My name is Ali Mahin-Torabi, born in 1986. Until 2nd year of my technical high school, I passed all my courses without any problems. During the past 16 years I didn’t have too many friends and my primary pass-times were handball, studying and computer repairs. I very much liked the computer courses and after finishing junior high, despite financial difficulties I registered in a non-profit private technical high school where I gained the first place honor status in the computer field. I was even chosen to represent my school for the Computer Olympiad.
Unfortunately in March of 2003 a high schoolyard fight resulted in the death of one of my schoolmates, named Mazdak.
Until the day of incident we did not know each other nor were any animosities between us. Everything started that morning when Mazdak got into fight with my only friend Milad. When I heard the quarrel, I tried to mediate to prevent us from getting in to trouble with school, but few of Mazdak’s friends approached us and as soon as they heard of school principal’s arrival , we all left. After the school ended, we saw them waiting outside the school. Milad gave me a knife and said in case they attacked you, show them the knife to scare them because Mazdak’s friends were tough and athletic. At first, I said let them think we are frightened and go home but with Milad’s insistence I took the knife and put it in my pocket. Mazdak approached us and started swearing and hit me in the head hard with his own head. I slapped him in the face. We were surrounded by school students, some were trying to separate us and some were fighting with me. Milad was also fighting with Mazdak. Because of pressure from the crowd, I was pushed back and I took out the knife to scare the bullies from approaching me again. Mazdak and Milad’s fight was still going on and Mazdak, who was injured in the back by Milad, approached me . At the moment I didn’t realize what happened to both of us, but we both fell on the ground due to by the force of Milad’s punches from the back.
By the way if the spring system of the knife that I had in hand get examined , it will be verified that it had pre-existing conditions (the knife does not open) and also the forensic did not find any trace of blood on the knife, which is recorded in the file.
The fight stopped when the vice principal of the school showed up, and few pulled Mazdak aside who still seemed angry and was threatening us. While he was taking off his jacket I noticed his shirt is filled with blood and I shouted :” Who is the coward who stabbed him?” . I stopped the first car that was driving by to take him to hospital. I was thinking to myself that he will recover .
By now Mazdak was on the ground and no one was willing to take him to hospital. Finally one of the teachers took him to the hospital with his car and I went to the principal’s office. After the arrival of the Rajai Shahr police/15th section, I was sent me to the police station. This was the first time I was taken to police and I was very scared. The police officer told me that Mazdak is alive and I was thanking God for that and I was sure that after getting well he would tell the truth. After two days in jail , my father visited me and said that I shouldn’t expect any help from him, because I had disgraced him and his honor. I asked him to go the hospital to talk with Mazdak, so he could explain that I did not stab him. It was only after I was transferred to the interrogations department and being charged with murder that I learned that unfortunately Mazdak had died. My father didn’t come to my visit for 20 days and he didn’t even agree to hire a a lawyer for me. Milad who was a run-away for days, later reported himself to the the Police accompanied by his lawyer.
I was later tried and condemned to death and 10 years in prison. Milad was sentenced to 3 years in prison. My verdict was later approved by the superior court and sent to for final approval of head of judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi. He ordered: ” Considering the opinion of the consultants , the file should be sent to one of the conciliatory committees for peaceful mediation and conclusions”.
However during the past year, amid the substantial efforts of the conciliatory committee, assistance chief of judiciary and the social workers of Rajai Shahr prison, Mazdak’s father has not accepted to pardon and has insisted on my execution. He has even paid the 1/2 of the assigned retribution money to Mazdak’s mother who has already
forgiven me and insisted on execution of the verdict. .
There is not much time left. I am begging the authorities to fairly review my case, because if more attention is given to the details, I am confident my innocence can be proven.