PUBLIC
AI Index: MDE 13/126/2008
UPDATE
FOR YOUR INFORMATION

26 August 2008

Further Information on 230/07 (MDE 13/109/2007, 31 August 2007) and follow-up (MDE 13/032/2008, 05 February 2008 and MDE 13/044/2008, 06 March 2008) - Fear of imminent execution

IRAN

Behnam Zare' (m), juvenile offender

On 26 August, Behnam Zare’ was hanged in Adelabad prison, in the south-western city of Shiraz. Neither his parents nor his lawyer were notified prior to his execution being implemented, as required under Iranian law.

Behnam Zare’ was convicted of a murder that took place on 21 April 2005. During an argument with a man named Mehrdad he swung a knife, wounding Mehrdad in the neck. Mehrdad later died in hospital. At the time of the murder Behnam Zare` was 15 years old.

Behnam Zare’ was detained on 13 November 2005; Branch 5 of Fars Criminal Court sentenced him to qesas (retribution) for premeditated murder. The case went to appeal before the Supreme Court where the sentence was upheld. The verdict was then passed to the Office for Implementation of Sentences.

On 5 February 2008, the order for the implementation of his sentence was approved by Ayatollah Shahroudi, the Head of the Judiciary. On or around 11 February 2008, the Head of the Judiciary ordered a second attempt to negotiate payment of diyeh ("blood money") with the family of Mehrdad.

This year, according to information available to Amnesty International, Iran has executed at least 227 people, including six juvenile offenders. Since 1990 Iran has executed at least 37 juvenile offenders, eight of them in 2007. No other country is known to have executed a juvenile offender in 2008.

The situation of juvenile offenders facing execution in Iran has reached a crisis level, with at least 132 juvenile offenders known to be on death row, although the true number could be much higher.

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

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