming with me. I don’t know how I got to Rasht. Delara’s mother was biting herself, her father was talking about how he delivered her daughter to authorities, and everyone was crying, everyone was hitting their head, everyone loved Delara. But she wasn’t amongst us anymore. She got her peace today. No one will hear her voice again.
Her mother said that she met Delara in prison yesterday. Delara said “If I come out of prison, I want to continue my education. I would like to be free. One of the judges promised me to obtain forgiveness from the family of the deceased”. Delara continued “Mother I am innocent”.
At 7am Delara’s mother received a phone call from Delara who said “Mom, they want to execute me, I see the gallows, mother save me”. She then asked to talk to her father and said “I want to see you, for God sake save me”. At that point, someone took the phone receiver away from Delara and said “We are going to kill your child and you cannot do anything about it”.
While holding a Koran, Delara’s mother and father rushed to the prison. They cried, pleaded and yelled and said “please let us see the deceased family. We want o fall to their feet.” They took Delara to the gallows with nobody around her. No father, no mother no lawyer who could listen to her needs. They put the rope on her delicate neck. I do not know who the cruel person was to pull the chair from under her feet. Judge Javid Nia issued her execution order. He is the newly appointed Judge in Rasht. Since his appointment, one person has already been stoned to death and this time it was Delara who was executed.
God bless her soul. But why? Why was Delara executed like this? A friend of mine said “even Saddam Hossein was not executed like this!”
Why are the voices of the innocent not getting anywhere? Some say Delara was at fault, some say it was her father’s fault, some say it was her lawyer’s fault. I say it is the fault of the judicial system here because whereas many countries have abandoned the execution of juvenile offenders, Iran insists on killing them. Why?
Why did they take her to the gallows without informing us in advance? The executions of juveniles Reza Hejazi, in Isfahan and Behnam Zare in Shiraz were carried out in a similar manner, without prior notice. The executioner knew that if they had been given a deadline, the execution would not have happened because millions of people were supporting her. We all knew that an innocent girl was taken to the gallows and lost her life in injustice. Delara is not executed, she is at peace”.
From a letter by Delara Darabi to those attending the exhibition of her paintings:
“…. I know that my years of struggle for attaining my rights and for my innocence to be heard is not being effective …An imprisoned man once said: “My only claims are my calls to God from my small prison, and my answers to God in the vast field of freedom within these four walls.” . It is not important where we are …God’s love is always with us …and his promise of truth……Pray for all Delara’s in the faraway lands.”
From a letter by Delara Darabi one year ago to Nazanin Afshin-Jam president and co-founder of the Stop Child Executions:
“….. I don’t know if I will meet you my dear ones or we must leave the meeting to the unseen world. Anyway, Delara is not alone, Delara’s are trapped in prisons and in need of God’s help and in need of defenders of human right and humanity!!!
I hope that you defend humanity and always be successful. The one who defends humanity and knowledge , is not a human but a true knower of God and knower of self. A reference, a gauge and a motive for life…and that is how you are …Nazanin (precious) of all ages.
You and I and all of us, human beings of the world came here …but after a while we forgot everything… We live with different feelings, with perplexity and amazements and we still do not understand why?
I cry a lot, just like the spring clouds! with large droplets…have you ever seen it?! ……I have never cried for being imprisoned, because my thoughts and my heart is free and is with you….Say hello to my true loving friends , because every night during my prayer I pray for all the people of this large and vast house.”
One of the poems by Delara sent from prison to SCE before she and her family were threatened by the officials of Islamic Republic against further contacts with outside world:
“I empathize with the scarecrow for being stuck in the field
مادر دلارا گفت که دیروز با دلارا ملاقات کرده. دلارا به او گفته که مادر اگر من از زندان بیرون بیایم می خواهم تحصیلاتم را ادامه دهم. دوست دارم آزاد باشم و یک نفر از قضات هم به من قول داده که رضایت اولیاءدم را خواهد گرفت. دلارا گفته که مادر من بی گناهم.
مادر دلارا گریه کنان گفت: امروز ساعت ۷ صبح دلارا به وی زنگ زد. و گفت مادر من را می خواهند اعدام کنند. من طناب دار را می بینم. مادر من را نجات دهید. می خواهم پدرم صحبت کنم و به پدرش هم گفت که پدر من می خواهم شما را ببینم. تو رو خدا من را نجات دهید. بعد یک نفر گوشی را از دلارا می گیرد و می گوید. ما به راحتی فرزند شما را می کشیم و تو هیچ کاری نمی توانی انجام دهی.
