Iran: Further Information on Fear of execution
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/151/2008
Further Information on UA 71/08 (MDE 13/049/2008, 13 March 2008) and follow-up (MDE 13/120/2008, 19 August 2008) - Fear of execution
IRAN Naser Qasemi (m), aged 23
Mohammad Reza Haddadi (m), aged 20 - juvenile offenders
Iman Hashemi (m), aged 18
Juvenile offender Mohammad Reza Haddadi, who was scheduled to be executed on 9 October, has had his execution postponed. The spokesperson of the judiciary told the press at his weekly press conference on 7 October that Haddadi's death sentence had been confirmed, but his execution had been halted. He did not give a new execution date.
Iman Hashemi was pardoned in September by the family of the man he was convicted of killing, and is now free.
Mohammad Reza Haddadi is held in Adelabad prison in the city of Shiraz. He was sentenced to death in January 2004 for a murder committed in 2003, when he was 15. He had confessed to the murder, but retracted the confession during his trial, saying he had claimed responsibility for the killing only because his two co-defendants had offered to give his family money if he did so. He said during the trial that he had not taken part in the murder. His co-defendants later supported Mohammad Reza Haddadi's claims of innocence, and withdrew their testimony that had implicated him in the murder. They were both over 18 at the time of the crime and received prison sentences.
There is no further news on Naser Qasemi, who was sentenced to death for a crime committed when he was 15.
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), both of which expressly prohibit the use of the death penalty against anyone convicted of a crime committed when they were under 18. However, since 1990 Iran has executed at least 37 juvenile offenders, eight of them in 2007 and six in 2008.
In Iran a convicted murderer has no right to seek pardon or commutation from the state, though this right is protected by Article 6(4) ICCPR. The family of a murder victim have the right either to insist on execution, or to pardon the killer and receive financial compensation.
For more information about executions of child offenders in Iran, see Iran: The last executioner of children (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, FRENCH, ENGLISH OR YOUR OWN LANGUAGE:
- welcoming the decision to halt the execution of Mohammed Reza Haddadi, but expressing concern that he and Naser Qasemi are still facing execution for crimes committed when they were under 18;
- reminding the head of the judiciary 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;
- calling on him to commute Mohammed Reza Haddadi and Naser Qasemi’s death sentences.
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: [email protected] (In subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
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
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (there are problems with this line, please try three times)
Email: [email protected](In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad 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 25 November 2008.