ACTION CALL: Letter to Ayatollah Shahrudi about Delara Darabi

Stop Child Executions has sent the following letter about Delara Darabi to Iran’s head of judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi asking him to bring those responsible for Delara’s illegal execution to justice. 

To prevent repeat of such injustices we must strongly demand accountability for such inhumane actions. 

We ask everyone to also send this or similar demand with your name to the office of Ayatollah Shahrudi and others addresses listed below as soon as possible.  Please also post it on different internet sites and send to your email list and ask to be forwarded. We will also post and send the letter in Persian after translation. 

“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”             

                    Quote from Quran 


Your Excellency Ayatollah Shahrudi, the head of Judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran: 

The unexpected news of the execution of Ms. Delara Darabi in the prison of city of Rasht has raised many questions in the minds of the caring citizens of Iran and the world.

Despite your official order for a two month stay of the execution and without any prior notice to her family or attorneys, in the early morning hours of Friday May 1, 2009 Delara Darabi was hanged.

According to official laws of the Islamic Republic, Iranian juveniles convicted to death sentence only after 48 hours official notice to the family and attorneys and only in their presence can be executed; however neither of these requirements was met in the case of Delara Darabi.

Your Excellency Ayatollah Shahrudi:

Presuming that the Islamic Republic despite its official ratifications of the both UN Conventions of the Rights of the Child and the Rights of Prisoners which had also been approved by Iran’s Guardian Council has no obligation in their implementations and can execute those juveniles who have committed a crime before the age of 18:

Presuming that the Islamic Republic of Iran has no obligation to respect the international laws as its own after they have already been approved by the Iranian parliament:

Presuming that it was legal and just that the initial court hearing of Delara Darabi continued its session without the presence of her first attorney:

Presuming that a few hours of court time were sufficient enough to decide the life or death of a young girl:

Presuming that the initial confession that was taken from Delara Darabi was true and a scared 17 year old minor should not have been made aware of her self-incrimination rights and consequences of such confession before obtaining it:

Presuming that the five years that Delara languished in prison, claiming her innocence until the end had no weighted significance:

Presuming that Delara Darabi had no legal appeal rights for reconstruction of the murder scene to establish whether or not this small framed left-handed girl committed the offence or not:

Presuming that Delara Darabi was guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt and her 17 years of age had no bearing on the death penalty verdict:

Presuming that your official order as the head of the judiciary to grant a two month stay of execution for Delara Darabi had no significance to the lower judges, prison officials and the executioner in the city of Rasht:

Presuming that the victim’s family insisted on Delara Darabi’s immediate execution the day before she was hung:

Presuming that the numerously repeated words of “merciful and compassionate” in the very beginning of every chapter of the Muslim holy book Quran had no relevance to Delara Darabi’s fate:

Presuming all of the above 11 points:

  • In accordance to the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran was it not Delara Darabi’s right, for her family and attorney to be given 48 hours official notice before her execution?
  • And at the very least as a human, a Muslim and an Iranian and according to the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran did Delara Darabi have the right to have her family and attorney present at the time of hanging?
  • On the day of the hanging of Delara Darabi were the laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran violated or not?
  • Why is one like Delara held responsible before the law for murder while the others responsible for her illegal execution are not?
  • Should the written laws of the Islamic Republic of Iran be implemented or are they simply written words that can be violated by anyone with an official title or clothing?

Your Excellency, as the head of the judiciary if you expect Iranians to respect and act according to the written laws and be held responsible when the laws are broken, then also those who were responsible for the illegal execution of Delara Darabi should be brought to justice. 


Stop Child Executions


Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi

c/o Director, Judiciary Public Relations and Information Office

Ardeshir Sadiq

Judiciary Public Relations and Information Office

No. 57, Pasteur St., corner of Khosh Zaban Avenue

Tehran, Iran

Email:       (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)

Salutation:        Your Excellency


Judiciary spokesperson

Alireza Jamshidi

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: (English) (Persian)

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:           (In the subject line write: FAO Javad Larijani)

Salutation:          Dear Mr Larijani

and to diplomatic representatives of Iran accredited to your country.


Letter from attorney Mostafaei about Delara Darabi


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”.          

Delara Darabi was executed ..

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 (

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” (

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. ( ”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…

URGENT: Delara Darabi scheduled to be executed in 4 days!!!

FAX : (00982133904986

(If you are dialing from North America, you would dial 011 98 21 3390 4986)

Your Excellency Ayatollah Shahroudi,

Delara Darabi, the young artist who has been in Rasht prison for the last 6 years in Iran, is at risk of execution. I understand that her lawyer  Abdolsamad Khoramshai has been informed that her execution is scheduled in the next few days.  He  is convinced that if she were to be given a new trial whereby they could re-enact the scene of thecrime, it would be easily proven that Delara is innocent of the alleged murder she was convicted of.

Khoramshahi has said many times that he has new evidence including  the crime being committed by a right handed person whereas Delara is left-handed. Many attempts have been made by human rights groups and celebrities to try and get a pardon from the victim’s family, however they have said that they want her execution to be carried out.

Please keep in mind that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which prohibit the use of the death penalty against people convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18.

In the indicated circumstances, I’d request that she not be executed and be granted a new trial.

