Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Seyed Amin Sedaqatpur

About

Age: 17
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Presumed Muslim
Civil Status: Single

Case

Date of Killing: April 25, 2019
Location: Central Prison (Adelabad), Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Rape; Robbery
Age at time of offense: 15

About this Case

Was not even 16 years old at the time of arrest.

News of the executions of Seyed Amin Sedaqatpur, child of Gol Jan and Seyed Hamid, and one of his relatives, Mr. Mehdi Sohrabifar (Qarehcheh), was obtained through an interview conducted by the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center with a person acquainted with Mr. Sedaqatpur (June 18, and 28, and July 6, 2019). News of this execution was also published by Khabar Jonoob (April 27, 2019), Amnesty International (April 29, 2019), Iran Human Rights Organization (April 28, 2019), and Rokna website (May 2, 2019). Additional information about this case was obtained through the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center’s research, including correspondence with Amnesty International (April 29, 2019), Khabar Jonoob (July 30, 2017, April 18, and May 8, 2019), Islamic Republic News Agency, IRNA (May 8, 2019), and Iran Human Rights Organization (April 30, and May 7, 2019).

Mr. Sedaqatpurwas born on October 13, 2001, in the city of Shiraz. (Iran Human Rights Organization, April 30, 2019).

Mr. Sedaqatpur case is related to burglary of several homes and sexual assault of a number of women in Shiraz’ Koushk Meydan [neighborhood] in 2017, when he was only 16 years old.

International law strictly prohibits the use of capital punishment in the case of individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time of the commission of the crime. As a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Iran is bound not to subject individuals who have committed a crime as children, to capital punishment.

Arrest and detention

Criminal Investigation Officers arrested Mr. Sedaqatpur in Shiraz sometime after mid June 2017. On June 7, 2017, a woman contacted Criminal Investigations Police and informed them of a burglary and threats of sexual assault. As the investigation progressed, the police were apprised of complaints by 6 other women in May-June in Koushk Meydan, a working class neighborhood in Shiraz, and found out that some of them had been sexually assaulted. About two weeks later, Criminal Investigations officers were able to identify two burglars through facial composite sketches and other investigative [techniques] and were able to arrest them within a short time of each other. (Khabar Jonoob, April 18, and 27, 2019). According to a person acquainted with Mr. Sedaqatpur, this case had a third defendant. According to this person, Mr. Sedaqatpur and his co-defendant were identified by this third defendant to the Criminal Investigations Police. (Iran Human Rights Organization, April 30, 2019, Boroumand Center interview, June 28, 2019).

He was detained in the Criminal Investigation Office for two months without an access to his family or an attorney. His family said that he was even tortured while being held there.

In another news piece, Khabar Jonoob newspaper announced the age of the other two defendants arrested as 16. (Khabar Jonoob, April 18, 2019). Documents published by Iran Human Rights Organization show, however, that Mr. Sohrabifar and his co-defendant had not yet turned 16 at the time of their arrest. (Iran Human Rights Organization, May 7, 2019).

Mr. Sedaqatpur was detained at the Shiraz Criminal Investigations Bureau for two months. His family was unable to contact him in that period. According to the person close to Mr. Sedaqatpur. (Iran Human Rights Organization, April 30, 2019, Boroumand Center interview, and 28, 2019). He was then transferred to the Shiraz Reform and Education Center and stayed there until April 2019. On April 24, 2019, Mr. Sedaqatpur and his co-defendant were transferred to Shiraz’ Adelabad Prison (without knowing the reason for such transfer). He was able to meet with his family at the prison on that day. (Amnesty International).

Trial

Shiraz Criminal Prosecutor’s Office, Investigating Judge Branch 17, opened the case against Mr. Sedaqatpur. (Khabar Jonoob, July 30, 2017). Subsequently, the case was tried at Shiraz General Court. (Iran Human Rights Organization, April 30, 2018). He was represented by counsel at the trial.

No further information is available about Mr. Sedaqatpur trial session(s).

Charges

Mr. Sedaqatpur was charged with “rape while committing theft”. (Iran Human Rights Organization, April 30, 2019). He and his co-defendant were charged with “7 counts of burglary of homes and sexual assault of women”. (Khabar Jonoob, April  27, 2019).

