News on Juvenile Offenders to be Executed in Iran and Statements by Human Rights Lawyer Mohammad MostafaeiOctober 06, 2009
Behnood Shojaei and Safar Angoti to be executed on the 11th and 21st of October
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Bahnood was below the age of 18 when he committed the murder. The family of the victim had forgiven Behnood and had unequivocally given up their right to retribution (The right of the victim’s family under Qisas law) in front of several witnesses namely Messrs, Ezzatollah Sahabi, Parviz Parastoui, Sayed Mohammad Mojabi, Dr. Golzari and a few others.
Mostafaei adds: “After I brought up the fact, the family of the victim had given up their right to retribution, the file was sent back to the issuing court. The judges from the 74th provincial criminal court rejected the appeal, arguing the verbal retrieval of the family’s right to retribution even when it is confirmed by the witness affidavit does not constitute a reasonable ground for appeal, and the execution order shall remain in effect.”
Also in an opinion related to this case, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi had previously said, “Where there is credible witness testimony on the forgiveness by the victim’s family, such forgiveness remains irretrievable.”
Open Letter on Imminent Execution of Juveniles on Death Row
Following reports received from families and lawyers of several juvenile offenders which point to their imminent execution, the children’s rights unit of HRA has sent letters to judicial authorities demanding a stay of execution.
The following is the text of HRA’s letter.
In the name of God
The Honorable Head of the Judiciary
His Excellency Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani
With sincere greeting we would like to bring to your attention that our organization has received reports indicating several juveniles sentenced to death penalty will be executed within the next few days.
The honorable judges have ruled Qisis to be carried for them despite the fact that they were all under the age of 18 when they committed murder. The ruling is based on Islamic criminal law which defies the legal age to be 9 Lunar years for girls and 15 lunar years for boys. The ruling comes desite the fact that Iran has ratified Convention on the Rights of the Child. As you are aware any international treaty that has been ratified becomes the law of the country and should be respected by all judges in their rulings. Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child states: “No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age.” Iran’s record as the international leader in Juvenile execution has led to concerns over human rights violations in general and children’s rights violation in particular in Iran.
With this letter he children’s rights unit of HRA would like to express its grave concern over the ongoing execution of juvenile offenders. We urge your Excellency to order stay of executions and take necessary steps to replace this in humane punishment with sentences that result in the rehabilitation of the convict.
Children’s’ Rights Unit of HRA