Thank you,

(Your name)

Delara Darabi's file sent back for corrections

As reported by SCE Campaign on December 10, 2007, file of Delara Darabi had reached the office of Ayatollah Shahrudi, head of Iran’s judiciary for final review. It is now reported that the file was sent back to the City of Rasht court where Delara is being kept for some discrepencies. Marjan Laghaee the reporter of Etemaad newspaper in her blog reports that according to Delara’s attorney, Abdolsamad Khoramshahi, the descrepencies were not substantive but due to errors in the verdict and its reference to the laws. Khoramshahi anticipates that after correction the case will soon be returned to Shahrudi’s office for final decision.

To help save Delara Darabi please refer to the recent urgent action request issued by SCE Campaign:

source:  weblog of Marjan Laghaee , Etemaad newspaper reporter

URGENT: Delara Darabi's file sent for approval of execution

Iran’s Etemaad newspaper last week reported that the file of Delara Darabi is now at the office of Ayatollah Shahrudi , Iran’s head of judiciary for approval of execution.

Delara’s attorney Khoramshahi is hoping that Ayatollah Shahrudi would order a new court review of the file.

To read more about Delara Darabi visit:

Stop Child Executions Campaign calls on all international human rights organizations and governments to immediately contact offices of Ayatollah Khamenei and Sharudi and demand stop to execution of Delara Darabi.

We also ask everyone to contact their parliament and government leaders as well as other organizations. 

Leader of the Islamic Republic
Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader
Islamic Republic Street –

Shahid Keshvar Doust Street

Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation:       Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi
Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Justice Building ,

Panzdah-Khordad Square

Islamic Republic of Iran
Email:     (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation:       Your Excellency

Delara Darabi and Soghra Najafpour updates

Nasrin Sotoudeh , the attorney of Soghra Najafpour told Nazanin Afshin-Jam that Soghra is still in hiding in fear of execution. Meanwhile Sotoudeh has not yet received any reply to her request for a re-trial submitted to Iran’s supreme court. 
Nazanin Afshin-Jam also talked to the mother of Delara Darabi. She was told that Delara’s overall prison condition is better than the last one. Her family is allowed to visit her once a week for about 15 to 25 minutes. Delara remains underweight because she does not like the prison food and usually eats biscuits, etc. She is still very depressed but keeps herself occupied with reading. She has not been able to paint o do some of her daily chores beacuse of an injury to her left hand.  Delara has recently become very impatient and wants a resolution to her case.
Delara has asked her parents for some books with paintings of famous painters such as Vincent VanGogh.
Delara Darabi and Soghra Najafpour were friends in prison and the day that Soghra went to say good bye,  she told Delara that she wished that it was Delara who was being freed instead of her . Soghra said that she has spent 18 years of her youth in prison and Delara is much younger and she really does not belong to prison among the some criminals.
There has not been any new changes in Delara Darabi’s legal file and like many other alleged child offenders, she is awaiting a response by the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Hashemi Shahrudi.
Meanwhile Amnesty International  Australia, in its Christmas appeal this year, is focusing on the the subject of child execution in Iran.  21,000 of Amnesty Supporters will be receiving a mail pack with a letter about child executions in Iran, and a letter addressed to the Iran’s Head of the Judiciary to sign and send back to Amnesty to be forwarded to Ayatollah Shahrudi.
Delara Darabi will be the main case study and the package also includes a double-sided postcard with two paintings from Delara Darabi which was provided to them this week by Stop Child Executions Campaign.

To read more about Delara Darabi and Soghra Najafpour visit:

Nazanin talks to mothers of Delara Darabi and Reza Alinejad

Nazanin Afshin-Jam spoke with Reza Alinejad’s mother this morning who informed her that Reza’s file had been sent to Tehran and that decisions were being made. With the lawyers that are helping him in Iran and the support from the International communtiy, they are hoping for a positive outcome. Reza mother’s reported that her son is happier since having moved to a different cell in prison. He is a more comfortable with the new inmates that he has come into contact with and says there are not the same amount of fights that used to take place in his old division.
Nazanin Afshin-Jam also spoke with Delara Darabi’s mother this morning who said that Delara’s file seems to be stagnant and they have no idea what is taking place or what will take place. Mrs. Darabi admitted that although Delara seems to be happier with the environment of her new prison cell, she is still not doing very well, because “prison is prison afterall”. Her family tries to continue  to bring  hope to Delara.

Delara Darabi Update

We were asked about recent published rumors about Delara Darabi being in “dire conditions” and that she “has given up all hope, and begs that she either be executed or set free“. It was also reported that “She is not allowed to paint or even read”

As reported more than a month ago by SCE campaign, Delara’s belongings along with few other prisoners were confiscated on May 12 , 2007 and since then there has not been any more such incidence. Thereafter she has been able to paint and write and she has actually created new paintings which we will present soon. 

Delara is expected to be transferred to the airconditioned building next door which is within the same prison facility.   

Additionally, although due to her circumstances she has been very fragile for a long time however she has NOT given up hope and she continues to stand for her rights with a great will to live. Delara Darabi does NOT wish or “beg to be executed”. Delara, her family and advocates will continue to fight for her right to live nor condon any dramatization and rumors giving any indication to the regime in Iran that her being ”executed” is an option.  Delara Darabi MUST and will live.