Friday, December 17, 2010
Publish date: July 22 • Printable version    

Execution of juvenile offender overturned in Iran

Ali Mahintorabi

Ali Mahintorabi, an Iranian juvenile offender accused of murder was released yesterday after eight years in prison.

Mohammad Mostafayi, Mahintorabi’s attorney, issued the news on his weblog saying that upon review of his client’s case, the court commuted the charge to manslaughter and issued his release after the blood money was paid.

Mahintorabi was involved in an altercation which leads to the death of his schoolmate, Mazdak Khodadian eight years ago. In the altercation, Mahintorabi stabs Khodadian but he told the court that he did not mean to kill him and the stabbing was a result of pressure from the surrounding crowd.

Mahintorabi was sentenced to be executed by a Karaj court. The sentence was issued whilst the mother of the victim had foregone her right to demand equal punishment and only the victim’s father demanded it.

The sentence was protested by numerous Iranian and international human rights activists. As a result of the protests and persistent effort from his attorney, Mahintorabi’s case was considered for a judicial review.

Mohammad Mostafayi attributes the release of his client to the tireless efforts of social activists, artists and journalists.

Iran has one of the highest rates of execution in the world and according to Amnesty International from 1990 to 2009 the Islamic Republic has executed 42 juvenile offenders.

According to the same source, in 2008 and 2009, Iran was the only country to execute offenders who had committed crimes as minors.

Despite being a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child which condemns execution of juvenile offenders, this practice has not stopped in Iran.

Currently 130 juvenile offenders are on death row in Iran.

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