The Judiciary Branch spokesman alluded to the “serious charges” brought against the defendants in the case, consisting of “armed robbery, forcible rape, kidnapping, and multiple crimes and violent acts” without mentioning Mr. Sedaqatpur and his co-defendant by name, and denied that they were juvenile adolescents. (IRNA). According to the person acquainted with Mr. Sedaqatpur, he and his co-defendant were also charged with “Moharebeh” (“waging war against God”). (Boroumand Center interview, June 28, 2019).

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 allude to reports according to which, in certain cases, the Islamic republic of Iran’s officials bring false charges against their opponents (including political, civil, and union activists, as well as ethnic and religious minorities) such as drug trafficking or commission of public or sexual crimes, and execute them along with other regular criminals. Hundreds of people are sentenced to death in Iran every year; however, the number of those who are sentenced to death based on these false charges is not known.

Evidence

The evidence presented against Mr. Sedaqatpur consisted of the plaintiffs’ testimony which resulted in a composite sketch of his face, as well as his and his co-defendant’s confession in the interrogation sessions before the investigating judge. (Khabar Jonoob, April 27, 2019). According to the person acquainted with Mr. Sedaqatpur, his and his co-defendant’s confessions were obtained under torture. According to this person, a number of the plaintiffs brought other complaints against him and his co-defendant concerning other matters while he was in detention. (Boroumand Center interview, June 28, 2019).

There is no information regarding other evidence against him.

International human rights organizations have repeatedly condemned the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its systematic use of severe torture and solitary confinement to obtain confessions from detainees and have questioned the authenticity of confessions obtained under duress.

Defense

According to people close to him, his mental maturity was not approved by the forensics. (Iran Human Rights)

Mr. Sedaqatpur had access to an attorney at trial. No further information is available regarding Mr. Sedaqatpur and his attorney’s defense at the court session(s).

A Summary of the Legal Defects in Mr. Sohrabifar’s Case

At the time of the event, Mr. Sedaqatpur was approximately 16 solar years old; since the age of criminal responsibility in Iranian law has been determined on the basis of a lunar year, however, he was considered to be mature and criminally responsible from a legal perspective. Although in Iran the age of criminal responsibility is the age of puberty/maturity, [that is, 15 years for boys], the new Islamic Penal Code of 2013, provided for the possibility of juveniles under the age of 18 to not be subjected 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. 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.”

According to available information, Mr. Sedaqatpur was tried and sentenced to death on charges of “Moharebeh” (“waging war against God”) and “Efsad fel-Arz” (“spreading corruption on Earth”). The element of disrupting public peace and its extent is very important. Even assuming that he had committed the alleged acts, it cannot be said that those acts constituted “Moharebeh” or “Efsad fel-Arz”. It appears that given the broad applicability of “Moharebeh” and “Efsad fel-Arz” and the relative ease of proving them, the prosecutor’s office and the trial court have resorted to indicting him based on these crimes in order to get quick and easy convictions.

According to available information, the defendant did not have an attorney at least for a portion of preliminary investigations, whereas, pursuant to Article 190 of the Law on the Rules of Criminal Procedure, “in the case of crimes the punishment for which is the death penalty or life imprisonment, if the defendant does not introduce an attorney in the preliminary investigations stage, the investigating judge shall designate a court-appointed attorney for him/her”. Considering that the punishment for the charges against the defendant was the death penalty, not appointing an attorney for him in a portion of the preliminary investigations, raises serious doubts as to the validity of such investigations.

Judgment

Shiraz General Court sentenced Seyed Amin Sedaqatpur and his co-defendant, Mr. Mehdi Sohrabifar (Qaracheh), to death, imprisonment, and flogging. The ruling was upheld by the Supreme Court. (Iran Human Rights Organization, April 30, 2019; Boroumand Center interview, June 28, 2019).

On April 25, 2019, Seyed Amin Sedaqatpur and his co-defendant were hanged at Shiraz’ Adelabad Prison along with two other individuals.

Mr. Sedaqatpur’s family learned from the signs of injury on his body that the flogging sentence had been carried out prior to his hanging. (Amnesty International).

Mr. Sedaqatpur’s sentence had at one point been overturned by the Supreme Court. (Rokna, May 2, 2019; Iran Human Rights Organization, April 30, 2019).

Mr. Sedaqatpur’s family and attorney were not aware that the death sentence had been carried out. They were called by the Medical Examiner’s Office after the execution to go and take delivery of his body. (Amnesty International; Iran Human Rights Organization, April 30, 2019).

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