Iran: Government must halt execution of man convicted for murder that occurred when he was 15-years-old

Press Release
July 6, 2010

Iran: Government must halt execution of man convicted for murder that occurred when he was 15-years-old

Amnesty International Calls on Iran to Halt Execution of Man Convicted for Murder That Occurred When He Was 15-Years-Old

July 6, 2010

Amnesty International today urgently called on Iranian authorities to halt the imminent execution of Mohammad Reza Haddadi, who could face death by hanging as soon as Wednesday, July 7 for a murder he allegedly committed when he was 15 years old.

Mohammad Reza Haddadi's family were told by judicial officials on July 4 that they should arrange a last visit to their son before he is executed in the early hours of July 7 at Adelabad prison in the city of Shiraz.

"Mohammad Reza Haddadi must not be executed for a murder that he is alleged to have committed when only 15 years old," said Malcolm Smart, director of the Middle East and North Africa program at Amnesty International.

"The Iranian authorities must immediately cease executing convicted juvenile offenders, in breach of international law."

Convicted juvenile offenders have previously been executed without prior warning to their lawyers, although Iranian law requires that their lawyers receive 48 hours' notice.

Mohammad Reza Haddadi was sentenced to death in 2004 for the murder of Mohammad Bagher, who was killed while driving between Shiraz and Kazeroun, a town south of Shiraz.

He confessed to the killing initially but during the trial he retracted this confession and said he had made it because his two co-defendants said they would give his family money if he did so.

He then denied that he had taken any part in the murder and his co-defendants are said to have since supported his claims of innocence and withdrawn their testimony implicating him in the murder.

Despite this, his death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in July 2005.

The death penalty is used for a wide range of offences in Iran, and is still applicable to those who are convicted of committing a capital offense while under the age of 18.