پدر و مادر دلارا قران به دست به زندان می روند. التماس می کنند. فریاد می کشند و می گویند تو رو خدا اجازه دهد تا ما اولیاءدم را ببینیم. به پایشان بیوفتیم. ولی ….
دلارا دارابی را به پای چوبه دار می برند. او راضی نمی شود اعدام شود. هیچ کس پیش او نبود نه مادر نه پدری و نه وکیلی که به خواسته هایش توجه کند. طناب دار را به گردن نحیفش می اندازند. و نمی دانم کدام بی رحمی صندلی را از زیر پایش رها می کند. نمی دانم او کیست .
قاضی جاوید نیا حکم اعدام دلارا را صادر کرد. پس از مدتی دادستان رشت شد. از زمانی که او متصدی این پست گردید. یک نفر در این شهر سنگسار شد و امروز دلارا دارابی جانش از بدنش جدا شد.
چرا دلارا اینگونه اعدام شد. به یکی از دوستان گفتم که صدام را هم اینگونه اعدام نکردند. چرا؟
چرا داد مظلومیت دلارا به گوش هیچ بنی بشری نرسید.
عده ای می گویند دلارا مقصر است. عده ای می گویند پدرش مقصر است و عده ای می گویند وکلیش؟ من می گویم دستگاه قضایی.
چرا با وجودی که بسیاری از کشورهای دنیا اعدام اطفال زیر ۱۸ سال را منع کرده اند دستگاه قضایی بر اعدام اطفال پافشاری می کند؟
چرا بی اطلاع به پای چوبه دار می برد؟ اعدام رضا حجازی در اصفهان و بهنام زارع در شیراز نیز به همین نحو بود.
مجری حکم می دانست که اگز زمانی برای اجرای حکم تعیین کند. نمی تواند دلارا را اعدام نماید. چون میلیونها انسان از وی حمایت می کردند. و امروز همه ما می دانیم که بی گناهی پای چوبه دار رفت و ناعادلانه جانش گرفته شد.
دلارا اعدام نشد …. آرام گرفت
چه راحت جان می گیریم.
چه راحتی طناب دار را به گردن کودکی می اندازیم.
چه راحت لرزش های بدن نحیفش را احساس می کنیم.
به خدا ظلم است ظلم.
به خدا عدالت این نیست که کودکی کودکی را از وی بگیریم.
به خدا عدالت این نیست که بکشیم آنکه حقش مرگ نیست.
چه کسی می خواهد در روز قیامت پاسخگو باشد.
آیا انصاف است ….
چهارم فروردین سال ۸۵ او را در زندان رشت ملاقات کردم. او چهره ای مظلوم داشت. او قاتل نبود. قسم می خورد که قاتل نیست.
برایم تابلویی نقاشی کرد که عکس پیرمردی در آن بود که ویالن می زد. نمی دانستم که ساز مرگ دلارا را می زند.
باور نمی وشد که کشته شده باشد.
او واقعا بی گناه، مظلوم، آرام، متین، پاک و بی آلایش بود. دختری که حقش مرگ نبود و جانش را گرفتند.
خدایا به فریادمان برس.
خدایا از این همه بی عدالتی به کجا پناه ببریم.
خدایا خدایا خدایا…. چرا ما را اینقدر بی رحم آفریدی چرا چرا…
Stop Child Executions sadly regrets to confirm that the Iranian female juvenile Delara Darabi was executed early morning today in the prison yard of the northern city of Rasht, Iran.
Delara Darabi was convicted of a alleged murder when she was 17 years old.
In violation of Iran’s own laws, neither of Delara’s attorney were informed of the execution. Delara was hanged only 11 days after Iran’s judiciary had officially stated that Delara’s execution was postponed for 2 months (http://scenews.blog.com/4837662/)
Delara was the most well known Iranian minor on the death row. She was also an artist and continued her art work in prison.
