Two More Child Offenders Face Execution in Iran Tomorrow

Just five days after the execution of child offender Delara Darabi in Iran, the government there is set to kill two more juvenile offenders tomorrow.

This news comes despite widespread international consensus that because of children’s immaturity, impulsiveness, vulnerability and capacity for rehabilitation, their lives should not be written off so permanently – regardless of the severity of the crimes they are convicted.

Amir Khaleqi and Safar Angooti are set to be executed early Wednesday, May 6, at 4 a.m. local time in Evin prison.  The scheduling of these executions, just days after killing Delara Darabi, show that the Iranian authorities have total disregard for international law which unequivocally bans the execution of those convicted of crimes committed under the age of 18.

According to their lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaie, Amir Khaleqi killed a man during a fight when he was drunk.  Amir does not remember how the incident happened but was so remorseful that he turned himself into the police.  He was 16 years old at the time.  Amir was eventually convicted, despite the court taking into consideration that he was intoxicated, and a juvenile offender.

Safar Angooti was convicted of murder at age 17.  According to the newspaper Etemad, in April 2008, Safar Angooti stabbed a rival suitor who was talking to a girl he liked and was sentenced to death.  Safar claimed that he had killed the man but not intentionally.  At least 135 other juvenile offenders are also known to be on death row in Iran.

Amnesty members are launching worldwide activities tomorrow in front of Iranian embassies hoping the publicity will stop tomorrow’s possible execution of Amir Khaleqi and Safar Angooti.  You can take action right now by sending a message to Iranian authorities demanding an end to the executions of child offenders in Iran.

Juvenile Offender Executed in Iran This Morning

Amnesty International learned today about the tragic and very unexpected execution of Delara Darabi this morning in Iran.

Delara had been given a two month stay of execution by Ayatollah Shahroudi, the head of the Iranian Judiciary, just two weeks ago.  Her lawyer and her family had not been informed of the execution, despite the law requiring that.

Any execution is unacceptable, but Delara Darabi was convicted of a crime she allegedly committed when she was a juvenile.  Iran is the only country in the world that still executes juvenile offenders.  Delara Darabi had been arrested in 2003 and charged with the murder of a relative during a burglary.  Delara Darabi originally confessed to the crime, but later recanted, saying she had been hoping to protect her boyfriend who she identified as the perpetrator; she had mistakenly believed that the death penalty would not be applied to her because she was only seventeen at the time.  She has been imprisoned in Rasht Prison since 2003 and had developed into a talented artist.

Please write to the Iranian authorities to protest this and all executions of child offenders.

Amnesty International in the UK will be doing a flower laying ceremony at the Iranian embassy in London on Wednesday, May 6th between 4-6pm and encourages activists around the world to organize solidarity actions on the same day.  We are very sorry to have to bear this horrible news to you and can only hope that it will reaffirm our commitment to finally end juvenile executions in Iran.

Stop These Executions!

Delara Darabi faces imminent execution.  Like many sentenced to death in Iran, she was convicted of a crime committed when she was a child.  Almost no other country in the world executes juvenile offenders, yet Iran has put 16 of them to death since the beginning of 2007.  Iran’s death row continues to house scores of young men and women facing the noose for crimes that took place when they were under 18 years old.  These include Abumoslem Sohrabi and Abbas Hosseini, whose executions may also be imminent.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child forbids the death penalty for crimes committed by underage offenders, and the CRC is the most universally accepted human rights treaty there is.  (Only Somalia, and the good ole USA have failed to ratify this no-brainer of a human rights instrument; thankfully the US Supreme Court found executing child offenders unconstitutional – by a 5-4 vote – back in 2005).  Iran has accepted this treaty, so why is this still happening?

That is the question a strong human rights movement inside Iran is asking, as they seek to end the execution of juvenile offenders.  We can support this courageous effort by taking action on behalf of people like Delara Darabi, Abumoslem Sohrabi and Abbas Hosseini.