Abolfazl Naderi Arrested at 16 at Risk of Execution
February 8, 2018
A 21-year old Iranian man Abolfazl Naderi is at risk of execution in Arak’s prison, Markazi province. Abolfazl Naderi was 16 years old at the time of his arrest and was sentenced to death after a grossly unfair trial, based on “confessions” which he claims were made under torture.
Abolfazl Naderi, aged 22, has been on death row in Arak’s prison, Markazi province, central Iran since 2013 when he was sentenced to death in connection with the death of his friend. He was 16 years old at the time of the crime in June 2012 and has consistently maintained his innocence. Amnesty International learned on 6 February 2018 that the authorities had transferred him to solitary confinement on 23 January 2018 in preparation for his execution. However, the execution was postponed after the victim’s family agreed to pardon Abolfazl Naderi and forgo their request for “retribution-in-kind” (qesas) if Abolfazl Naderi’s family paid them three billion Rials (equivalent to US$80,000) as “blood money” (diyah) within two months.
Abolfazl Naderi was sentenced to death at the age of 17 in July 2013 after a grossly unfair trial before Branch One of the Criminal Court in Markazi Province which convicted him of murder. The court relied on “confessions” which Abolfazl Naderi has repeatedly said were made under torture. He was arrested in June 2012 and subsequently held in solitary confinement at a police station for 14 days, without access to his family and lawyer. He states that during this period, police officers suspended him from the ceiling, flogged him on the soles of his feet, beat him with a wooden rod, and denied him drinking water. Abolfazl Naderi claims that he tried to retract his “confessions” when he was taken before an investigator from the Office of the Prosecutor, but the investigator threatened that if he did, he would be returned to the police station and subjected to further torture. Abolfazl Naderi raised the allegations of torture again during trial and maintained his innocence. There is no indication that the court investigated his allegations. According to Abolfazl Naderi, he was not informed about his death sentence for about two years as the authorities did not want to cause him distress. He only learned about his death sentence after he was transferred to Arak’s prison in Markazi Province.
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