Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

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

Hassan Hassanzadeh


Age: 18
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single


Date of Killing: January 18, 2017
Location of Killing: Central Prison, Tabriz, Azarbaijan-e Sharqi Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Murder
Age at time of alleged offense: 15

About this Case

Was only 15 years old at the time of alleged crime

News of the execution of Mr. Hassan Hassanzadeh was published on the websites of HRANA (January 18, 2017) and Iran Human Rights (January 26, 2017). Amnesty International had issued a call for action to halt this execution on April 17, 2016.

The case of Mr. Hassanzadeh was related to a murder that happened when he was only 15 years old.

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

The circumstances of Mr. Hassanzadeh’s arrest are not known. He spent two and a half years in the juvenile ward of Central Prison in Tabriz.


No information is available on Mr. Hassanzadeh’s trial.


Mr. Hassanzadeh was charged with “murder”.

The validity of the criminal charges brought against this defendant cannot be ascertained in the absence of the basic guarantees of a fair trial.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against Mr. Hassanzadeh.


Mr. Hassanzadeh was only 15 years old at the time of the offense. No information is available on his defense.

A Summary of the Defects of Mr. Hassanzadeh’s Legal Proceedings

Hassan Hassanzadeh was 15 years old when he committed murder. Although the age of criminal responsibility in Iranian law is the age of puberty and Hassan had already reached puberty at the time of the murder, with the modifications made in the Islamic Penal Code in 2013, the law provided for the possibility of young adults under the age of 18 not to be subject to the death penalty. 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.” Judicial authorities apparently did not believe that Hassan was not mentally developed and mature at the time of the murder. Generally speaking, however, an individual at the age of 16 could hardly be capable of comprehending the nature of his/her actions as an adult would. Now that the new law has created the possibility of saving the lives of individuals under 18 who have been sentenced to death, why are some young people not covered by this law while others’ lives have been spared utilizing the provisions of this Article? 


Mr. Hassan Hassazadeh was sentenced to death and was hanged at the age of 18 in Tabriz Prison on December 29, 2016.

Correct/ Complete This Entry