Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Janat Mir


Age: 15
Nationality: Afghanistan
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Unknown


Date of Killing: April 15, 2014
Location of Killing: Central Prison (Dastgerd), Esfahan, Esfahan Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Drug related offense
Age at time of alleged offense: 15

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Janat Mir, along with five other Afghan citizens, was published on the websites of Azadiradio on May 5, and 8am on April 20, 2014. Additional information was taken from the websites of the BBC on April 19, Armanemeli on April 26, Gandhara on December 5, the Committee for Defense of Human Rights in Iran on June 26, and Tolonews on April 21, 2014.

According to Tolonews, the speaker for the Afghanistan Foreign Ministry expressed concerns regarding the increase in the execution of Afghans in Iran and stated that Iran should consult Afghanistan about decisions on Afghan prisoners, and allow them to benefit from their country’s consular services. Afghanistan has requested several times that Iran reduce the death sentence of Afghans to life imprisonment.

According to the Gandhara website, Amnesty International, based in London, also expressed concern regarding the increase in the execution of Afghans in Iran and reported that at least 700 Afghan citizens had been executed in Iran in 2013. This is an increase compared to 544 executions in 2012. In addition, 250 individuals were executed during the first four months of 2014.

Mr. Janat Mir was from Volsovali Kolfgan in Takhar, Afghanistan. According to Azadiradio, quoting his brother, Mr. Janat Mir went to school until ninth grades and went to Iran in search of work in 2012. During this interview his brother stated Mr. Janat Mir’s age as 15; however, according to the Committee for Defense of Human Rights in Iran, he was 17 years old when executed.

International laws have strictly prohibited capital punishment against those who were under the age of 18 at the time of committing the crime. As a party to the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran has the obligation to avoid capital punishment for an offence committed before the age of eighteen.

Arrest and Detention

According to the Gandhara website, the Iranian authorities informed Mr. Janat Mir’s family of his sentence a few months after he entered Iran. According to Azadiradio, quoting his brother, Mr. Janat Mir was detained for two years at the Dastgerd Prison in Esfahan. During his radio interview, he went to Iran to visit his brother; however, he was not allowed to visit him during the two months period that he stayed. There is no specific information on the defendant’s arrest and detention.


No information is available on Mr. Janat Mir’s trial.  


The charge against Mr. Janat Mir was announced as "drug trafficking."        

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.  International human rights organizations have drawn attention to reports indicating that Islamic Republic authorities have brought trumped-up charges against their political opponents and executed them for alleged drug trafficking, sexual, and other criminal offences. Thousands of alleged drug traffickers have been sentenced to death following judicial processes that fail to meet international standards. Scores of them were executed based on a 1989 law imposing mandatory death sentences on drug traffickers found in possession of specified amounts of proscribed narcotics (5 kg of hashish or opium, and more than 30 grams of heroin, codeine or methadone). The exact number of people convicted based on trumped-up charges is unknown.

Evidence of Guilt

The report of this execution did not provide any specific information on the evidence presented against Mr. Janat Mir.


During an interview with Azadiradio, Mr. Janat Mir’s brother stated that his brother had no attorney and did not benefit from a fair trial. No information is available on his defense.    

A Summary of the Legal Defects in the Adjudication of Mr. Jannat Mir’s Case

According to certain reports, Jannat Mir committed the alleged crime at the age of 15. Pursuant to Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, the age of criminal responsibility is when an individual reaches puberty. Furthermore, if Jannat Mir’s age at the time of commission of murder was between 15 and 18, investigations should have been conducted as to his mental development. By way of explanation, Jannat Mir was executed on April 15, 2014, when the new Islamic Penal Code had already been passed (April 2013) and was in force. Pursuant to the previous Islamic Penal Code which was in force at the time of the commission of the crime, the punishment for young adults (that is, boys) who have reached the age of 15, was no different than the one for adults. The Islamic Penal Code was changed, however, on April 21, 2013, and prescribed different rules for crimes committed by individuals under the age of 18. Although the new Code provides the same punishment for crimes that are subject to Hadd and Qesas for adults as well as for individuals under 18 who have attained puberty, if the individual under the age of 18 is not aware of the nature of the crime, and there is doubt as to his maturity, the punishment will be dropped and changed to incarceration and educational actions. Pursuant to Islamic Penal Code Article 91 “In crimes requiring Hadd or Qesas, if the individuals under the age of 18 who have attained puberty cannot comprehend the nature of the crime or the prohibition thereof, or if there is doubt as to their mental development [and capacity] and maturity, they will be sentenced to the punishments prescribed in this chapter on a case by case basis. Note: In order to ascertain mental development and maturity, the court may obtain the medical examiner’s opinion, or utilize any other method it deems appropriate.” This provision paved the way for exemption from the death penalty for criminals under 18. Usually at that age, an individual has not reached the level of maturity to comprehend the nature of his actions; so this provision can practically save criminals under 18 from the death penalty. According to an established legal principle, in the event that the subsequent law is more lenient to an accused or a convicted criminal than the prior law, the subsequent law will be applied even though a final judgment has been rendered. On that basis, the new law must apply to individuals under the age of 18 who have attained puberty and have been tried and sentenced to death while the previous law was still in force, and such individuals must be able to take action under Article 91 in order to avoid the death penalty. In practice too, courts viewed Article 91 as applying to those having a final death sentence. In fact, in December 2014, the Supreme Court General Council issued a Uniform Procedure Decision regarding the manner of Article 91’s applicability to individuals under the age of 18 who have attained puberty. Although this Uniform Procedure Decision was issued a few months after Jannat Mir’s execution, courts regarded Article 91 as applying to individuals under 18 sentenced to death prior to its issuance as well; the difference of opinion was a procedural one and dealt with the manner of adjudication. Jannat Mir was executed when he could have asked for renewed adjudication based on this Article. It appears that judicial authorities deprived Jannat Mir of the opportunity to apply this article. 


The court condemned Mr. Janat Mir to death and he was hanged at the Dastgerd Prison in Esfahan on April 15, 2014. According to his brother, authorities did not give him the body and took one million Tumans to bury him in Esfahan. They did not even allow him to take a picture for his family. According to Tolonews, Iran used to allow the bodies of the executed Afghans to return to Afghanistan; however, they did not allow it in this case regarding the bodies of those who were executed in Esfahan.            

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