Juvenile Offender Executed in Iran This Morning

May 1, 2009

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.