In his blog Iranian attorney, Mohammad Mostafaei who represents many Iranian juveniles on the death row wrote this morning: “She was not a murderer. I swear she was not” (http://mohegh.blogfa.com/post-68.aspx)
Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme, Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui stated that “”Amnesty International is outraged at the execution of Delara Darabi, and particularly at the news that her lawyer was not informed about the execution, despite the legal requirement that he should receive 48 hours’ notice…This appears to have been a cynical move on the part of the authorities to avoid domestic and international protests which might have saved Delara Darabi’s life….This indicates that even decisions by the Head of the Judiciary carry no weight and are disregarded in the provinces” .
“Iranian leadership and judiciary must be held responsible for execution of Delara Darabi” said Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam spokesperson of Iran Human Rights group. (http://www.iranhr.net/spip.php?article1058) ”Lack of strong and sustainable reactions from the world community is one of the main reasons why Iranian authorities continue execution of minors. Iranian authorities have learned that their violations of the human rights lead just to some verbal protests from the world community, without any practical consequences…It is the time that UN and world community show that UN’s conventions are more than just formalities” said Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam who asks UN and EU to condemn Delara’s execution and put sanctions on the Iranian authorities.”
“As long as the international community and United Nations do not officially and seriously hold the government of the Islamic Republic and individuals within it fully responsible for such obvious crimes against children and humanity and as long as the gross human rights violations in Iran are being ignored by the leaders and governments of the world, the notion of accepting the regime of Iran in to the world’s civil community remains to be an unreal expectation and at best a slap in the face of all Iranians and the humanity. The issue of respect for human rights must be at the forefront and a precondition for all discussions with Iran’s government. As long the Islamic Republic so openly violates its own laws as well as the internationally accepted conventions in the area of human rights, they should not be trusted with any other treaties either” said David Etebari, co-founder of the Stop Child Executions.
Stop Child Executions strongly condemns the illegal execution of Delara Darabi and demands formation of an independent international tribunal to look in to the case of Delara Darabi and to bring all those responsible for the unjust sentencing and execution of Delara Darabi to international justice.
Along with Amnesty International, SCE ”does not consider her trial to have been fair, as the courts later refused to consider new evidence which the lawyer said would have proved she could not have committed the murder.”
The execution of Delara Darabi brings the number of executions in Iran this year to 140. Iran has executed at least forty two juvenile offenders since 1990, eight of them in 2008 and one on 21 January 2009, in total disregard of international law, which unequivocally bans the execution of those convicted of crimes committed when under the age of 18.
More to follow…
In an interview with Sarmayeh newspaper, the family of the victim said “we are ready to give our forgiveness if Delara is convicted for 20 years or a life sentence”. The family said they believe a person who has been convicted of a proven crime, the act of killing someone should not be set free just because of their forgiveness.
The family had mentioned earlier in a letter that they believe in forgiveness and could not be witnesses of an execution – a death of another- and are ready to change the punishment of Ghesas (retribution) to a prison term.
Throughout Delara’s imprisonment many people, including artists, tried to help mediate between the two families and were pushing to obtain pardon from the deceased family. The family of the victim agreed to do so if Delara and her family show remorse for the death of their relative and in the condition that they dismiss their current attorney from handling their file. They had mentioned in a prior interview that they did not like attorney Khoramshahi’s attitude towards them.
Abass Momenzadeh, a high level lawyer, mentioned that lawmakers can only convict the accused for no more than 10 years once the family of the victim gives their pardon. He said the decision of imprisonment is the responsibility of the lawmaker and not of the family of the deceased. To ask for 20 years imprisonment is not a lawful request. Only the court can decide the length of imprisonment. He continued that there is however other reasonable requests that can be a substituted. For example if the request was to pay 40 million toman (approx USD $40,000), they could instead request 100 million toman (approx USD $100,000) instead.
He continued saying that recently in another case the family of the deceased had asked for 6 kidneys to be donated to needy people instead of a dollar amount.
When Mr. Momenzadeh was asked what would happen if there is no agreement, he said that the death penalty verdict must be executed. If the family of the victim insists on their stance, their file will go back to the execution committee’s office and they will ask the family to make up their mind.
یک وکیل=2 0پایه یک دادگستری گفت: «قانونگذار حداکثر می تواند با 10 سال حبس متهم پس از اعلام رضایت اولیای دم نسبت به قصاص موافقت کند.»
