Tag Archives: Reza Hejazi

Interview with attorney and brother of Reza Hejazi before his execution

Intrerview with Reza Hejazi’a brother (hours before Reza was executed):

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

URGENT CALL by Amnesty: 4 juveniles to be executed

PUBLIC                        AI Index: MDE 13/049/2008                 
13 March 2008

UA 71/08        Fear of execution        
       
IRAN        Naser Qasemi (m), aged 23                ]
                Mohammad Reza Haddadi (m), aged 18                ]
             Reza Hejazi (m), aged 19                ] child offenders
                Iman Hashemi (m), aged 18                ]

Naser Qasemi, Mohammad Reza Haddadi and Reza Hejazi are all in prison awaiting execution for murder. The death sentence of Iman Hashem is expected to be approved imminently. All are all in prison awaiting execution for murder. They were all aged under 18 at the time of their alleged crimes and their death sentences have been approved. They could all be hanged at any time. The Head of the Judiciary has the power to issue a stay of execution at this stage.

Naser Qasemi, from Kermanshah province in western Iran, was 15 years old in 1999 when he and an uncle, who was armed, tried to steal some maize from a farm near his home. They were discovered by farm workers, and in the fight that ensued, one of the farm workers was shot and killed. The uncle initially escaped but Naser was arrested and charged with murder. He has been detained for eight years, during which he has faced a number of trials and retrials, as a result of which he was sentenced to death on three occasions. The victim’s family have demanded 1,500 million Rials (approximately US $164,000) as diyeh (“blood money”),  but Naser Qasemi’s family have been unable to raise this amount. The Society for the Right to Life (Anjoman-e Haq-e Hayat), an Iranian human rights group has been campaigning on his behalf. It is not clear where he is being held.

Mohammad Reza Haddadi, aged 18, is held in Adelabad prison in the city of Shiraz. He was sentenced to death in January 2004 by a court in Kazeroun for the murder of a man in 2003. He had confessed to the murder, but retracted the confession during his trial, saying he had claimed responsibility for the killing because his two co-defendants had offered his family money if he did so. Mohammad Reza Haddadi stated during the trial that he had not taken part in murder of a man who had offered him and the two others a lift in his car. The two others later supported Mohammad Reza Haddadi’s claims of innocence, and withdrew their testimony that implicated him in the murder. His co-defendants, both over 18 at the time of the crime, are said to have received lesser sentences. However, in July 2005, a branch of the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence against Mohammad Reza Haddadi. The case is awaiting final approval by Ayatollah Shahroudi, the Head of Iran’s Judiciary.

Juvenile offenders Reza Hejazi and Iman Hashemi are imprisoned in the Central Prison in the city of Esfahan, in central Iran.

Reza Hejazi – then aged 15 – was among a small group of people involved in a dispute with a man on 18 September 2004, which resulted in the man being fatally stabbed. Reza Hejazi was arrested and tried for murder, and on 14 November 2005 he was sentenced to Qesas (retribution) by Branch 106 of the Esfahan General Court. The sentence was approved by Branch 28 of the Supreme Court on 6 June 2006, although under Iranian law he should have been tried in a juvenile court. The case was referred for mediation between Reza Hejazi and the victim’s family, to try and arrange for the payment of diyeh, but no sum has yet been agreed. If no agreement is reached, Reza Hejazi will be executed.  

Iman Hashemi was 17 in June 2007 when his brother Majid was arrested for fatal stabbing of a man in a fight. Following his brother’s arrest, Iman Hashemi was said to have presented himself to the investigating authorities and confessed to having murdered the man, though he later implied in court that he had been coerced into confessing. Despite his family’s insistence that he was innocent, a court in Esfahan sentenced him to Qesas for murder on 13 January 2007. On 26 May 2007, Branch 42 of the Supreme Court upheld the verdict. Distraught, on 29 September 2007 his brother Majid set himself on fire. Four months later he died of his injuries. The verdict has not been approved by the Head of the Judiciary.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Iran is one of only six countries in the world in which child offenders may face execution. This is despite Iran’s obligations under international law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to prohibit the execution of juvenile offenders. In the last four years Iran has executed more child offenders than in all those other countries combined. At least 79 child offenders are now on death row in Iran. This number could be considerably higher since not all sentences may have been made public. For more information about 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 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 English, French, Arabic, Persian or your own language:
– calling for an immediate halt to the executions of Naser Qasimi, Mohammad Reza Haddadi, Reza Hejazi and Iman Hashemi, all convicted of crimes allegedly committed when they were under the age of 18;
– calling on the authorities to declare a moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty as called for by the UN General Assembly in December 2007, and to commute the death sentences passed on Naser Qasimi, Mohammad Reza Haddadi, Reza Hejazi and Iman Hashemi;
– 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
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 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 24 April 2008.

Working to protect human rights worldwide

URGENT CALL: 3 young boys facing imminent executions

Stop Child Executions Campaign
URGENT CALL – 3 imminent child executions 
FEB 12, 2008           
Isfahan- Iran       
Ahmad MortazavianReza HejaziIman Hashemi

Autnews of the Amirkabir university in Tehran reported that according to the Human Rights and Democracy Activists of Iran, three Iranian youth are facing imminent execution in the Dastgerd prison of city of Isfahan, The names of the three boys are:

Ahmad Mortazavian, born 1992 , arrested in 2007 at the age of 15
Reza Hejazi, born 1989, arrested in 2004 at the age of 15 
Iman Hashemi, born 1989, arrested in 2005 at the age of 16

According to the report, the death sentence of the three juveniles have been approved and they can be hanged at anytime.

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 recordsAccording 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 Ahmad Mortazavian, Reza Hejazi and Iman Hashemi kept in Isfahan’s Dastgerd prison.
– Express concern that Ahmad Mortazavian, Reza Hejazi and Iman Hashemi were sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was under 18;
- Calling for the death sentences against Ahmad Mortazavian, Reza Hejazi and Iman Hashemi 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 executions of Ahmad Mortazavian, Reza Hejazi and Iman Hashemi  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