Mohammad Mostafaei Writes about Behnoud Shojaee’s DeathOctober 12, 2009
October 11, 2009
Original Persian Source: Nim Rooz Online
Translated by: Neda Shayesteh for Persian2English
Behnoud Shojaee was executed: Mohammad Mostafaei writes about the experience in his blog
Behnoud Shojaee committed murder when he was 17. He was executed on Sunday October 11, 2009 at 5:30am because the family of the victim did not withdraw the complaint. According to Article 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, no person under the age of 18 should be “sentenced to death or life imprisonment without possibility of release.” The Islamic parliament signed the convention in 2000. It was also approved by the Guardian Council. According to Section 9 of the Civil Rights, this convention is law, thus it is obligatory to abide by it. However, Iran proceeds to ignore the law and continues to give death sentences to adolescents.
Mohammad Mostafaei, one of Behnoud Shojaee’s lawyers, talked about the last moments of Behnoud’s life in his personal blog:
I was waiting for the time to pass before I had to go to Evin prison. Around 2:30am, I met with Kouhyar and we went to the prison. Also there was approximately 200 social rights activists and mothers whose children were killed [presumably in post-election events] . We were waiting for the victim’s parents to arrive. After one hour, we saw the mother and father of Ehsan (the murdered victim) and his sister and brother. Everyone went to the family and tried to convince them to drop the complaint. The atmosphere was very dense. The door of the prison was opened. I entered and so did Mr. Oliyaifard [Behnoud Shojaee's other lawyer], and the parents of the victim.
We sat for a while in the waiting room. The plan was to get the parents of the victim to drop the case so he would be spared from execution. We could hear the prayers of the activists from outside the prison. After a few minutes we were admitted into another salon. Behnoud was there along with a few of the prison guards. When the parents of the victim entered the room, Behnoud kneeled in front of them and begged them to not execute him. The head of convictions prepared the conviction papers. A few of the prison guards, Mr. Oliyaifard, and I went to the parents of the victim and begged them to not go through with the execution. The mother of the victim replied, “I cannot think right now. I have to put the rope around his neck.” After a few minutes we heard the Call for Prayer. Behnoud walked to another room to say his last prayers. He went to ask God for forgiveness. After the prayer we all went to the prison grounds. My entire body was shaking and I didn’t know what would become of this boy without a mother. When Behnoud kneeled in front of the parents of the victim, he told the mother, “I don’t have a mother. Please act as a mother and tell them to not execute me.” We all went to another room. In that room there was a metal stool and a blue plastic hanging rope suspended above it. The parents of the victim entered that room. Then they brought Behnoud into that horrible room where they carried out the executions. I had never heard of sole executions in Evin prison. I thought it strange that only Behnoud was being executed that night.
Maybe this was his unfortunate fate that took him to die all alone. The people present in the room asked the parents to forgive and to stop the execution. The mother said you have to put the rope around his neck. Behnoud stood on top of the stool and they put the rope around his neck. After only a few seconds the mother and father of the victim ran toward the stool and pulled it away. I could not tolerate to watch. Right when they pulled away the stool everything became dark. Behnoud was gone.
Today, Behnoud is not among his friends in prison anymore. They feel his absence. I did everything I could, but it was not effective enough. I still believe that he did not deserve to die. He shouldn’t have been executed. But he was executed.
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