Iran lawyer in ‘blood money’ plea
An Iranian lawyer has appealed for money to spare the lives of four of his clients, who face execution for murders committed when they were aged under 18.
Under Iranian law, a family can pardon a relative’s murderer, and compensation – called blood money – is often paid.
Mohammad Mostafaie said he needed to raise $200,000 (£120,700) to pay the families of his clients’ victims.
Amnesty International says Iran has executed at least 42 juvenile offenders since 1990, flouting international law.
“Right now a few of my clients who committed crimes when they were under 18 are awaiting execution,” Mr Mostafaie, a well-known rights activist, wrote on his website.
“By collecting 200 million tomans ($200,000), you can save the lives of three to four youngsters,” he adds.
Earlier this month, Iran executed a client of Mr Mostafaie who was under 18 when he stabbed a boy to death during a fight, the Reuters news agency reports.
Behnoud Shojaie was put to death in a Tehran jail despite pleas from the European Union to halt his execution.
Iranian officials said they had tried in vain to convince the victim’s parents to spare him.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, kidnapping, and drug trafficking are all punishable by death in Iran.