Iran: Death Penalty: Behnoud
January 8, 2008
PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 13/007/2008
08 January 2008
UA 09/08 Death penalty
IRAN Behnoud (m), full name not known, aged about 19, child offender
A young man called Behnoud has been convicted of a murder committed before he was 18, and is now believed to be in danger of execution.
Behnoud was convicted of beating to death a 19-year-old man, known only as Ehsan, with a bottle during a street fight in 2005. At the time of the murder, Behnoud was aged about 17. To execute him would be a violation of international law.
Behnoud was sentenced to qesas (retribution) by a court in Tehran, and his sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court. According to the Iranian news agency Fars, Ehsan's family are demanding that Behnoud be executed. However, the case has been referred to conciliation in order to allow both families to negotiate the payment of diyeh (blood money) in exchange for pardoning Behnoud.
As a state party to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Iran has undertaken not to execute child offenders, those convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18. However, since 1990, Iran has executed at least 28 child offenders, six of them in 2007. At least 79 child offenders are now on death row in Iran. This number may be even higher as at least a further 15 Afghan child offenders have reportedly been sentenced to death.
For more information about executions of child offenders in Iran, please 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, English or your own language:
- expressing concern that Behnoud is at risk of execution for a crime committed when he was under 18;
- calling on the authorities to commute his death sentence;
- reminding them that Iran is a state party to both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which prohibits the use of the death penalty against those under the age of 18 at the time of offence, and that the execution of Behnoud would therefore be a violation of international law;
- urging the authorities to pass legislation to abolish the death penalty for offences committed by persons under the age of 18, so bringing Iran’s domestic law in line with its obligations under international law;
- stating that Amnesty International acknowledges the right and responsibility of governments to bring to justice those suspected of criminal offences, but unconditionally opposes the death penalty.
Leader of the Islamic Republic
His Excellency Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei
The Office of the Supreme Leader, Islamic Republic Street - Shahid Keshvar Doust Street
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
Salutation: Your Excellency
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@example.com (In the subject line write: FAO Ayatollah Shahroudi)
Salutation: Your Excellency
His Excellency Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
The Presidency, Palestine Avenue, Azerbaijan Intersection, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
via website: www.president.ir/email
Director, Human Rights Headquarters of Iran
His Excellency Mohammad Javad Larijani
Howzeh Riassat-e Ghoveh Ghazaiyeh
(Office of the Head of the Judiciary)
Vali Asr Ave., south of Serah-e Jomhuri,
Fax: +98 21 3390 4986 (please keep trying)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (In the subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)
email@example.com (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 20 February 2008.