ه‍.ش. ۱۳۸۸ خرداد ۸, جمعه

Fear of imminent execution

Mehdi Mazroui is said to be at imminent risk of execution for a crime he is alleged to have committed when he was 17 years old. He was moved to a solitary cell in Dastgerd prison in Esfahan, Iran, on the morning of 29 May 2009, a step the Iranian authorities often take prior to execution.

Mehdi Mazroui was arrested in 2002 after a fight in which one person was killed, and sentenced to qesas-e nafs, or retribution, by a lower court in Esfahan in 2005. Details of the trial are not known. He confessed to the killing after alleged torture during which he was beaten, his hand was broken, his shoulder was dislocated and fingernails were removed. A high court in Tehran subsequently ordered the review of his sentence and returned the case to a different lower court in Esfahan for a retrial. The lower court again sentenced him to qesas-e nafs and this was confirmed by the Supreme Court in February 2009. The verdict is said to have been communicated to the relevant authorities for implementation.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Iran has executed at least 45 alleged juvenile offenders since 1990, eight of them in 2008 and at least two in 2009.

The execution of juvenile offenders is prohibited under international law, as stated in Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which Iran is a state party, and so has undertaken not to execute anyone for crimes committed when they were under 18.

In Iran a person convicted of murder has no right to seek pardon or commutation from the state, in violation of Article 6(4) of the ICCPR. The family of a murder victim have the right either to insist on execution, or to pardon the killer and receive financial compensation (diyeh).

For more information about executions of juvenile offenders in Iran, please see Iran: The last executioner of children (Index: MDE 13/059/2007), June 2007, (http://web.amnesty.org/library/index/engmde130592007).

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:
- expressing great concern at reports that Mehdi Mazroui may be at imminent risk of execution for a crime he allegedly committed when he was under 18;
- calling for re-trial of the case in proceedings meeting international standards for fair trial and in line with the Convention of the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a state party:
- urging the Iranian authorities to commute his death sentence;
- reminding the authorities that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which prohibit the use of the death penalty against people convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18.

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