عباس مومن زاده در خصوص خواسته اولیای دم در پرونده دل آرا دارابی به ازای گذشت از حکم قصاص دل آرا اظهار داشت: «ارائه شرطی مبنی بر اینکه قاتل پس از رهایی از حکم قصاص به 20 سال حبس یا حبس ابد محکوم شود خارج از حیطه اختیارات اولیای دم و حوزه قانونی دادگاه است و در قانو6 نیز در شرایطی که قانونگذار بخواهد دو جلسه ای خارج از جلسه دادرسی جهت کمک به جلب رضایت خانواده مقتول اقدام کند، حداکثر می تواند نسبت به صدور 10 سال حبس رای دهد.»
وی افزود: «خواسته ای غیر از این موضوع غیرمنطقی و غیرقابل اجرا برای دادگاه است چراکه اولیای دم نمی توانند به طور قانونی تکلیفی برای دادگاه معین کنند.»
وی درخصوص راهکارهایی که بتواند در جلب رضایت خانواده مقتول موثر باشد 8 به شرط هایی ممکن بدل شود، تصریح کرد: «به طور مثال این خانواده می توانند به جای درخواست 40 میلیون تومان حق دیه تقاضای بیش از این مقدار مثلاً 100 میلیون تومان کنند. چنانچه در موارد مشابهی در دیگر پرونده ها خانواده اولیای دم خواستار اهدای شش کلیه به نیازمندان شدند.»
مومن زاده در این باره که اگر این پرونده با اختلاف نظر دو سوی پرونده مسکوت باقی بماند، نتیجه اجرای حکم چه خواهد بود، اعلA 7م کرد: «یا باید رای اجرا شود و حکم قصاص انجام گیرد یا در صورتی که خانواده مقتول بر خواسته خود پافشاری کنند، پرونده به اجرای احکام دادگستری برای اجرای حکم و تعیین نظر اولیای دم فرستاده خواهد شد و از خانواده اولیای دم خواسته می شود جهت اجرای حکم و پیگیری پرونده اقدام کنند.»
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/034/2009
20 April 2009
Further Information on 98/09 (MDE 13/031/2009, 09 April 2009) and follow-up (MDE 13/032/2009) – Fear of imminent execution
IRAN Delara Darabi (f), aged 22, juvenile offender
Juvenile offender Delara Darabi was granted a two month stay of execution by the Head of the Judiciary on 19 April, the day before she was due to be executed.
Delara Darabi’s lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshahi, has confirmed that her execution has been postponed for two months after the family of the victim refused to attend the execution. They are however still demanding that she be executed. According to Article 7 of Iran’s Code of Procedure on executions, the family of the victim or their lawyer are required to be present for the implementation of the sentence.
Delara Darabi remains at risk of being executed unless the family of the victim agrees on compensation.
Iran has executed at least forty two juvenile offenders since 1990, eight of them in 2008 and one on 21 January 2009.
The execution of juvenile offenders is prohibited under international law, as stated in Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which Iran is a state party, and so has undertaken not to execute anyone for crimes committed when they were under 18.
In Iran a person convicted of murder has no right to seek pardon or commutation from the state, in violation of Article 6(4) of the ICCPR. The family of a murder victim have the right either to insist on execution, or to pardon the killer and receive financial compensation (diyeh).
For more information about executions of child offenders in Iran, please see Iran: The last executioner of children (Index: 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 or your own language:
– welcoming the stay of execution for Delara Darabi;
– calling on the authorities to commute her death sentence, as she is facing execution for a crime committed when he was under 18;
– acknowledging that governments have a right and responsibility to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences in proceedings that meet international standards for fair trial and the Convention of the Rights of the Child, and pointing out that no one should be executed for crimes committed when under 18;
– calling on the authorities to pass, as a matter of urgency, legislation abolishing the death penalty for all offences committed by those under 18, in accordance with Iran’s obligations as a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
c/o Director, Judiciary Public Relations and Information Office
Judiciary Public Relations and Information Office
No. 57, Pasteur St., corner of Khosh Zaban Avenue
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Salutation: Dear Sir
Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei, The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
via website: http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php?p=letter (English)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riyasat-e Qoveh Qazaiyeh / Office of the Head of the Judiciary
Pasteur St, Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri
Tehran 1316814737, Iran
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying)
Email: email@example.com (In the subject line write: FAO Javad Larijani)
Salutation: Dear Mr Larijani
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 1 June.